Pyracantha bonsai in 8 years

Here’s a tree I collected in 2005 in Pas Christian, MS, just a few months before those crowded streets were forever changed by Katrina. It was a clump in the landscape at the corner of the yard, where it had stood for half a century. To collect it, it was reduced from a bush about 12′ around and tall, down to a tangle of stumps. I sawed it apart, into 3 pieces, and potted each separately. Somewhere I have a shot of all 3. The largest died, the smallest was gifted; this one is turning out “so right”.

A shot from ’06, about a year after collecting; this is the present back, propped up in front of a card table:

Pyracantha 2

Here is a photo from Spring ’07 after wiring, pruning, root work, and moving it to a mica pot:

The left side was under-cut to get it out of the ground, so it was necessary to spend time developing roots in that area, while propping it up on a rock:

Pyracantha 0308 Repotting (4)

Pyracantha 0308 Repotting (1)

and packing it with sphagnum moss:
Pyracantha 0308 Repotting (8)

Fall ’08 (Chinese pot):
Pyracantha 08 (7)

Spring ’10, continuing the root work:

DSC02726 - Copy





It filled out well in ’10 (Houtoku Pot):
Pyracantha 10

In ’11 it was full of roots again:

And the developing area was showing some thickening surface roots:



Pyracantha 11 (2)
The front started to crack, exposing some dead spots, so I carved it away. I held off as long as I could, partly because it is not a reversible course, and partly because I’m not good at carving. Maybe Ryan can touch it up this fall…

In ’12, at Peter Warren’s suggestion, I started shifting it’s movement to the left, with the right apex dominant over the left (Koie Kasafusa/Yamafusa pot):
Picture 082

In ’13, it was again repotted. Here is the root work done:


I initially moved into a white pot, but decided to use an Aiba Koyo green pot instead.

Somehow along the way, I allowed the low left branch to develop over time. When I moved it to a different bench to look at it one day, it struck me as odd that it was there at all. Off it came, and the entire profile improved. Strange…




And here it is now, just beginning to bloom:


Belly Belly Nice…

3 thoughts on “Pyracantha bonsai in 8 years

  1. I agree with Ron, nice. In photos it looks odd with the two leaders, but in person it works. I suck at carving too, so for softer trees in letting rot do the work for me. Pack the area with sphagnum, secure with wire or raffia, and water along with the tree. Every 3 months or so, pull it off and hit it with stainless, then copper, then nylon brushes. Comes out looking great!

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