TBT: Randy Clark Workshop, 1998

What: my first “big” tree. My wife approved the $125 purchase…and you know how that goes; it was $150. A friend purchased it for me on a trip to Lotus Bonsai. Back in the days before we could text photos back and forth. We called it “the walrus.”
When: 1998
Where: Des Moines, IA.

Explaining to Randy my “vision” for the tree. Remember my zelkova? It was originally owned by Rev. John Holcombe in the 1980s. That’s John looking on in the background. Anyone know him? I’d love to catch up with him. I heard he may be living in East Tennessee…?

We made a mistake and never dug down into the soil to see what was going on, and I let Randy talk me into removing what would have been a good primary branch on the left, balancing out the walrus-like root to the right. After styling:

After growing for the rest of that year:

After repotting the following spring:

That pot had a low spot that collected water. The tree was dead within 6 months of this photo. So were the next 3 trees I potted in that pot…glad I got rid of it.


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