Ryan Bell found this pot on a Japanese auction for my hawthorn. It is a first generation Yamaaki, Katoaka Akitsugu (1928-1966) with a rare chop, and a unique finish that appears to be sprayed over the clay, and glazed with a thin clear coat. The effect is of a very worn cream color.
If you haven’t seen a chojubai Quince in person, their tiny scale may come as a surprise. Leaves are the size of Chinese elm, even Seiju elm. They grow strongly in the summer, and always seem to have a few flowers opening. In the fall, the flower production really picks up and adds some nice color to the bench:
As I thought back, I couldn’t remember repotting it since at least 2014. Michael Hagedorn recommends fall repotting for Chojubai, and while I do not like fall repotting, he really knows his stuff, so I thought I’d give it a try. In late September, I combed out the soil, pruned the roots back by a third and replaced the soil, using akadama, lava, and pumice in equal proportions.
I bought 3 ilex serrata (Japanese Winterberry, or deciduous holly) from Brent back around 2009-2010 in 2 3/4″ pots. They were the size of matchsticks if I recall. They went in the ground, and over time I lost a couple, but managed to keep one going. The earliest photo I could find was this one from 2013.
Lately, I have been dabbling into shohin-sized trees; 8″. I want to keep both options open. And since this variety is rare, I decided to layer the top as well. In May, it appeared the layer was going to fail, but I left it in place. In mid-June I moved the tree up to get a closer look and it seemed to be making some progress:
So instead of giving up and chopping, I did a little light pruning down low, and returned this one back to its growing site. If I go the shohin route, the trunk definitely needs more taper than this currently has:
A few weeks after recutting the callus, the entire top died back, so the next step was defined. In the spring, I’ll repot it and change the planting angle a little in hopes of creating a little movement. Until next spring…