Shohin Crabapple

For the first time since it’s been in a bonsai pot, this shohin crabapple, Malus sargentii has set a couple fruits. Very exciting, and thought I’d better get a few photos while they’re still on the tree. It’s been a nearly 5-year wait, and the red fruits look really nice against the blue glaze drop on the Roy Minarai pot.

I will be taking a few weeks away from posting, but plan to get back to it in late September.

Summer work on a shohin Crapapple

I wired this little crab in April as the new growth was emerging. It’s branches thicken up pretty quickly, and become stubborn, so wiring green shoots is the best way to ensure some movement. April 9:

Just under 7 weeks later, the wire was just starting to cut in:

Wires removed:

The tree has 4 apples growing this year, the first time fruit has set since I bought it back in 2016 or ‘17.

I also pruned it back to a nicer shape, but didn’t want to go hard enough on it that the fruits may fail…we shall see if I accomplished that objective.

If the tree continues to grow, it will be cut back to 1-2 nodes throughout the rest of the growing season. The result should be primary branches with 2-3 bifurcations, each with their own tertiary branches. and with the present height at 7 1/4” tall, I still have a little room for growth to keep it within the 8” height guideline for shohin bonsai

Shohin crabapple

This is a sargentii from Evergreen Gardenworks. It’s an older tree, by Brent’s description, but new to me in late 2016. It came in a 1-gallon can:

It took significant root reduction to get the tree into a Bonsai pot; this one a gift from Roy Minarai:

Unfortunately, I let it go a few hours too long between watering and it dried out in June 2017:

It was pruned back in the early spring 2018, before and after:

Repotted again in March 2018:

It bloomed for the first time in my care in April 2018:

And it grew fairly erratically, but very strongly, and even bloomed again in June 2018. I decided it was strong enough to prune some of the coarse branches back which should help define the nice taper and movement of the trunk.

Brace yourself…

As the new shoots extended, the best-located ones were coaxed into position and given some movement with a little wire.

And a month later, it’s starting to take shape…