Judge #3: More definition between areas of the canopy would be best. Good start.
Sheena's Gold (Duranta Repens)
This tree was purchased as nursery stock. It travelled 1460km’s from my hometown of Pietermaritzburg in Natal to the City that I currently reside in. The tree was extremely sparse when purchased, so I have done nothing to the tree except feed and water it. It stands in full sunlight, and has put on considerable new growth.
The trunk has a few sections that have since died back, so some carving may be in order. I will still have to experiment to try to get leaf reduction on this tree, and I’m probably going to have to cut out sections and regrow, as this tree is rock solid once the branch lignifies- and most of the growth is very straight and characterless. Most branches the thickness of ones thumb cannot be bent easily with wire.
One Quarter Progression
This is one of my favourite trees since it is not commonly used for bonsai, but more as a hedge. It responds well to pruning and shaping. The tree was allowed to grow wild and it responded very well. The foliage had compacted quite nicely. The tree was wired and the foliage was thinned out. I was initially considering this design for a final tree, but opted to change it later on to balance the canopy. A few jins were created at the rear of the tree which will be a subtle feature within the canopy. The leaves vary between green and a lovely golden yellow depending on climatic conditions.
The tree was allowed to grow and was fed heavily. It responded well with good growth. It was pruned and the design of the canopy was adjusted to be more in balance. The carving was treated with lime sulphur.
Three Quarter Progression
I like the final look that this tree is starting to take on. I’ve settled on an Open Umbrella type of feel for this tree, as It reminds me of the giant Ficus Trees that grow in my neigbourhood. It was trimmed and thinned out slightly. Dieback is still a problem with this species, so it needs to be constantly thinned out to allow light to the inner branches. I was not a fan of the variegated species, but the look of these leaves is something to behold. It changes between the green/yellow, to full green or full yellow. It will be repotted in early spring.