Judge #3: Tree is currently a bit one-sided. Good use of starting material.
Hibiscus (Mallow spp)
This stock was collected free of charge from a garden makeover, initially joined to a larger clump it was seperated and planted into a polystyrene growing box. I chose this species to take me out of my comfort zone, as I have never worked with them before, however have always been attracted to flowering and “unusual” species used in bonsai. It is currently 400mm high from the base/soil level and I do not envisage growing it significantly higher however some height will be needed to build the apex. I see this headed down the “informal upright” (not sure if the amount of rotted wood makes this a sharamiki or driftwood style?)
This will require some extensive carving to get it to look acceptable, quite a task since I a) have no carving tools, b) have never carved a tree before, and c) am not all that “handy” with a power tool!!!
One Quarter Progression
This deciduous hibiscus lost all of its leaves over a fairly cold winter with lots of frost. It has backbudded all over the place. I has been cut back, then branch selection and wiring, with a major chop up top and selection of new leader. I have also “carved” the large bulge on the left front. All cuts have been sealed with cut paste and liberal amounts of wood hardener applied to softwood areas.
This hibiscus has powered on through the summer. It has been defoliate twice in order to keep leaf size small and promote back budding. It back buds like mad and will have one more defoliation before it loses it’s leaves in our winter. It may also flower in the next few weeks.
Three Quarter Progression
This tree has had a final defoliation prior to it losing its leaves over our autumn/winter. This was done to decrease leaf size and help promote back budding (in conjunction with branch trimming). The growing tips have also been rewired.
I am very happy with this trees progression. The large flat scar has had some carving to soften the appearance and blend in with the large amount of deadwood. The scar at the top has started healing over so won’t be carved. There are a few other large scars that will be carved in the future to soften their appearance.
The future-the tree needs work on the nebari, it has gone from having no roots to a good amount of fibrous roots.
It needs ramification in the branches, it out growing season it will be defoliated and heavily fed to promote branching.
There are a few sections that need the foil age bought closer to the trunk but this should rectify with work on ramification.
This tree has become one of my favourite species to work with-they branches thicken and set well, they backbud profusely and flower nicely, leaves reduce well and they take work at most times of the year. It is in a Japanese pot sourced from a local wholesaler (pot dimensions 49cm x 37cm). Final height = 49cm from soil level