Common Hawthorn


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Petaluma CA -Zone 9b
Here's a hawthorn that I collected a few years ago and have yet to get into a bonsai pot. It has had some difficulty producing feeder root despite being in bonsai soil for a couple of years (lava rock, akadama, and pumice). I have been watering it with willow water. Last year I even made small cuts in the roots and rubbed rooting hormone in to stimulate root growth. Hopefully, I will have good results when I inspect the roots next spring.

The tree was a very tall straight, skinny thing when I collected it and had very little going for it. I was relatively new to bonsai and wanted to try collecting (please forgive me bonsai gurus for my indescertion!;)) I initially planted it in the ground for a season in order for it to recover and chopped it way down. This stimulated buds in (luckily) the perfect places on the trunk. When I dug it up I discovered the hollowed out ("cat-faced") section that existed just below the soil level. Below that there was decent nebari of which there was none to speak of at the previous planting position. I have just let it grow since in order for it to gain some much needed strength. Nonetheless, I think it has potential to be a nice tree someday. :)

Any comments, advice and criticisms are welcome and encouraged. Enjoy.


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Hawthorn makes great bonsai, small leaves, interesting bark, and good fall color...but they thicken very slowly in a pot. I haven't noticed any trunk thickening in a bonsai pot over 10 years, even though the shoots and roots grow pretty vigorously.

You might find better root growth in a shallower pot; mine (a collected little hip hawthorn) needs to be repotted every couple years, as fine roots grow through and almost clog the drain holes. Branches aren't too brittle, and respond well to wiring.

If this was mine, and I wanted to work with the present size, here is what I might do...



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Here's an update on my Hawthorn. I took Brian's advice and planted it in a shallower mica training pot and it absolutely took off this year. I had to cut it back two times and as a result the ramification has improved quite a bit and the primary branches have thickened up a bit. I still need to do some carving at the chop site and work on the shari, but all in good time. Does anyone have a suggestion for a pot?


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Very cool Misfit,this will be very nice one day,are you going to carve the lower trunk a bit?
Didn't you want to keep the sacrifice while it is in training?
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