Dahoon holly.....Ilex cassine

Jay Wilson

Shohin
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This holly is native to my area and I've been trying for a few years to make one into a bonsai. I've killed quite a few and have really had no luck with them. This is the only one I have in a container at present though I have a couple of more out in the wild that I'm working on.

I made the mistake of defoilating one or two in hopes of getting some back budding but they didn't like it at all and just died instead:(


The older wood doesn't like to be bent...Even with lots of raffia, heavy wire and leaving it go for a year, they just go back to their old shape.

They don't like to back bud or ramify either.:confused:

Anyway, here is one ugly tree. The only thing I like about it is the nebari.
 

John Hill

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Hey Jay,
I have to agree with you here,,it is one ugly tree ;) . But I know you will create something from this tree.
What have you thought about this tree in the future?
Does it respond well to heavy pruning? Or maybe some chops?

Wabi/Sabi hey ;)

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

Jay Wilson

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Hey John, I'm sorry to be so long in replying.....Been a rough week.

I'm not sure I'll ever create anything out of this clump. Maybe in ten or fifteen years.
The only times I've trunk chopped one of these it died back to the base. Come to think of it, the ones out in the woods that the cows hit hard generally die back to the base as well.

It doesn't like to be cut back past the last leaf on the branch.

But, I'm slowly learning things I can do to it without half killing it. It's just a fun challenge to play with.
 

Jay Wilson

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update

I see that the original picture was lost in the nut crash awhile back so I'll repost that one.(first pic)

This clump is one of the first trees I collected 7 or 8 years ago when I first got back into bonsai and it has some sentimental value to me. I realize it will never be a show piece (or even a showable piece:rolleyes: ) but I do kind of like it....

I ordered some pots online a few weeks ago and got this pot. It looked different online then it did when I got it and I thought it was ugly, at least for the tree I bought it for. I had it though, and this holly needed repotting.

Here is the result. Still an ugly tree and an ugly pot but I think they go together well.
 

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