Large English Yew Material (styling/development suggestions?)

battt

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone - fairly long time lurker, first time poster. I’ve been tinkering with nursery stock junipers and cotoneaster for 6 months or so. Reading and learning about bonsai for several years but only recently built up the nerve to have a go. I’m now a bit obsessed. Mostly practising wiring/pruning and growing stuff on to see what happens.

We’re doing some work at the bottom of the garden and needed to move this old yew. I think it must have been a Christmas tree from decades ago. I’ve carefully dug it out and managed to squeeze it into this 80 litre pot with minimal root pruning. It’s around 6 foot tall without the pot. A decent stable base to it but ramrod straight. It’s got sparse foliage as it’s been in a fairly dark corner of the garden so I’ve moved it to a spot that gets plenty of morning sun but is sheltered from the hot afternoon.

I was wondering what others might do with this material? Im not going to do much over the next year - see how it fares after the move. But beyond that, who knows? First thought is to lop it off at around the 2 foot mark where that first mass of foliage tapers out and do a broom but I’m not in any way experienced so fishing for ideas! Appreciate this forum, all you who post, and look forward to hearing from you

B06A4720-4E39-4AE4-AA22-5FB81572727D.jpeg3C289831-204E-4C98-81BB-B74FA570DB83.jpeg674B21E7-AF0E-4DC4-B7B0-9ABF44B19000.jpeg6A5BA3A4-3576-420C-95B0-37A67C00CEF4.jpeg7C60E258-4AE2-4022-A6AE-08D681101B18.jpegBA2BAC1B-FA7B-4C45-B5B4-DAF627910A3F.jpeg
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
12,089
Reaction score
25,065
Location
SE MI- Bonsai'd for 12 years both MA and N GA
USDA Zone
6a
If this were my tree, I'd mainly be focused on survival/recovery. Don't be fooled by new growth next spring as yews can survive on reserves for upwards of 18 months without growing any new roots. Obviously, if you collected a fair amount of feeder roots, your chances of success increase significantly, but I wouldn't be doing any major styling for a minimum of two or even three years. In the meantime, I'd be considering a new planting angle to give some movement to the trunk, a chop to shorten the tree, and I be watching every Graham Potter video out there on carving yew. Have fun.
 

battt

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
If this were my tree, I'd mainly be focused on survival/recovery. Don't be fooled by new growth next spring as yews can survive on reserves for upwards of 18 months without growing any new roots. Obviously, if you collected a fair amount of feeder roots, your chances of success increase significantly, but I wouldn't be doing any major styling for a minimum of two or even three years. In the meantime, I'd be considering a new planting angle to give some movement to the trunk, a chop to shorten the tree, and I be watching every Graham Potter video out there on carving yew. Have fun.

thanks Dav! Feeling pretty good about the roots - I only had to cut a couple of thicker ones but I think I got the bulk of the ball intact - lots of fine roots. I’m happy to wait on styling for as long as it takes. Hoping that given the bad position it was in, it’ll appreciate the change of scenery 🤞

As for the advice on positioning and cutting - I’d wondered if tipping it near 45 deg and allowing a new leader further down to develop over a few years might be an option to balance it out again.

Do you think it’d take a big cut like that while recovering? I’m unsure if having less foliage to support would help it recover 🤔
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
12,089
Reaction score
25,065
Location
SE MI- Bonsai'd for 12 years both MA and N GA
USDA Zone
6a
thanks Dav! Feeling pretty good about the roots - I only had to cut a couple of thicker ones but I think I got the bulk of the ball intact - lots of fine roots. I’m happy to wait on styling for as long as it takes. Hoping that given the bad position it was in, it’ll appreciate the change of scenery 🤞

As for the advice on positioning and cutting - I’d wondered if tipping it near 45 deg and allowing a new leader further down to develop over a few years might be an option to balance it out again.

Do you think it’d take a big cut like that while recovering? I’m unsure if having less foliage to support would help it recover 🤔
If the tree pushes strongly with long extensions next spring, you can feel better about the tree's survival. Leaving lots of foliage to drive recovery is good assuming the roots can support it, but it's ok to remove portions of the canopy that won't be part of the final design... but I would have done that at collection. Any messing around with the tree now or over the next 6-8 months may endanger newly grown feeder roots, so no chopping until at least one good season of growth... and make sure you leave enough wood to jin. 45 degrees may be too much lean. Slipping something under the edge of the pot and viewing the nebari and lower trunk from multiple sides is the best way to decide on a new planting angle... but let it recover before even moving it around if you can.
 

battt

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
If the tree pushes strongly with long extensions next spring, you can feel better about the tree's survival. Leaving lots of foliage to drive recovery is good assuming the roots can support it, but it's ok to remove portions of the canopy that won't be part of the final design... but I would have done that at collection. Any messing around with the tree now or over the next 6-8 months may endanger newly grown feeder roots, so no chopping until at least one good season of growth... and make sure you leave enough wood to jin. 45 degrees may be too much lean. Slipping something under the edge of the pot and viewing the nebari and lower trunk from multiple sides is the best way to decide on a new planting angle... but let it recover before even moving it around if you can.
Thanks so much for the guidance. I just collected it this afternoon so I could make some trimmings before it realised perhaps?
 

leatherback

The Treedeemer
Messages
11,839
Reaction score
20,936
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
I’d wondered if tipping it near 45 deg
I feel your nebari is to strong to tilt this. I would look into a more upright form.

THat being said, please cover the roots. In the end, you need a shallow pot. SO you need to ensure you keep feeders higher up.
 

battt

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I feel your nebari is to strong to tilt this. I would look into a more upright form.

THat being said, please cover the roots. In the end, you need a shallow pot. SO you need to ensure you keep feeders higher up.
Yeah sound advice on the roots and you could be right on a tilt - certainly at that angle. It could possibly lean back (as you face it currently) but still be quite straight. Actually the first yes carving video with graham potter in a leaning style was very nice and could suit this
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
12,089
Reaction score
25,065
Location
SE MI- Bonsai'd for 12 years both MA and N GA
USDA Zone
6a
Thanks so much for the guidance. I just collected it this afternoon so I could make some trimmings before it realised perhaps?
Yes, you could cut now. With that being said, leaving the top might give you more options down the road- once cut, it's gone for good- though I feel it ultimately needs to be shortened.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom