Overlooked and Underrated...

RyanFrye

Chumono
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...Ilex Shillings that is!

This plant is very similar to Dwarf Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria 'Nana) and often confused with it. I saw a DYH bonsai, by Rob Kempinski, at our state's recent bonsai convention and thought it was a Shillings. They are often overlooked in the landscapes of USDA Zones 7 - 10. As large hedges and borders in the garden they are usually bland and only provide visual interest when pruned into geometric shapes.

BUT, as bonsai their best features can be focused on and really enjoyed by enthusiasts of all different levels of experience. They have smooth grey bark that contrasts nicely with the naturally tiny (and perfect to scale) deep green leaves that begin their growth a bright fire red. Another feature that is often overlooked when these plants are used as hedges are the tiny white flowers that come in late spring. But, of course in bonsai this can be accentuated and enjoyed.

This tree deserves a better place in the hierarchy of species used in bonsai. I personally have one myself but it has only recently begun its training. I know there must be some out there on Bnut with some Ilex Shillings bonsai....if you got'em let's see'em!
 

bonsai barry

Omono
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I agree, I like holly. This is one I bought this winter and cut back in the spring. It is budding back quickly but the branches are very delicate and tend to be pretty straight. I have another holly that will be posted as "Problem tree #2"http://bonsainut.com/forums/images/smilies/mad.gif
 

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Shima

Omono
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This is Ilex vomitoria, known in the islands as "Makko." Growing out after being thrown off the bench in a major quake 2 years ago. Smashed pot, apex and branches.
 

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bonsai barry

Omono
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This is Ilex vomitoria, known in the islands as "Makko." Growing out after being thrown off the bench in a major quake 2 years ago. Smashed pot, apex and branches.

That is a great tree! I like the roots as well as the general shape of the canopy. The roots in the rock look very natural, unlike so many trees in this style.
 
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Paul H.

Seedling
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Ilex vomitoria and all it's var. will make a good bonsai . Vomitoria gets it's name from being use to induse vomiting . So keep it away from small childern and pet . and Be careful with the triming when pruning . And gloves may be a good idea when working with this plant too .Just thought you should know.
 

susieq14114

Yamadori
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Here in Florida, they have been a popular landscape material for many years. My late teacher used to have a deal with local lanscapers. When someone hired a landscaper to get rid of the old landscaping and do a new design, if there were old shillings to be dug up, the landscapers would bring them to my friend for a few bucks a piece. Some of these things have been in the ground for 40 years and had "sumo" trunks on them. His pride and joy was one of these that he had put years of work into. It was about 30 inches tall and had 16 inch dia. trunk. It was gorgeous and took two very strong men to move it. When he passed away a few years ago, a collector drove down from Georgia, to buy it from his widow. I wish I had a photo of it to post. But they're out there. Talk to your local landscapers, make the same kind of deal with them......
 

cquinn

Shohin
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Here in Florida, they have been a popular landscape material for many years. My late teacher used to have a deal with local lanscapers. When someone hired a landscaper to get rid of the old landscaping and do a new design, if there were old shillings to be dug up, the landscapers would bring them to my friend for a few bucks a piece. Some of these things have been in the ground for 40 years and had "sumo" trunks on them. His pride and joy was one of these that he had put years of work into. It was about 30 inches tall and had 16 inch dia. trunk. It was gorgeous and took two very strong men to move it. When he passed away a few years ago, a collector drove down from Georgia, to buy it from his widow. I wish I had a photo of it to post. But they're out there. Talk to your local landscapers, make the same kind of deal with them......

I believe you can find a picture of this tree on www.plantcitybonsai.com
 

susieq14114

Yamadori
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I clicked on your link and looked at the tree in question.....it's been 4 years since I saw it last, but I don't think this is it. Nice tree but not the one my friend did. It did not go directly to a bonsai collector but to a man who runs a regular nursery but who also has a few bonsai and bonsai customers. It's probably in a private collection by now......
 

RyanFrye

Chumono
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Well I decided to post a pic of my Ilex. I am shocked at how well this thing has back budded. I got it from Lowes for $9.99 US . It has the beginnings of a nice Shohin. I'll be sure to update.
 

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Roberts

Yamadori
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Iowa
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my illex

Very old tree
 

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