Tilia cordata(Linden) No.2 "Josephine"

Maros

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I promised to @leatherback thread on this tree so here is the beginning.
When I was starting with bonsai back in 2008, I was pretty sure I want to collect some trees from the wild and make them the core of my future collection. But as it happens, I wanted as much material as possible and as soon as possible. So, I was not hesitating from acquiring trees from any sources. Sometime around being in my first year with bonsai, I visited my uncle Joseph's nursery during my visit to my hometown on the other side of the country. He was growing trees for the forest industry in large fields. All the species you can find in central European forests. Mainly beech, spruce, pines, etc. When roaming between rows of few years old seedlings I was looking for anything worth taking with me. I left the place with a seedling of Tilia cordata/Linden and one maple. I was not sure at that time what I can do with this humble material. So, I planted both pencil-thick pants in poor soil next to the greenhouse of my mother-in-law.
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At that time, I was living in a city more than 500 kilometers away. I was visiting the hometown place several times a year and every time when I came, I checked the trees, and did a few adjustments, and did cuts here and there. Very soon I realized there is a problem since both trees are growing really fast and when I was not there for a few months any corrections to the growth pattern were complicated afterward. Of course, I found out that the maple which I brought from the nursery was not suitable for the bonsai in the long run, because the leaves were too big. During one of my visits in spring, I dug it out and planted it into the field over the garden. Maple is now a really huge tree. In case we are not in the covid times I would take a few pictures to prove how much it changed compared to lime.

Maybe about one year later since planting into the ground I was thinking the tree needed some basic shape so I took a really thick wire and applied it around the trunk of the tree just to give it a basic shape. You can see the result in the picture. This is the first picture of a tree I took, unfortunately, I don't have any more pictures from the time. Since then the tree was growing vigorously and obviously, I had to take the wire off after some time. After that, I wasn't wiring it at all and the tree was growing really wildly at the place. Usually, after cutting it back in Spring during the Easter holidays, the tree started to grow and created really long shoots easily one meter long or longer. Then again when visiting the place in summer I was cutting off unnecessary growth and I was shortening the branches. Unfortunately, the approach proved to be quite complicated because very strong growth created thick branches, sometimes on the places where I didn't want them, and it resulted in having a lot of wounds on a trunk.
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The tree grew there on the site for a few years until spring 2014 when I finally decided to take it out from the ground and planted it into the first plastic container. As you can see from the pictures the roots were far from perfect which is also a result of poor management of the root system of the tree planted into the soil. Some of the major Problems with roots were solved right away. The tree was planted in my usual mix of zeolite and rough peat. Soon after that I took it in my car and brought it to my place. Since then I had much more time to watch its growth really closely and I started to correct some of the issues.

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Maros

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First pictures of the tree in 2015 in a new place. Still growing strongly despite being in a pot.

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In autumn 2015 enjoying autumn colours for the first time in my garden.
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I think it was around that time when I realized it could be quite a nice tree.
Why Tilia cordata is probably good species for bonsai? It is growing really strongly. Pests don't like it. I'm not aware of any fungal problem nor pest except for wasps which like to cut large holes into leaves sometimes. Wood is so soft that you can easily wire thick branches and bend very thick branches with guy wires. It reduces leaves when refined enough and when constrained in the smaller pot. It produces amazing early spring fresh green foliage, decent summer colours and if watered well with little damage through the season. And the autumn colours are nice as well.

Autumn 2015

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Spring 2016
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Maros

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That's what I wrote back in 2016 on my blog:
"The tree was overgrown during May. I cut all long shoots on top of the crown and then defoliated almost completely top section of the crown. To get more thickness into bottom branches I will leave them to grow until late summer or longer. Defoliation will promote back budding on branches which will get a lot of light during the next few weeks. Fact is if you are developing deciduous bonsai, most of the time in early stages development, which could easily be 10 or so years, it looks strange at best. In case you will keep them too tidy for sake of instant visual effect, you may never make it good bonsai. "
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It must have been partially defoliated for the first time and it entered another phase when I had constantly fought its vigour. Just two months later I had to defoliate it completely. I probably thought it could easily die after such drastic measures.
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leatherback

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thinking.. Looking good for a small tree.

Getting to the last pictures.
Resizing in my mind.
That is NOT a small tree.

Nice!
 

Maros

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In 2016 autumn pictures were first time really nice. Crown was looking more roundish and foliage was hiding structural problems from pain sight.
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Later that year I took another autumn set of pictures and it was clear to me the tree is too getting wide. Branches grow longer, and inner growth was to week. Time for bolder cutback was coming.



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Maros

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thinking.. Looking good for a small tree.

Getting to the last pictures.
Resizing in my mind.
That is NOT a small tree.

Nice!
middle sized I would say. Still easy to move and handle. Thx
 

BobbyLane

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Its only when you see Maros alongside his trees, that you realise how big most of them are:)
 

MrWunderful

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Just visited your blog @Maros you have exceptional trees. I appreciate your documentation.
 

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