Yew sport question

anthony burce

Sapling
Messages
39
Reaction score
15
Location
Redding CA
USDA Zone
9b
Taxus straticca? Irish yew? Anyways....
These guys grow straight up and down. Best way to approach a little sapling like this for future bonsai? I know a lot of people would suggest putting it in the ground and letting it grow and yeah I figured. But any maintenance I should implement to encourage better structure for bonsai as it ages? If it grows straight up and down like a spire, what could I do to....Balance height and width, balance trunk and branch thickness.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: Vin

Vin

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,186
Reaction score
7,401
Location
Panama City, FL Zone 9a/8b Centr
USDA Zone
8b
I don't know a dang thing about it but I'll be interested to see what others have to say. Foliage looks pretty cool!
 

GrimLore

Bonsai Nut alumnus... we miss you
Messages
8,502
Reaction score
7,360
Location
South East PA
USDA Zone
6b
But any maintenance I should implement to encourage better structure for bonsai as it ages?
I have a small Brown's Yew I will leave in the pot and start working a bit in the Spring prior to it showing the new much lighter tip growth. Yew in general back bud on old wood good if otherwise healthy so don't be hesitant to clip a lot for a few years in the early Spring. I am going to start with a good thinning and adding some slight but subtle movement to the trunk in general. Check this Google image link out as it contains some nice upright examples although larger. https://www.google.com/search?hl=en....1ac.1.64.img..1.9.651...0j0i24k1.sAMZ2ZesRK0 I am keeping mine very small as an experiment and also because I do have access to a couple very large ones to dig if I am ever up to it again.

Grimmy
 

anthony burce

Sapling
Messages
39
Reaction score
15
Location
Redding CA
USDA Zone
9b
So clip and grow would work well on a yew, almost like a deciduous tree. And to encourage width....do I clip new growth on the top leader during the growing season? Would that cause branches on the sides to reach out further laterally?
 

GrimLore

Bonsai Nut alumnus... we miss you
Messages
8,502
Reaction score
7,360
Location
South East PA
USDA Zone
6b
Would that cause branches on the sides to reach out further laterally?
It will anyways... think Spruce. If you top it a few times and seal it very good you get longer horizontal growth. Spruce however droop and the yew(that type) won't or at least not a lot. Myself I would let the top grow straight up after some trunk bending and let it grow some small branches. Later you can either trim and jin it(the top) or loose it as you see fit down the road. You are going to get good horizontal growth anyways.

Grimmy
 
Last edited:

Leo in N E Illinois

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,082
Reaction score
12,563
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
You know, to give styling advice, I would first need to know what you envision or would want for this tree?

As with all (or just about all) young trees, the only way to get a trunk to thicken to a decent caliper is to let it grow, either in the ground or LARGE grow boxes relative to the plant size. Right now it looks tiny. Once you put it in a small bonsai pot, the trunk will stop thickening. I know from experience, I had a pomegranate that I kept in a bonsai pot, for forty years, yes, 40 years. At the end, the trunk was only 1 inch in diameter. That one inch diameter trunk was not thick enough to make a convincing shohin, much less a larger tree. But if the same pomegranate had been allowed to grow out, in a large grow pot, it easily could have been over 4 inches in diameter before it was 10 years old.

Lets assume you want a shohin tree about 8 inches tall. You will want to get the trunk up to about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter at a minimum before moving from a large nursery pot to a bonsai pot. Best diameter would be about 2.4 inches for an ''old tree'' look on a shohin about 8 inches tall. This means you will have to let a leader get to at least 4 or 5 feet tall, maybe more at some point. It will need enough roots to fill a 3 gallon nursery pot. You have a few years of the ''nurseryman's activities'' phase of bonsai ahead of you for this tiny seedling. You may have to step it up from the pot it is in to a bigger pot, but wait on the move until the tree's roots begin to fill the current pot. Don't over pot, but keep stepping it into larger pots as it grows until you have the diameter trunk you need.

Fastigiate cultivars of most trees (the narrow columnar forms) generally are iffy choices for bonsai. When used, they are best for formal and informal uprights, seldom or never used for cascades or any wide spreading styles. If this were mine, I would go for a formal upright, as I don't have one. A good formal upright is difficult to do, and the best ones were done from young nursery plants rather than collected material. If you go formal upright, do not put any bends in the trunk, keep it arrow straight. The taper in a formal upright is built by successive trunk chops, building the tree one segment at a time. First chop is done when the trunk reaches pretty much most of the desired diameter for the finished tree, then at about 25% to 40% the final desired height the first chop is done, and a new leader is trained. When the diameter of the second section reaches about 60 to 75% the diameter of the first segment the second chop is made at a point less than the length of the first segment. repeat for the third segment, with the length of the third segment of trunk being less than the length of the second. the new leader above the third segment should become the apex of the final tree.

For an informal upright, pretty much the same plan is followed, just add curves within segments, and direction changes at each chop between segments. Build a Tree 101.

As a general guideline branches should always be 50% less in diameter of the trunk. Give or take, if a branch gets too close to the diameter of a trunk, it ruins the sense of perspective, making the image more shrub like than tree like. This means that most if not all branches that currently exist on the tree will be removed and replaced with smaller ones as the tree approaches the right diameter to be a bonsai. With yews, because they bud back on old wood quite well, just leat the branches run wild until your trunk is over 2 inches in diameter at the base. Then chop them all off and start over with the new buds that sprout along the trunk.

Well, my proposal, if it were mine, pretty much covers the next 5 years, or more. When it gets there, post pictures and I'd be happy to let you know what I think.

Read the articles on Brent Walston's website about building a bonsai. His articles are geared for the ''nurseryman's activities'' with young material.
http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm
 
Messages
1,638
Reaction score
2,440
Location
Belgium
I'm starting one with a bigger trunk this year. I've seen some on workshops with good results so why not try one. The primary branches you must wire soon. Of course you need a trunk first.
 

defra

Masterpiece
Messages
3,047
Reaction score
5,513
Location
The netherlands Zone 8b
USDA Zone
8b
Leo's plan sounds good
only i would bareroot it at least once and personaly every two years to make sure you got a nice root flair and trunk in the end,

Yew's often (at least the 4 i barerooted did) grow roots in different layers in the pot

2016-12-22 16.14.29.jpg
 

Leo in N E Illinois

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,082
Reaction score
12,563
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
defra is right, you should work the roots at least once early in development. But whether you do it in 2017 or 2018 or 2019 doesn't matter. But I would advise against bare rooting every 2 years. In the USA there is a habit of repotting too often. Repot when the tree is root bound, or potting mix has deteriorated, don't repot just because the calendar says you should.
 
Top Bottom