Hi, everybody,

This little tree has been a Bonsai in my collection for well over a decade now. This little yamadori was a gift from Tony Tickle when he visited my house right after we had a wonderful time at the Ginkgo Award in Belgium (those were the days). It took me many years to shorten the very long and thick roots so it would finally fit into a small pot like the one it is in now (picture below). And I have learned a lot from taking care of this little tree! It has given me flowers every year and I really enjoyed how it looked the last few years in its wonderful John Pitt pot.

But there has always been a better option hidden in this tree, I knew that, but it was such a major change and so many well-established branches had to be sacrificed to realize the image I saw! Bellow: These next pictures were made 12-4-2009. I was recovering from my first back operation and could not do much more than to look over some smaller trees and make some future plans. And this Blackthorn was one of them! Here I found more or less the future planting angle and the new design that I would contemplate for a few more years until last week! The red arrow points at the reverse taper section that was very obvious from the old front! In my new design, this bulge will be almost completely removed and the deadwood section and the Jin that will remain are not that disturbing anymore!

Below: Just look how wonderful this natural deadwood looked after I cleaned it that day! This valuable section could not be seen from the former front! The arrow is pointing at a large thick root that over the years got more obstructive and right in your face in the middle of the trunk, seen from the old front! This was another reason to select this new front! And the reverse taper that is very obvius from the old front is less obvius from the new front!

Below: A virtual from my new idea made that same day in 2009. The pot is not finished, but is just there to see how a round pot would fit the future design.

So a few days ago, after I took it out of my winter shelter, I checked the tree over and I realized that I could not longer found any excuses to not drastically change the whole design of this, to me, precious little tree.

                             Below: View from above before the work started.

                                         Below: Here goes the first branch.

Below: And one by one the branches that I would not need in my new design are removed.

Below: The stump that was left when the branch was removed is converted into a Jin. 

Below: Many beautiful old branches were removed! I planted them with some rooting hormone in a pot. You never know if one will survive, but why not try it! 🙂

Below: Yellow arrow points at what is still left from the long root that took me several years to shorten. Red arrow points at were it will be cut this time around!

Below: After a few hours. The pot is to big and the tree is not exactly in the right spot!  But that will do just fine for now! I did not want to risk the health of this tree, by cutting of to many roots. The top needs to fill out some more, but that is only a matter of time! I cant wait to see it in boom!

So there it is, a new and rather more exciting image for an already beautiful little tree! I think it was the right choice, what you you all think?


Hans van Meer.





  1. I like the old design with the repositioning (2nd picture) and I also like the tree after restyling.
    The original looked more natural, the new style looks like a very nice japanese shohin tree 😉


  2. Originally the tree had a great trunk with a standard canopy. the new design has a certain elegance which emphasises the movement, which has taken it to a new level. now a top class little tree


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