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After the wettest and mildest Winter on record, many bonsai in UK gardens were fully in leaf by early April, weeks ahead of normal years. The Summer that followed was, by contrast, very dry and sunny and for some tree species like Ligustrum (Privet), growth was been vigorous and extended. For other species such as Ulmus (Elm), Pyracantha and Tilia (Linden or Lime), the lack of proper cold (below zero centigrade) during the Winter seemed to affect growth while increase incidence of attack by pests and diseases.
Early July 2014: The main display area in my garden on a hot Summer evening in July; its 2.5 years since I built the garden and the harsh lines of newly constructed blocking and benches have softened.
The Bonsai on display-stands being watered automatically
Mid-July 2014: An Acer palmatum/ Japanese Maple bonsai I was commissioned to style during July. The bonsai was very pot-bound, lifting the tree in the pot that had eventually burst open. To re-invigorate the foliage mass of the tree, repotting into a slightly larger bonsai pot was required to allow the roots access to fresh soil.
Mid-July 2014: The roots had colonized every possible part of the soil and in order to release them from the pot, I had to break it up first with a hammer.
Mid-July 2014: After giving the surface roots of the Japanese Maple a clean-up, the full extent of the how badly rootbound the bonsai was could be seen.
Mid-July 2014: The bonsai was potted into a slightly larger temporary pot so that the (untouched) roots had some fresh soil to grow into for the remainder of the growing season. The roots would go on to be properly root-pruned at the earliest opportunity (during the following Spring) and the tree returned to a smaller pot once more.
As part of the styling of the bonsai itself, the tree was turned slightly in its new pot so that the front of the tree displayed both trunks clearly; previously the smaller trunk had been 'hidden' behind the main trunk. Otherwise, the appearance of the bonsai was already pleasing and simply required refinement of the branches, rather than any major re-construction.