The Styling of a Huge Privet Bonsai

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privet bonsai

This huge Privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) was dug up in 2009 from a hedge in West London by its owner. Its a tree that I have worked on, on and off, over the past 6 years during visits to the owners' garden. Having seen the tree develop slowly over the years I was very happy to then be commissioned to give the tree its final styling.

Back in 2009, after collection, such was the size of the stump, it was simply boxed up where it stood after collection.

privet bonsai

August 2009: Not long after collection, I removed the many straight-sections of trunk using a reciprocating saw, leaving a tapered stump.

privet bonsai

The Privet was then bare-rooted and replanted into a much smaller container. Long-time readers of may remember the article "Bare-rooting a Collected Privet" that detailed the repotting.

privet bonsai

April 2015: 6 years passed and the tree arrived with me in my garden. It had already gone through a huge transformation, having been carved by another bonsai artist before being left to one side waiting for its final styling.

There were a few problems with the tree however; principally the deadwood was still unprotected and had started to rot badly (hence the bracket fungus seen in the image above). The Privet was also planted in an over-sized box made from very heavy scaffolding boards.........the sheer weight of the tree and the box made it incredibly heavy and difficult to move.

privet bonsai

My first job was to remove the tree from the box, remove the heavy, gritty soil mix.............

privet bonsai

.............and replant it into a more suitably-sized plastic crate. This made picking up the 45cm wide tree much easier!!!

It was then possible to start re-styling the tree.........

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