A good friend had inherited a piece of land and in 1994 just prior to the bulldozers arriving I had a chance to remove any trees I wanted. The remains of an 100 year old hedge yielded this privet stump (Ligustrum ovalfolium). This picture shows it at the end of it’s first year in a box.
Here we see the tree in summer 1999. The intervening years saw the tree repotted once and cut back twice yearly in order to create twigginess for the future styling. Privets produce copious amounts of fine root right out from the trunk. By this time all heavy roots beneath soil level have been removed.
This is how the tree looked after initial styling. Privets can be easily shaped using wire but when bending work slowly and flex the branches gently prior to positioning. The tree has been turned around and carving was used to remove some unsightly lumps on the larger trunk. The tree is wearing a mica pot. Because of its rampant root growth I repot this tree every year now.
The picture, taken in winter 2002 shows the tree reaching a fair level of maturity, in early summer it began flowering and the leaves are now much smaller. I have noticed that privets planted in stoneware pots have a tendency to lose their leaves following freezing weather which I can only assume is an effect of cold on the roots as privets planted in boxes or mica pots seem to keep their leaves all year. Whatever…. The tree now shows marked seasonal change which is nice.
Spring 2004 and coming into leaf. This is how the tree appeared at the Noelanders Trophy V in January. I have finally settled on this classic style grey pot. Some refinement of the deadwood is planned as well as some heavy pruning in mid-summer. At 100-115 years old the tree is looking pretty fit!
The tree as displayed by it’s new owner at UBI 2006 in Italy, where it received an award of merit.
“with permit of Unione Bonsaisti Italiani”