Yaupon Holly Bonsai…Fairy Tale Style?

It’s been 4 months since we last visited this tree.  Summer is coming to a close so I wanted to share an update with you.

I’ll include links to previous posts on this tree at the end of this post.

When I got the tree it was just a round bush….well not even round…more of an egg shape.  And it had a bunch of tangled roots too.  That’s why I bought it though.  It was different and not your “traditional bonsai.”  I wanted to see what can be done with it.

I love fairy tales (Think Lord of the Rings here) and trees.  After initially cutting it back, I decided this tree would be destined for…as Walter Pall would say, the Fairy Tale Style.

The last update on this tree was in May 2017 and here is what it looked like then:


As you can see the trunk was just chopped at that time.  This was the decided front at the time with plans to remove that knotty roots right in the middle.  Since then I’ve decided to change the front.  This has required the removal of some large branches and a general reorientation of the tree.

Here are pictures of the tree from all 4 sides.  These were taken May 15, 2017:

Right Side
Left Side

They new front I will be training it into will be the “right side” pictured above.  That side shows off the best side of the roots and trunk of the tree.  It’s all about the base. However, making this side work was going to be challenging.

For one, there is a big low branch pointing directly at the viewer from that angle.  This along with other branches were going to have to be removed and the tree slightly reshaped.  Here is the branch I’m referring to marked in red:


The photo above shows this branch marked in red.  The new front is the right side from this view.  That low branch blocks the entire view of the trunk (see right side photo above).  So, if that is going to be the new front, this branch can’t stay.  Not only that, but it’s creating a big swell there also which is not wanted.

First I removed the Horizontal branch blocking the trunk. The pictures below are from July 2017.

Before:20170706_173815 (1)


Then after removing the whole thing I cut it back further and wired some branches into better positions for this viewing angle.

Only a month later here is what it looks like today:


The trunk is now open and visible.  I still have to carve that wound in lower and this spring repot the tree to reduce the roots further for a better sized pot.  The planting angle will change as well as I want the tree to seem to grow off the side of a hill.

Who knows, I might even be able to get this one on a rock, we’ll see.

So far this tree is a fun one to work with and has developed very quickly!

Previous Posts on this Tree:

Yaupon Holly Re-pot 

Update: Ilex Schillings Dwarf (Yaupon Holly)