Monday, March 14, 2011

BSSJ Bonsai Progressions: "Ugly Betty" Chinese Elm

This small Chinese Elm was purchased about 6 years ago, and studied for a year before work began.
My teacher and I both made sketches of what the tree could look like in 5 years. Teacher made a more feminine fuller image, while I chose the dark side, and went for the Sleepy Hollow look.
Over the years the plan was followed. The tree was repotted several times, and the yearly haircut back to 1st pair of buds out from last years branch division yielded nice ramification, as can be seen in these shots from March of 2010.

Miss Elm was taken to several BSSJ lectures, and was nicknamed Ugly Betty. She has few of the distinguishing characteristics which make nice material really suitable for bonsai, but the things she has, she has in abundance: class, and lots of love from her owner!

So I dressed her up this year in a new Erin pot, and off to the Philly Flower Show we went. Betty loved the attention, and all of her companions in the Pennsylvania Bonsai exhibit booth.
Here she is, just after leaving the can see the tiny leaves just starting to pop. What a Lovely Lady!

Betty has "a few" more years with me. Will work more with the ramification, so that in another 5 years, Betty should have about 30 times as many small branches as she does today.

Given that the root mass that feeds the tree, and the leaves that handle photosynthesis must balance each other, it will be interesting to see how small the leaves on all those tiny branches actually become in 5 years!

Hope you enjoyed...


  1. Awesome! Much enjoyed. Always loved that tree.

  2. It was good seeing betty again Flex.