First of all, I love going to see my bonsai students in Florida. They are very enthusiastic people. Growing up in Thailand, I knew tropicals. There are 5-6 different types on ficus bonsai in Thailand. The Tiger Bark Ficus (taiwan) and the buttonwoods are also fun to work on. All these are developed as bonsai a little differently than pines and junipers in our northern states.
So Henry has the collected buttonwood in the picture below. If this had been a collected Sierra juniper in my own state of California, you might tell me to throw it away. (…maybe I would have.)
But this is a Buttonwood living in Florida. It is now about two feet tall. If a buttonwood is well taken care of, it will grow and show us something that could become a bonsai. This one did it. The picture below is about two years later with leaves pruned and branches wired.
After only three years this very new bonsai in the picture below was shown at the EPCOT Center in Orlando, FL.
Henry really did as good job. He did not over-prune. He waited until he had something to work with. But the story is not over. I just returned from Florida and have more pictures. I’ll post further developments and the first look at healthy buttonwood roots – if you are interested.
Photo credits to Henry R.