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  • Writer's pictureTom Lau

Doctor Ted to the Rescue!

Well sorta. Technology has made our lives easier thoughout the century. But sometimes they forget to remind us about our appointments. Lucky for us we had some time to do some house cleaning for the club and by the time we were finished. The doctor arrived with an unsual specimen. A rather old dwarf pomegranate with a large piece of dead wood attached to it.

Ted acquired this piece from the Descanco Bonsai Club annual auction about 2 years ago. Major feature of this piece is the massive deadwood on one side of the plant. Ted does detail that sometimes you need to look beyond the obvious. In this case the exposed roots what drew Ted to buy this piece. His plan was drastic, remove the deadwood and frame out the exposed roots as a casade bonsai.

So with the tools he had, (Joe was a tool in this case) he removed almost all of the deadwood and left a bit of its former self. At this point everybody in the room was like wow there goes the years of growth gone. I was also unsure about Ted decision until he repotted the plant in front of us.

With the deadwood removed as you can tell from this photo its just one side of the pomengranate left. The hard part now is the repotting and hoping of the roots are in good enough condition to survive the transplanting. Remember, Ted purchased this plant from the auction and had not look at the root structure.

With the plant out of its pot, Ted notices that the plant had not been repotted in while and many of the feeder roots were out away from the exposed root base. With some severe root trimming he was able to save enough to repot into a Jim Barrett casade pot. He also mentioned that you should wire the roots to give them structure while you repot them. While, in its new pot you can position the plant and roots in the correct placement.

With a semifinished product, Ted says he will need to work on the deadwood area so more. But, as you can see the final product is a huge transformation from the starting material. Even though he showed up late the doctor really produced a bonsai from an ugly duckling to beautiful swan.

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