Bonsai Willow Tree

Last November, I cut a twig from a willow tree near my house, put it into water and waited for the roots to grow. They did after a while and so I planted it and from time to time cut it to make it into a nice bonsai. I wouldn’t call it a proper bonsai tree yet, but I like how it has turned out so far.

willow tree

Bonsai Willow Tree

I think willow trees are a good way to start into bonsai. They grow quickly and they are easy to maintain. (My five year old avocado tree died, by the way and my bought olive tree might be dead, too.)

This is the only tree I haven’t grown from seeds.

Here’s a video of it with a 360° view:

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Getting an Avocado Tree from an Avocado

As I wrote earlier, I had bought an avocado today, whose seed I want to turn into a bonsai tree. Just for the sake of completeness, I will write how to do it:
1 Get an avocado.
Carefully cut in in half without cutting too deep into the seed.
Eat the flesh in salad, guacamole or just pure with some salt, pepper and lemon.
4 If necessary, clean the seed.
5 Get three toothpicks or similarly thin sticks and  prick them into the avocado seed about a third from the top (the pointy part).
6 Get a container like an empty mustard or olive glass with a diameter not much larger than the diameter of the seed.
7 Place the seed inside using the toothpicks to not let it sink in completely.
It could look something like this:

Avocado seed in glass

8 Wait. And refill and change the water from time to time.
(I know, I could’ve added that to the previous post, but I wanted to be able to find it easier, so I can later determine how long it took to germinate.)

Shopping Trip to Klee Gartencenter and Supermarket

Today, I decided to try a garden store my co-worker recommended, because she said that they had bonsai trees and could also consult on Bonsai. They sure had some trees and I got a little olive tree for 7,99 €.
They also had some scissors for Bonsai, but they looked shabby. So I got common garden scissors instead. I also bought some aluminium wire, not from the Bonsai department, but from the handicrafts department.

Bonsai Olive Tree, Scissors and Wire

Then I needed to do some grocery shopping anyway and luckily, they had avocados (not that unusual) and pine cones (very unusual, but maybe due to the season). As I mentioned in my wishlist, I wanted a Hass avocado anyway. I forgot to check where it came from, but I guess Israel again. The pine cone, however, is from Turkey.

Hass Aocado and Pine Cone

Preparing my Avocado Tree to become a Bonsai

I had been reading another Bonsai blog yesterday, which suggested to start with ten Bonsai trees, so one wouldn’t focus too much on only one. Starting with seeds takes a long time, though, so I decided to convert my Avocado tree into a bonsai.
Its trunk is very thin, so I decided to take this on as the first task. Just for the record, it is 6.6 mm at 10 cm above the higher of the cotyledons (there’s this word again, but I had to look it up – again).
It said in this other blog that one needed net pot planters. Apparently, the roots grow through the holes, but die because of the light. This makes the trunk grow stronger. Well, we’ll see about that. If I haven’t killed it by repotting it, that is.
So, after a long work day, I set out to the next DIY store with a gardening department. The weather was quite mild, otherwise I would’ve waited for the weekend to go during daytime. It already started raining when I was inside the store (well, in the outdoor area, so I hoped it was just a kind of irrigation system). But it DID rain alright. I was soaked when I got home.
Anyway, I got four net pot planters with matching (sizewise, not colorwise) saucers.

Net Pot Planters and Saucers

The I took the avocado tree from its pot, cleaned the soil off a bit with a chopstick (which was suggested in some other blog and which I find rather suitable for Bonsai) and cut some roots off. It said to cut off roots that grow downwards. I was a bit shy about the root cutting, because I was afraid to kill the tree, which has grown dear to me and which has moved houses three times already with me despite its young age.

Avocado Roots.
Note that I left some of the old soil.

Then I put some of the soil that came with the Bonsai starter kit into one of the round net pot planters, put the avocado tree in, added some of that soil and some of some special herbs soil I had bought some years ago, because it doesn’t contain any fertilizer.

Avocado Tree in its new “home”

Then I took the pictures, watered it, and put it back into the window sill. Fingers crossed that it will survive this treatment. I don’t think I have ever repotted any plant of mine.

 

I think the avocado came from Israel, by the way, so this is a proper mediterranean tree.