Saikei Update: Ash Tree Small Forest in Rock Landscape [Bonsai]

in hive-193614 •  last month 


To make a natural landscape using live trees and only natural materials is no easy feat.

This is my first attempt to make one, according to the Saikei Japanese style.

The rocks a bit more prominent in this type of design. In mine, I was attempting to mimic a rock-slide coming down from a granite mountainside.


Five Ash trees were planted into the a bed of normal bonsai soil, and on top I mulched with more of the pebbly river rocks.

Ash trees are not very ideal for bonsai, as the leaves can get a bit large, and the trunks grow very tall. They are very ideal for me to grow in this style, because they grow natively, as weed trees in my area. They can survive our winters and summers on their own, maybe even if I stopped watering them. I usually find them growing in inhospitable nooks and crannies, which makes them suitable for this project. And if one of the trees dies, I can easily find a nearby tree to replace it from my yard.

The trees in the front have been growing the largest. They must be getting more access to sunlight and room for roots.

Ideally, plant an odd number of trees, according to the old lore. Four is the unlucky number to avoid in plantings. Trees are supposed to be planted into positions that appear random and asymmetric when viewed from all sides, to seem more like a natural formation made by nature.

The wall is a mud dam, and it is developing moss on the sides. The walls were starting to crumble and wash off this Summer, so I added some more of the clay mud to help reinforce the walls. There is also a metal screen inside the walls to help strengthen the wall.


Overall, the health of the trees are doing quite well. The only design work I have done is clipping off some of the larger, older leaves, to spurt new growth of the central trunk leader. Next year I will be searching for side branches to encourage growth on, as Ash trees usually rise up a 10 to 20 foot trunk before developing any strong branches.

Obviously I will have to monitor the size of the trees over time to be sure they do not outgrow the pot, and perhaps style them to they look more like a well-blended forest family.

Historical Details

ID: 0041
Nickname: Unnamed
Type: Ash
Age: 1 year
Grown: seed
Last repotting: May, 2019
Wired: Never

Check out my past articles to learn how it was made:

Photos in this post are all #originalworks by @creativetruth, unless stated otherwise.

Find me on discord and chat with other tree growers, bonsai enthusiasts, and gardeners.


#teambonsai @hive-193614 #hive-193614 #bonsai

No memberships. Love trees. Make friends. Grow together.


Post Beneficiaries:

This is my way of thanking each of you for your friendship and support. By sharing my talents on Hive, I can also share to help with your needs.

Let my success also grant you some happiness too.

#ash-tree #ash-forest #forest #tree #ash-trees #saikei #clay #landscape #design #natural-materials #natural #rock #stone


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Interesting sapling, maybe you can intertwine their soft trunks as they grow @creativetruth :D