Mountain Hemlock Yamadori Progress

These pictures represent the progress of a Yamadori collected in 2012, acquired in 2014 and under development since then. I hope to have it show ready in 2020.(upload://9vTlDh1qGqKnSXjnwsyhG2qVgpu.JPG)


Hemlocks are beautiful - and they develop so quickly! Looks like you’ll have no problem getting this into shape by 2020 :slight_smile:

Spring 2019 update! Spring haircut and style in preparation for another year on the bench. Needed help with reduction of growth and unifying the flow! It’s great to have close friends with suggestions and the talent to go along with the suggestions. Needs to fill in and further develop pads for another year or two.


Hello, I love mountain hemlocks! what are you using for your soil mixture?

The soil mix that i have used for all my collected trees follows this progression.
Upon collection they are put in pure pumice.
After recovery and during training development.
20 % Akadama
40 % Pumice
20% Black Lava
20% granite grit
I seive for particle size rejecting anything to large for the big screen in a set of three and rejecting the fines that fall through the smallest screen in the set. This leaves me with a fairly homogenous combination size wise for drainage, moisture retention and air porosity.
It is a drier mix than most and requires more attention to regular watering. I use sphagnum moss on top after repotting to slow down evaporation initially.
If you require more moisture retention, consider adding up to 5% bark of similar particle size. Also make sure to fertilize properly as the basic mix is inorganic.

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Thank you Frank, I appreciate the info.

I just discovered how wonderful Hemlocks are. My local nursery got a bunch of wild collected ones in last year and I bought one and started working it. I know it is likely to take 5 years to get it to where it is presentable, but they are wonderful trees. This one is such a beauty!

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Glad to hear that others are beginning to discover this native North American beauty.
Be careful with the repotting when first establishing the tree. Choose a more cautious approach of 1/3 of the root ball at a time and work mostly from the bottom on the larger roots. Hemlocks are very dependant on the smaller feeder roots closer to the surface. Also important to avoid compacted soil in the center portion under the trunk, consider dealing with this section of the root ball first, then begin the outer perimeter!
Once they have a developed root ball they are much more vigorous and easier to maintain.
Good luck with your tree and post a picture when you get a chance. Consider starting a thread in shares to document the development. Welcome to Bonsai Tonight!

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Thanks Frank and thanks for the response. Also thanks for the pointers! After reading response above about the soil recipe I went to the feed store and got some crushed granite that i will screen as described above and create a more porous mix for my hemlocks. I use the Japanese pelletized fertilizer with mycorrhizae. will that do the trick for the fertilization of these when I move to the inorganic soil?

I just posted about a Chinese Elm I am struggling with but will post pictures of the hemlock I bought soon. Nice to meet you and thanks for the welcome!

Organic fertiliser work fine in inorganic soil, they just take a bit of time to begin breaking down into useable form for the trees. That is the preferred form of fertiliser that i use on my best trees when they begin to reach a higher level of refinement. The only difference is that i make up my own formulae rather than purchase the Japanese form.