Disaster strikes! 😩

Long story short; the company that installed my gutters must have messed something up. I watched them fall and my first thought was “My bonsai benches!!!”

Not too much damage on my developmental bench. Pomagrante and boxwood lost some soil. However, my most developed tree got clobbered, knocked over and lost a ton of soil. I repotted it this year. A big branch in the middle of the tree snapped. Luckily I can move some branches over to fill the void.

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Shit! I wouldn’t worry too much about the soil if the pots were topped up quickly. That’s one of the reasons why most of my trees are at least 10’ from the house itself… I want to avoid damage from anything that could fall from the roof.

I also had a few broken branches and a lot of lost soil this spring, but that was due to the wind lifting and throwing trees. That included the monster olive who slammed into the driveway about a dozen time before I was able to move it to a location where I could strap it in position.

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I find that most of the Bonsai that move me have a story to tell. It’s what separates them from sticks in pots.

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My yard is tiny. 10’ from the house is literally the middle of the yard lol. This is why I like to have extra soil on hand. I was able to bend a couple of branches into place, but that’s a temporary fix. Those branches need to be pruned back, so I’ll be left with a hole again. :weary:

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Lol, this is true. :joy:

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I just lost the one tree this year… :astonished:



Haha, dang. I hope the pot is okay. :wink:

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Yikes @Bonsai_Bentley, I am sorry. I had the wind blow down one of my favorite pines that I had just repotted earlier this year. Luckily the pot held up, I filled in the soil, and we will see what happens (candles pushing so far, but who knows).

One thing is I would be hesitant on doing any aesthetic work on a damaged tree. I know you want to restore its appearance as much as you can, but is that what is going to maximize the tree’s chance of recovering? If you just had a major accident, I am not sure you would be up for someone trying to comb your hair real nice as you were fighting to survive =)

Good luck!


What do you mean by lost. All i see is a slight angle change to further push asymmetry.


Normally I wouldn’t even consider touching a tree that I repotted that year. However, this is a legacy tree that I acquired last year. It was pretty neglected. The soil was pretty compacted, so I made the decision to repot first. Now I’m wondering if I should have pruned this year and then did the repot next year. The twigs are quite lignified which Peter Warren says is bad for an azalea.

i am just watching the azalea streams with Peter as i have one inbound. Tough to say, as he is stressing that they need frequent repotting (2-3 years) in order to prevent negative impact from the compacted soil. At the same time foliage needs constant rejuvenation (especially on the lignifying branches) …

But on a tree with vigour it should be possible to have both done (with consideration) within the same year.

Very sorry to hear this happened!

I believe that as long as a cracked branch isn’t completely severed you can often repair it. Just hinge the wound shut tightly and wrap the area firmly in thin plastic. It’s a very simple technique.

I used a plastic produce bag from the grocery store - cut a ~1" strip, and just wrap it round and round, then tie it off. The first time I used this technique was on a boxwood branch about two months ago. I unwound the plastic a few days ago to take a peek, and the wound is healing nicely!

Sadly it was a clean break. A couple of them really. Good news is that the branch is back budding. Pretty cool to see and makes me hopeful for the really hard pruning that needs to come.

Yeah, I remember him saying that you could do both in a single year if the tree is healthy. Overall it seems fairly healthy and beautiful. It’s covered with flowers.

I would think that getting it into new soil, giving attention to roots, etc. is the first priority, since if moisture and nutrient uptake is inhibited, it will have more of a deleterious effect that neglecting the pruning for a season or a year.

While this event is sad, it becomes another chapter in the story of the tree. Not many bonsai are static over time; the trees grow and we respond by pruning and shaping. While it might be hard to experience now, it could be an opportunity for an entirely new design.

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Sorry to see your misfortune :(. hopefully everything survives and the damage deepens the story of the tree over time

It was a blessing in disguise. The tree needed to be pruned back anyway. When I saw that I was getting back budding on the broken branches it signaled that I can proceed with pruning over the entire tree.

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dude, that void looks awesome! I wouldnt hide it!
Sorry for the chaos tho

lol, thanks. The tree recovered well. Since then it’s been repotted and pruned. Loaded with tons of flower buds too.

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