The Common hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, is one of the most suitable of our native tree species with which to do bonsai.
It is perfectly hardy and with growth characteristics that lend themselves to bonsai techniques. To achieve the most natural sorts of images it is certainly a good idea to keep wiring to a minimum and to use direction pruning as far as possible to get desired shapes. Trunks quickly exhibit the aged characteristics so desirable in bonsai.
This example will, like the majority of hawthorn bonsai, been created from wild collected material and it looks to have been in training for some time. If you are new to bonsai and need to see hawthorn with foliage on you could check out some other bonsai for sale that we have and that were photographed in the growing season complete with leaves. Photos taken during the dormant season do allow the structure of the tree to be seen more easily. Leaves, lovely though they look, do tend to conceal much.
I really do like what has been achieved with this example of the species. It is clearly bonsai but at the same time it retains exactly the sort of branch structure that might be seen on a hawthorn growing in the landscape. By that I mean that instead of removing many or all the original branches and replacing them with ” correct ” bonsai branches the excellent structure and outline has been achieved with naturally developed hawthorn type branches and twigs which may or may not have been present when the tree was first collected. That is not to say that the tree cannot be imporved with a bit of judicious pruning. The height could be reduced a bit and the odd weaker looking branch removed. The image is very nice without any obviously contrived growth, of course it helps that the trunk is particularly good for a collected tree with a decent nebari or surface roots below an interesting little trunk. The bonsai feels like a chuhin size class tree despite an overall height of 50cm. and branching spreading to 50cm. The impressive root spread is 15cm and the trunk diam. above this 7cm. The round ceramic pot is 27x7cm. Bonsai as good as this come along rarely and this is from a local enthusiast’s collection.