One of the trees in collection is a Tamarix. Although it grows very fast with branches extending over a metre in one growing season, trunks only slowly get thicker. Therefor I was happy to find a bigger specimen a few years ago. Bonus was the nice taper in the trunk.
After repotting the tree I decided to grow the tree in a weeping style. This is a shape which works particularly well for the Tamarix as side-branches have a tendency to stay very loose and open. In winter most of these are dropped leaving only the main extending branches.
In the winter of 2018-2019 something must have gone wrong. In spring 2019 the Tamarix bonsai did not start growing until early June and part of the branches had died. I did not think too much about is, as the tree took off and grew well all year after that. In winter I showed the tree in a bonsai forum, where I was warned: There seems to be dead bark on your tree. So I took a small knife and started to tease the edges of the bark..
A small piece of removed bark became a larger part of the bark. I took the tree out of the pot and into a bucket of water to better be able to clean off the bark. A few hours later the nice trunk with aged bark had turned into a piece of wood with 2 small lifelines. After cleaning and repotting the tree was allowed to dry a little bit, after which I treated the whole dead section with Yin fluid. Now the tree looks like a very old and worn-down plant. Perhaps it is for the better as this is part of bonsai? Spring has arrived. The tree is pushing branches again like before. Let’s see what 2020 will bring!