In late 2020 I received news that a fellow bonsai artist had sadly passed away. His inheritance, over 300 trees, were to be sold before the end of the year so that his house could be sold too. A date was set for my bonsai club to stop by and look at the trees and purchase any trees that were of interest.
In my car I had only space for 2 trees, an older Wisteria and a large Larch. I had also discussed a very large Zelkova forest and gotten a good price offer, but it just did not fit my car. Happy with my purchases I went home to use the last sunrays of the day to clean up the old overgrown larch. However, in the back of my mind I kept thinking of the large zelkova forest. After a week I was in touch with the owner, and he made me an offer I could not reject. So I drove back to the house, where the two of us lifted the forest from the tray, and cut it in half. At 1m tall, and nearly 1.5m long it was both too tall as too long to fit in the car. Cut in two and placed on its side I managed to get it home.
When I finally got it home.. Picture time. After exploring multiple routes to bring this back to original glory, I realized this was probably best done by taking it apart and replanting the whole thing. The plants were originally planted over a piece of deadwood, covered in potting soil. Part of the soil has over the years eroded away, and the roots were on the surface as long straight bare sections. The wood was one back rotting stinking mess. The trees had been left to grow tall and been cut back numerous times. Unfortunately, the cuts had not been dressed properly so the trees contain lots of poorly healed old cuts. The potting soil used was dense and wet. All in all.. Best to restart the process and take the forest apart.