‘Mountain Beauty’ was first identified as a ‘sport’ growing on a Deodara by a man living in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. He propagated the sport and it quickly became popular for bonsai.
Koreshoff’s Bonsai Nursery (now closed) had ‘Mountain Beauty’ from the early 1980’s and it is believed that this is the origin of this material. The estimated age of this tree is 55 years.
It was purchased from a private owner who was dismissive of its bonsai potential. It has been left to grow in this plastic pot for many years but was in extremely good health.
The yellow ‘paint’ you can see about halfway up the trunk is not paint. It is a bright yellow lichen and there is much more of it on the rear of the trunk.
‘Mountain Beauty’ is very, very, very brittle. Whole branches can come off without any warning whatsoever. So, I enlisted the assistance of a well-known bonsai expert who had much experience working with this material.
I had previously removed many dead branches that had been growing on the inside of the tree.
The plan now was to keep as many of the branches as possible, wire them to allow them to be better-placed on the tree, and then re-pot.
Am very happy with this. It looks like an ‘old tree’ and that is precisely what we were after. In about six months time we will start placing more of the foliage where we want it but it will necessarily be a slow and deliberate process.
Updates will follow.