For anyone wondering about the origin of the name “Underhill Bonsai” this tree should provide a hint. To get the full story, you will have to corner Doug and buy him a beer. This tree is in Doug’s personal collection and he would part with it with persuasion.
Frodo is a standard crape myrtle that lived most of its life as a landscape piece. When Doug moved to Folsom in 2000, this tree was planted in the yard. His property was a big mess from serious neglect and year by year he removed and reconfigured the landscape. This tree was pulled from the yard around 2010. So, this counts as an urban yamadori. It was a full-sized crape myrtle, although unusual in that it was a single trunk plant. It probably germinated from a seed that fell into the yard from another landscape crape myrtle and thus was not the typical multi-trunk, nursery piece. The genetics of this tree caused it to have a lot of movement in the trunk and Doug planted it up into a bonsai pot. Ten years later, this is a very handsome bonsai and it resembles the Underhill Bonsai logo. A customer named the tree when Doug asked for suggestions. So ‘Frodo’ it is.
The tree is about 30 years old and has been in training for 10 years. Doug is the artist of record from 2010 to present and Evan took over responsibility for day to day maintenance of the tree in 2020 and is adding his unique design aesthetic to its ongoing training.
This is an example of how quickly a respectable bonsai can be produced if you have the right material. This is especially true for fast growing species like crape myrtle. The tree currently is in a Byron Myrick oval pot.