Advice on new material to work with

spunog

Sapling
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Hi Bonsai people.

I have come into possession of two good size trees which I would like to bonsai. The taller one (7 ft)is an alder. Alder do have large leaves but I am keen to get some practice in despite this. The second slightly smaller tree I think is some sort of cherry plum but I can't be sure. I know it has reddish brown leaves in spring / summer.

As you can see from the photos, They have long trunks with the branches starting close to the top. My questions are as follows :

1. Should I cut the trunks half way up (under all the branches) and hope for some back budding over their next growing season ?

2. What time of year would be the best to do this ?

3. If I do this severe trunk cut, do I need to wait until I repot them ?


Thanks in advance

Spunog


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Gene Deci

Shohin
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You could try to chop these trees way back but most of the time if you do get any sprouting it will be from the base. The chances of getting anything you could develop into a decent bonsai are very slim so you need to decide if it is worth the risk of wasting those trees.
 

spunog

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Oh ok. I thought this was the done thing.... What about layering it closer to the top ?
 

tmmason10

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Air layering the cherry plum isn't the worst idea. I mean if you were just going to chop, you would have roots to support the top now anyways. Wouldn't bother with the alder since you said it had large leaves. I would personally try and find a bonsai nursery within a few hours drive if you'd like better starting material.
 

rockm

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These both need drastic trunk chops, like 85-90 percent of the top of the tree should go, then the replacement shoots grown on to make the future apex. It's too late in the season for trunk chops or air layering (I wouldn't bother air layering anything on these, though, too much trouble for material that wouldn't be all that terrific.)
 

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