Any advice would be lots of help?!?

ConsequentlyNo

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So just got this tree for Christmas. Have only trimmed back the vary long thin stuff what looked like newer growth. Any advise on pruning or wiring would be great. Also should I wait more till spring time or do it now while still dormant?
 

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HorseloverFat

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Nice Parvifolia!

Where will it be living, window-wise.. like direction facing.

Do you have any supplemental growth lights? This will aid you a great deal.

My “plan” would be drastic.. but I “swing wild”.. your’s need not be as “invasive” as mine..

What would you like from this specimen?

🤓
 

Forsoothe!

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Whta do you like about the tree, and what do you not like about that tree?
 

leatherback

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What species do you have there? And is it just indoors for the picture, or does it live inside (In which case I wonder why there are no leaves on the tree).

In the end, you will need to decide what you aim for with this tree. I see a lot of curves in the trunk. As such, I would expect very dynamic branches too. Unfortunately, the previous owner did not follow-up and missed wiring the branches out. So I would consider wiring branches that are still pliable and trimming a lot of branches back to remove the straight sections. The trimming back of course can be done over multiple seasons to keep a pleasing looking outline for the time being. (I would not have the patience, and would do all that work before growth picks up again. But I have a yard full of trees so having long-term ugliness in some trees is no issue for me!).

Next to that.. @HorseloverFat already hinted at more extreme steps, which certainly for people new (?) to bonsai are often too drastic. The shape of the trunk is a bit extreme. I could imagine this long-term ending up into 2 trees by layering off the top 2/3 and using the first branches at the leftover base to grow another tree. But that is not the first thing if you just got this.
 

ConsequentlyNo

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Nice Parvifolia!

Where will it be living, window-wise.. like direction facing.

Do you have any supplemental growth lights? This will aid you a great deal.

My “plan” would be drastic.. but I “swing wild”.. your’s need not be as “invasive” as mine..

What would you like from this specimen?

🤓
South window with lights to. Would like to fully bonsai it this spring.
 

HorseloverFat

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South window with lights to. Would like to fully bonsai it this spring.
Good about your lighting!

Take your time.. spend a GOOD chunk contemplating trunk direction and branches.. visually/hypothetically try “eliminating” certain branches or even sections of trunk.. to get a better feel for the “spirit” of the tree..

Before you begin your “Tiny Tree Training”

🤓
 

ConsequentlyNo

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What species do you have there? And is it just indoors for the picture, or does it live inside (In which case I wonder why there are no leaves on the tree).

In the end, you will need to decide what you aim for with this tree. I see a lot of curves in the trunk. As such, I would expect very dynamic branches too. Unfortunately, the previous owner did not follow-up and missed wiring the branches out. So I would consider wiring branches that are still pliable and trimming a lot of branches back to remove the straight sections. The trimming back of course can be done over multiple seasons to keep a pleasing looking outline for the time being. (I would not have the patience, and would do all that work before growth picks up again. But I have a yard full of trees so having long-term ugliness in some trees is no issue for me!).

Next to that.. @HorseloverFat already hinted at more extreme steps, which certainly for people new (?) to bonsai are often too drastic. The shape of the trunk is a bit extreme. I could imagine this long-term ending up into 2 trees by layering off the top 2/3 and using the first branches at the leftover base to grow another tree. But that is not the first thing if you just got this.
It is a chinese elm, just got it for Christmas. I plan on having it indoors for now till spring then it will be an out door plant.
 

Forsoothe!

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Like the trunk and some of the smaller branch structure but not so much all the crossing branches and feel it needs to be wired
Then your first move is to reduce that twigginess you don't like. That will open up the tree so you can see what you have. Cut back according to the rules of bonsai: Make space between branches; nothing allowed to grow straight up from a major branch more than 2 buds to prevent interfering with the air space of the branch above, nothing grows straight down or to interfere with the air space of the branch below; leave twigs growing sideways ~horizontally~ to form a flat fan. Trim branches that are too long back to a bud and leave the end buds pointing in the direction you want growth to occur. Wire into a horizontal position any branches or twigs that point too up or too down.

All new growth will point at the sun and you will observe these rules so that the fans will become more densely foliated over time without interfering with the air space of its neighbors. Do as much of this as looks better to you, but remember, you are trimming to make the tree grow into a shape you want as opposed to trimming to make it look good now.
 

ConsequentlyNo

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So have made some changes. Let me know. More photos than before and a lil closer. Also did some wiring.!.!...
 

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HorseloverFat

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Alright alright! Now that you’ve “aimed” it in the direction you’d like.. soak up some information/knowledge in the form of threads here, youtube videos, books.. whatever “Trips your float-triggered boat” ;)

You will get more “specific learning” from doing this like things about branch structure/placement.... about wiring theory pertaining to the angles and forms in which branches leave the main trunk.. about apex theory/design... blah-yadda-cetera.. there is SO much here to soak in...

Knowledge is the ONE thing we can share.. without depleting our own “supply”...

Some would argue “love”..

I say, “That’s exactly what I said”

🤣🤣🤣
 

Forsoothe!

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Looks much better, more tree-like than bush-like as before. Let it leaf out and keep to the rules and adjust it where you see an opportunity to improve the design. Also, you will now appreciate the limits of a given beginning point and be a better shopper. You can do virtual recombobulating of prospective purchases and your next buy should then be closer to an image you can manage rather than need to change drastically or even at all. You should have a better understanding of how much you can move branches around, where you need branches, the quality and sizes needed from bottom to tip top, etc. You can shop for nursery stock or other pre-bonsai and observe the rules to create from scratch a design that the new stock lends itself to That is to say, you should now understand that you can't bend a short, straight stick into a cascade or make a low curving or kinked trunk into a Christmas tree shape. You can make anything more tree-like by guiding growth into more or less defined pads/clouds/layers that all look similar in that they all grew in the same conditions. You can have some layers skinny and flat and other layers fat and round. If wind-blown, they all lean in the same direction, etc. You have one, or some other shape, but not two shapes. Topiary shapes are taboo. Here's a primer for design...
Jim Kelly annotated.JPG
 
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