Beginner needing critique on styling

BrierPatch

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Hi All, I'm new to Bonsai and this forum so I thought I'd reach out for some critique on my work and I'm sure on everything I'm doing wrong :/ I went to a local nursery for some landscape material and they were clearing out all their Hinoki's so I got a great price and figured I'd work on them even though they may not be the best beginner material. Below are before and after pics of where I'm at so far in the process. Still needs more work to go...

Before-and-After-Hinoki-WellsSpecial-20210926-800.jpg
 

Cypress187

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Welcome to the forum!

I don't know if this is the best time of the year and I wouldn't have taken off so much in 1 go with conifers.
 

BrierPatch

Mame
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Welcome to the forum!

I don't know if this is the best time of the year and I wouldn't have taken off so much in 1 go with conifers.
Thanks Cypress for the reply. Wasn't sure either if it was the best time but from what I researched pruning can be done during Autumn. I too was thinking I was taking too much off and figured I better stop, so hopefully it will recover from the stress.
The other two I picked up I only wired one with no real pruning and left one alone. I only placed them in a new pot for a bit more room.
 

RKMcGinnis

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Welcome, we all learn from each other. I would of left the bottom limbs and cut down the apex branches in hopes to form a new apex. Then next season thinned it keeping branches that had foliage closest to the trunk. When I started I also removed a lot from a hinoki and repotted in one go. It took two years for it to regain health and three years to regain full health to where it was growing well again.
 

BrierPatch

Mame
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And the rest of the story? Does it include repotting the Hinoki's at the same time? Were the roots disturbed in the repotting if they were switched in containers?
I repotted it 4 weeks ago without disturbing the roots at all. Reason for repot was that it wasn't getting any drainage (was water logged) so I put it in a 3 gal from a 1 gal and filled the bottom and edges with bonsai soil (lava, pumice, clay, bark fines).
Started to prune it 2 days ago.
 

River's Edge

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I repotted it 4 weeks ago without disturbing the roots at all. Reason for repot was that it wasn't getting any drainage (was water logged) so I put it in a 3 gal from a 1 gal and filled the bottom and edges with bonsai soil (lava, pumice, clay, bark fines).
Started to prune it 2 days ago.
1.Next time I would suggest teasing roots out and removing some compacted core soil. Leaving the compacted centre is not advisable even if very temporary. Much more difficult to water effectively and high risk of anaerobic centre mass killing the roots. The trees you did not prune as much will have a better chance of survival if repotted in the spring. More foliage to fuel root recovery. With conifers leave as much healthy foliage as possible when repotting.

2.Fall pruning typically refers to minor work to improve health and ramification. More extensive styling or heavier pruning is best late winter early spring when recovery is aided by a longer growing season, as opposed to dormancy.

3.As a general practice avoid major styling and major repots within the same calendar year and if possible conduct those activities within time frames that are best suited to styling or repotting.

4.Your styling attempt from an aesthetic point of view is reasonable for a beginner. The results will improve if you keep in mind horticultural needs of the plant and keep a stronger tree throughout the development process.
Just some thoughts to consider. Enjoy the journey, Bonsai is a lifetime learning process.
 

BrierPatch

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1.Next time I would suggest teasing roots out and removing some compacted core soil. Leaving the compacted centre is not advisable even if very temporary. Much more difficult to water effectively and high risk of anaerobic centre mass killing the roots. The trees you did not prune as much will have a better chance of survival if repotted in the spring. More foliage to fuel root recovery. With conifers leave as much healthy foliage as possible when repotting.

2.Fall pruning typically refers to minor work to improve health and ramification. More extensive styling or heavier pruning is best late winter early spring when recovery is aided by a longer growing season, as opposed to dormancy.

3.As a general practice avoid major styling and major repots within the same calendar year and if possible conduct those activities within time frames that are best suited to styling or repotting.

4.Your styling attempt from an aesthetic point of view is reasonable for a beginner. The results will improve if you keep in mind horticultural needs of the plant and keep a stronger tree throughout the development process.
Just some thoughts to consider. Enjoy the journey, Bonsai is a lifetime learning process.
Thank you for the advise you provided it's much appreciated!! I may be old but I'm still learning :)
 
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Others have said my thoughts

I do want to say I’m liking the style. It has a wild look to it that is a little refreshing from the usual pristine forms (not that those are bad at all)

And remember, bonsai IS an art. If YOU like it, keep it
 

rockm

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Hinoki cypress rarely, if ever, backbuds on old wood...that means, when you hard prune branches, you mostly won't get new buds to break behind the cut...
 

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