Birch bonsai in the making

Fishtank307

Shohin
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I collected this downy birch (betula pubescens) in March from a field. I planted it in a mix of akadama, lava rock, perlite and composted cow manure (sounds weird, I know). It grew extremely well! I'm not planning on pruning it, just removed some suckers and recently also some of the larger leaves, in order to get some light to reach the interior buds.

IMG_20190614_174130.jpg

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Lovely white bark, decent flare and the first branch is already in place!

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Ii'm really happy with the roots! The only downside is that it doesn't have the same root-spread on the backside. But I really can't complain!

IMG_20190614_174158.jpg
Should've chopped it lower though...

New leader:
IMG_20190614_174158-22.jpg
Trunk chop next spring. Should make a good looking shohin!
 

Fishtank307

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Chopped it two weeks ago. I was worried some of the primary branches would die, but luckily they all survived. Couldn't be more happy!
IMG_20200330_155721.jpg

Two large chops:
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The buds were just starting to turn green when I made the cuts. The tree didn't bleed at all.

Side view:
IMG_20200330_155739.jpg

The new leader was left untouched. It grew 70 cm last year, after collection.
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I hope I can keep it happy! :)
 

Fishtank307

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Pruned it two or three times last year, making sure light could penetrate the canope. At the end of summer I pruned it one last time and then left in untouched until last week, when I hard pruned last year's growth. I tried to seal the wounds as best as I could, but the tree bled tremendously! I hope it comes through okay...

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I think I'm going to cut the leader again, to create some more movement and taper. And check the roots...
 

Fishtank307

Shohin
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...what were you thinking specifically?

‘cause I personally like the lines it has... Just curious.
Thanks! I was thinking about cutting it a letting it grow again along these lines:
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It grows so fast that it's hard to keep up. Maybe I'll use a finer soil mix when I repot it.
 

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