Flowering plum styling

Maloghurst

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I have several plum trees that I’ve collected and this is one that I collected last March.It has interesting shari. I’m just letting it recover for now but I put a little wire because when these branches set they are rock hard so I have to wire early. The branches are also very easy to snap. The tape you see is a snap.
The tree also has interesting movement. Not sure if there is a way to use this movement with some type of literati or should I eventually cut back to the leader following the trunk line up. What do you all think?1CAD5D92-BBD8-42DD-A698-384D50922897.jpeg980EB5B0-1A4C-4242-B665-A5FE625E64CA.jpegC6154DF6-3DFA-46E6-9B56-D7FF62376FBA.jpegDDA8F636-F444-495D-9C5D-C5A859D0159F.jpeg8F912BCE-D174-4900-BEBB-B3D1FB1C6907.jpeg8592629B-0F13-45A8-964A-76473A650F27.jpeg
 

Maloghurst

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Anyone? Having trouble envisioning something for this tree?
 

AlainK

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this tree?
I think "flowering plum" is too vague a term : there must be dozens, if not hundred plants that some people in various provinces, counties, countries, call 'Flowering Plum".

But is that a "Prunus"?

If so, what species ? Prunus avium, Prunus armeniacum, Prunus mume (Sieb.), etc. ?
 

Maloghurst

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Actually it’s a fruiting plum tree. Of course it flowers first. I didn’t realize they were separated that way.
It’s Italian or Japanese plum.
I have another that I’ve had for several years so I know the growth habits.
I’m more having trouble with design.
I could keep the the twist and turns and continue on in that way creating a literati and what that would ultimately look like? Where the canopy would end up etc?
Or develop it as a slender slanting style? And get rid of the everything past the first hard turn?
 

Shibui

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The problem with designing bonsai based on photos is that we can't properly appreciate the real movement of the trunk. Even with pics from all sides it is difficult to get a real perspective and this one has a lot of trunk hidden down inside the pot to make it even harder. Also can't get a look at the nebari which is usually an important feature for bonsai design.
Looks like an interesting curve near the top but that may be out of place on such a long, straight trunk.
When designing trees I generally look at all the positive features and the negative features and see whether + outweighs - then start removing or modifying negatives until there's an acceptable result.
This one is still pretty immature. There's no harm in just watching it for a year or so. Sometimes, as it grows, a possibility will suddenly jump out.

Leaves do not look like Japanese plum in your photos. My guess would be European plum of some sort so probably P. domestica.
 

Colorado

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Aw, come on! It’s Internet forum. We have to give advice based on photos! :)

This is what I’d do. Apologize in advance for the atrocious photo editing skills.

07E62B54-3282-400F-9528-81629FFAC385.jpeg

Remove everything BEFORE the major bend and then go semi-cascade style. This would be my front.

It’s probably not apparent from my horrible virt but I’d do two distinct levels of foliage from the two apical points.

My 2 cents.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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This is young, If it were mine, I would remove all the wires, let it grow this summer, repot in spring, working out the roots and getting a look at the nebari, before deciding anything. A wider, shallower grow out container, not a bonsai pot, but one big enough to allow several years of growth without having to repot again. Be sure to bury the nebari, at least one half inch, if exposed too soon the surface roots die off, creating a mount shape nebari which will not allow a flat, shallow bonsai pot in the future. You can expose the nebari after the roots are thicker, and have developed some bark.

Let it grow, it will make many branches, the new branches will give you better choices in the future. In as little as 2 or 3 years you will have a much better choice for a style. Perhaps an obvious choice will appear.
 

Maloghurst

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This is young, If it were mine, I would remove all the wires, let it grow this summer, repot in spring, working out the roots and getting a look at the nebari, before deciding anything. A wider, shallower grow out container, not a bonsai pot, but one big enough to allow several years of growth without having to repot again. Be sure to bury the nebari, at least one half inch, if exposed too soon the surface roots die off, creating a mount shape nebari which will not allow a flat, shallow bonsai pot in the future. You can expose the nebari after the roots are thicker, and have developed some bark.

Let it grow, it will make many branches, the new branches will give you better choices in the future. In as little as 2 or 3 years you will have a much better choice for a style. Perhaps an obvious choice will appear.
Hey Leo, thanks for responding. Couple things.
1. Tree is 20+ years old already. Been hit with mower and cut back over the years. Also growing under a parent tree. These are 15 fully grown so not that big. With the huge amount of deadwood the trunk will not thicken much if I let it grow for years. I would get long leggy growth.
2. The reason I collected this tree was I liked the movement and deadwood and saw potential literati/slender tree though I’m still seeking advice as how to style.
3. I did rootwork when I collected so won’t be repotting next year. Though a flat pot would have been better. The nebari is currently buried. See pic.
4. I have experience with this type of plum. The new growth is thick and coarse and when it hardens you cannot shape it at all. So movement has to be done early and removed after 3 weeks. So the wire is gone already.

Im looking to highlight what is already there. But hard to wrap my head around a vision for what that could look like in 10 years.
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Leo in N E Illinois

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the photo confused my eye, I assumed it was in a one gallon nursery pot, so was less than 2 inches in diameter. Apparently it is quite a bit thicker than that.

Good.

Essentially @Colorado has the rudimentary design, that would work as an approximate start. Even though this may be 20 years old, it needs some growing. Just getting out from under the shade of the parent tree is a good start. It will back bud, and if lucky the back buds will be in the right places.

I do see the nice coarse bark on the trunk down in the pot. I see the nice flat root system, you have a good start, so a literati, may very well be your best design. The one branch you had wired straight up struck me as odd, but then I needed to remember that only a few inches of each branch will be kept for the next year.

Nice interesting trunk.
 
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