Fukien Tea Errors

Grackle

Yamadori
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This was the first tree I ever purchased. I now realize they have a tendency to die rather easily. The tree however has been doing well and I've had it since the beginning of the year. The initial styling I did created some bar branches and was quite disastrous as I couldn't contain the newbie itch (I have no photos of this). I then attempted to restyle it further, doing way too much work on the poor tree and styling it literati. The style it has now doesn't really work either so I'm just going to let it grow for a season or two and hope I get some buds.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for this tree? I need to let it rest until next spring but I was hoping to get any sort of feedback/criticism. I don't want to botch any future trees. I'm intending to take it slow from here on out.

The first photo shows the tree when I received it. The second is the current front and the rest are 90 degree turns from the front.
 

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Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Don't take this the wrong way when I ask, but are you afraid to wire it? So far you appear to have only pruned it(?)
 

Grackle

Yamadori
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I've only used clip and grow. I did some practice wiring on shoots i was going to cut. I realize both areas with foliage will have to be restarted from scratch as they are basically two shrub balls. This tree is full of errors. The top branch doesn't flow with the curve of the trunk. I've got a new shoot budding from there that i hope can replace the top.
 
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Grackle, listen we all have made some mistakes along the way... that's how you learn !!! Tea's actually are pretty strong trees, they can usually handle quite a bit of work... if you've got this guy inside I would strongly recomend moving it outside into some shade at first, then into the partial shade. But watch that sun and make sure that it does not dry out with the heat you are all having. I usally water mine about every other day. This will need to be sheltered from the cold in the winter, it is a tropical. If you keep it inside water about once a week.
In the future I would recomend leaving some of the lower branches as "sacrifice" banches, if nothing else. They will help thicken the trunk alot faster and can always be cut off later. The good thing is that judging by the pics yours seems to be in good health, I see some new growth. As far as wiring is concerned, one of the probs. is that they become virtually imposible to wire the more they thicken. So it is important to wire early. Using clip and grow is fine, but when using this method, it is even more important that you first figure out in what direction you want to go, then second you need to understand the growth patern and characteristics of the type of tree you are working on. So that when you are cutting you will know that it will get you to your desired result. Your tree I also, believe is best left alone till spring... I think it will give you a chance to research a little, and reflect on your design. Look up what some of the others have done with tea's... Good Luck and don't get discouraged !!!
 
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Grackle

Yamadori
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Thank you for the excellent info, S.A.M! I saw the picture of your Fukien and it was beautiful. I have been growing it indoors but I do intend to get it outdoors once the temperatures cool off a bit. There seems to be no end to the drought/heat wave here in Texas. Our temps are supposed to reach into the 110s this weekend! Aye yae yae!
 

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