Japanese holly clump

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#1
A friend of mine gave me this Japanese holly which he had dug up from his garden. A lot of branches had snapped and it was put in the same soil it was growing in. I grew extremely well, considering the circumstances. Today I pruned the long shoots and got rid of a couple of the dead branches, leaving some stumps.

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I don't really know what to do with it.. I can't really 'see the bonsai' in this one just yet. What do you think? Any ideas?
 

Vin

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#2
I've done several of these and they are quite fun. I think the first thing to consider would be to cut it way back in the spring and repot it. I would cut it back something like this:

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Those jins you made don't really add to the tree at this point. Once you get a good look at the base during the repot you can make adjustments to the angle. Yaupons have very straight growing branches. Wire them while they are small and flexible. Then, let it grow.
 
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#3
@Vin Thanks for the input! I think I'm going to decide where to chop it after I've repotted it. Maybe there's still a way to creat a multiple trunk style. And hopefully there's some half decent nebari down there... Btw, I just got some new jin pliers and I got a little bit carried away :)
 

Vin

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#4
@Vin Thanks for the input! I think I'm going to decide where to chop it after I've repotted it. Maybe there's still a way to creat a multiple trunk style. And hopefully there's some half decent nebari down there... Btw, I just got some new jin pliers and I got a little bit carried away :)
I to was on the same path as you with this one several years ago. Eventually, you give in to Mother Nature and do what needs to be done. Maybe this progression sequence will help you, maybe not. The tree still is a couple years to be where I would like it but it's getting there.

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M. Frary

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#7
I would go for a double trunk tree. Keep the 2 larger ones and lose the others. If it doesnt look like you want cut the other trunk of and turn it into a single trunk tree.
 

just.wing.it

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#9
Looks like a fun piece of material!
Didn't read all above, but are you inclined to create a multi trunk tree? Or slim it down like Vin's first virt there?
 
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#10
Looks like a fun piece of material!
Didn't read all above, but are you inclined to create a multi trunk tree? Or slim it down like Vin's first virt there?
I was thinking a multi trunk tree... The problem is that the three largest trunk are in a straight line. So I might cut the middle one, and then I'm left with two large trunks and three little ones. I lik @Vin 's virt, but if I cut the trunk in the back, it would leave a huge scar.

So for me it's either a multi trunk or a maybe a double trunk, as @M. Frary suggested. We'll see! I'm going to put it in a large training pot next year. Then I can see what the base and roots look like.