Where are you planning to take the design? I think your trunkline is only going to use one of the three main branches, and I would get rid of the other two since they will need to go sooner or later...
First off, let me thank you all for the responses. I have been a member of many different forums and until I stumbled across this site looking at Bonsai pics online I never thought about a bonsai forum, its very helpful in many ways, especially gratifying is finding out I am not the only nut out there who is enamoredof this art/hobby.
It actually has four branches, I want to keep them all. I want to get a growth off the front straight branch on the right and take it back and to the right and form a foliage pad there. The two branches on the left side, I want to branch out and create a common foliage pad from them. The branch facing to the rear, which is easier to see in the picture of the back, I want to form a third foliage pad there and keep it at that level.
JudyB - The trunk is 6-3/4 inches from the soil line to where the branches emerge. Its a solid 2 inches across the trunk, except at the base which is just over three inches width from front to back and 4-1/4 inches from right to left. I root pruned it and defoliated it of all live leaves just over a month ago and its been in a grow box with a flouresent grow light inside it ever since, its going to Fl. with me at the end of November where it will have the advantage of teh Florida sun.
Do you have any pictures with foliage? I have never seen a barberry with a good foliage structure yet. The branches are much too vinelike to have any real ramifying structure. Has this been your experience or does this get a tidy twig like structure for you?
The last, first and only barberry I had was a complete failure! It back budded well for me and was in the ground by july, and in the spring it was as dead as my credit score is now. I did learn they can be wired only when fine branches as they get stiff. Most buds will produce little stems and grow well. Thats why I left those branches and plan to develop a canopy of sorts, or three little canopies, from the leaves. I will see how it goes. I have a bunch of little buds growing along the trunk and on the branches, I have rubbed of a few on the trunk but I want to let most of them grow some first. I planted it closer to the front side of the pot as there was more root growth there and I wanted the room towards the back to develop more fine roots on that side. If all works well it should be nice, if not I will post an R.I.P. thread for my barberry for you guys to pay your last respects in....
I hope to let it grow out a bunch more and see what develops. I hoped to contain the growth and get three pads of foliage. Now I think I may go with a solid canopy in a triangle formation, I know this is kind of over done, but this tree looks like it would be well suited for this.
Well the damn unexpected freeze wrought havoc upon my plants. The tropicals have rebounded the best, my vomitoria and my barberry took some heavy damage though. The barberry even covered had all its leaves turn brown the next afternoon, it froze so hard that it lifted in the pot! I decided to take it out, check and trim the roots, remove the leaves so it would not waste any energy trying to heal them and see what happens. It did develop many fine feeder roots in a nice radial pattern, now if it just lives. Heres what it looked like a few days ago when ready to be replanted.