Need advice on a jade

JackHammer

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I was gifted this jade plant and I am thinking on how to best create a bonsai out of it. This particular plant has been alive for about 40 years and grows quite well outside in the summer. It hasn't been pruned until the last few weeks when I started. Due the the lack of pruning, it is quite leggy and tall. Let's be honest, it needs some work. And yes, some of the leaves have a sunburn from some early summer heat.

I will be splitting it from the other trees in the pot and I am thinking on how to best style it. There are a few branches that run into each other but I do like the very strong first branch.

I don't like that it splits so low after the first branch so I am thinking that i will have to remove that fork.

The other plants in the pot will also become bonsai. I am starting to get quite the collection with all of the cuttings around.

Any ideas?

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Shibui

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Jade are really responsive to pruning. I doubt you can kill one by cutting. Every one of those rings on the trunk has dormant buds waiting to sprout. It will sprout new shoots wherever you cut so cut back as far as you like. Early summer is an ideal time and will give it time to grow back before winter.
The problem I find is lack of taper in old trunks like this. You will get some taper by removing that low side trunk but then it is a long way to the next thinner part. How and where you prune will depend what you want the future bonsai to look like and no-one else can tell you what you want and like so that is totally up to you. Just be assured you cannot do it any harm by chopping.

Root pruning is similar. They can survive as large cuttings with no roots at all so don't be timid when you repot.
 

JackHammer

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Jade are really responsive to pruning. I doubt you can kill one by cutting. Every one of those rings on the trunk has dormant buds waiting to sprout. It will sprout new shoots wherever you cut so cut back as far as you like. Early summer is an ideal time and will give it time to grow back before winter.
The problem I find is lack of taper in old trunks like this. You will get some taper by removing that low side trunk but then it is a long way to the next thinner part. How and where you prune will depend what you want the future bonsai to look like and no-one else can tell you what you want and like so that is totally up to you. Just be assured you cannot do it any harm by chopping.

Root pruning is similar. They can survive as large cuttings with no roots at all so don't be timid when you repot.
Good point about the taper. I have been really hard on the bud pruning which has been going well and it is back budding great. I know you can propagate easily via cuttings (I must have 50 little trees) but I didn't know about root pruning. Good to know.
 

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