New to bonsai - boxwood critique

pak1351

Seedling
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First bonsai attempt from nursery stock - a boxwood (unknown is specific cultivar) in zone 7a, purchased from Jim and nature’s way nursery in Harrisburg. Looking for some critiques on the overall styling- I lose the taper after the 4th branch as the trunk comes towards the front. My wire job was not great but was (at least for now) functional. I messed up the orientation of my second wire applied and it impacted the rest of the process - should have just taken off and done again
Before:
FDD14EC7-7FD7-452A-97A9-9E1A7DAFE3D3.jpeg

After pruning:

D90B4091-202F-46B3-BF7B-C594BB7653AE.jpeg


Potted and wired:


1BC68ED8-F64C-4F7E-ACD3-07A98D02D611.jpeg
overall I’m fairly pleased; may bring 2nd branch on the left forward towards the viewer more. Apex needs some work, but can get there. I kind of thought of this as an oak, and almost treated it like a juniper in my head in getting out to pads or at least setting a structure for them. Not sure if that’s a normal approach but it turned out okish.

Please critique and let me know your thoughts, welcome the input into transitioning into a longer term plan.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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That base is nice!

Welcome to Crazy!

This only works from the bottom up.

Capture+_2021-05-16-22-18-21.png

That small branch is the only one that feels in proportion. I think it's because of the size of the roots.
Something about the straight section is making the "shrub" feeling worse I reckon.

Maybe just cut it back to that small branch. All that movement is good.

I think you'll see budding that you can start building it to be more 3d from there.

Don't be afraid to bring it way in and change the "scale".

You know....people think in terms of "height" too much.
We never talk about scale. Except the damn pests!

Sorce
 

canoeguide

Shohin
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Your first picture after you pruned it looked like a far better front, because there was some movement in the top half of the trunk. Now, as it is oriented in the pot, that top section appears to be straight.

I don't think your wire is doing much for you here - or at least, it's not evident that you've changed much by wiring.

It looks like you've pruned, wired, and repotted all at once. I don't know much about boxwood, but for at least some species this is a lot for the tree to take simultaneously.

I would do nothing but water and care for this tree for a year. In this time, you can consider your options for the future.
 

Shibui

Masterpiece
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Reasonable job for a beginner.
As already pointed out there is no point wiring if the wire is not doing and shaping of the tree. Wire is used to change the placement of branches or twigs.
Just putting wire on a tree does not cause stress. Any tree can be pruned, potted and have wire. The problem comes when the wire is used to substantially change the tree's shape. That will cause some additional stress and is why some people advise not wiring at the same time as potting. Boxwood should also be resilient enough to cope with everything dine at one time.

Agree with @sorce about the long term tree shape. The design you have chosen uses as much of the original trunk and branches as possible which is common for beginners. You now have a trunk with very little shape or taper and many thick branches. That's OK is that is what you are comfortable with at this stage. I would also be looking longer term and probably also consider chopping above the small branch then use that to grow a new apex over the next couple of years but there are always many possible solutions in any tree. Your choice.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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uses as much of the original trunk and branches as possible which is common for beginners

I hold that mantra for Juniper.
It is taught. That probably causes confusion, of course...WTC!

For me, if Juniper is on one side of that (damn here's a different one) scale, boxwood is opposite. Mostly because of the stiff old branches, but also cuz they seem to like being chopped and repotted at the same time.

Sorce
 

pak1351

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Thanks all. Sorce and Shibui, took the advice and made some big chops. I think I wanted a tree as a beginner vs a stump, but better a good tree in a few years vs maintaining a mediocre one. Left a bit of a stub on the bottom branch that I can clean up later if needed. I should have taken a better trunk line on initial styling that had some taper, I guess that’s part of learning

I left the 4th and back branch, thought it may be helpful to heal the chop?
front
D8787896-F989-4602-8B31-DBA7690F5DB8.jpeg
From what should be front
3F630011-161F-4D21-9B1B-2815B27EEA52.jpeg
From back, which may be new front depending on how things heal and if I can get better nebari.
E69A71B5-B97E-4498-A2F5-DCA3FFF9DDA1.jpeg

I mispotted, I actually found tying in the tree to be more difficult than I thought it would be, but I probably tried to do more than necessary. I’ll flip it in a year or two depending on how things shake out.

the wiring was the result of mispotting, I had some gaps and brought branches in to fill dead space
9616D93D-FDEE-4277-BEA1-D2CC07CC0A5D.jpeg
 

Sekibonsai

Shohin
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Thanks all. Sorce and Shibui, took the advice and made some big chops. I think I wanted a tree as a beginner vs a stump, but better a good tree in a few years vs maintaining a mediocre one. Left a bit of a stub on the bottom branch that I can clean up later if needed. I should have taken a better trunk line on initial styling that had some taper, I guess that’s part of learning

I left the 4th and back branch, thought it may be helpful to heal the chop?
front
View attachment 375304
From what should be front
View attachment 375303
From back, which may be new front depending on how things heal and if I can get better nebari.
View attachment 375302

I mispotted, I actually found tying in the tree to be more difficult than I thought it would be, but I probably tried to do more than necessary. I’ll flip it in a year or two depending on how things shake out.

the wiring was the result of mispotting, I had some gaps and brought branches in to fill dead space
View attachment 375306
No one will ever accuse you of being afraid to do the drastic work necessary...
 

pak1351

Seedling
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Been watching too many Peter Chan videos i suppose.

On the plus side, I have a bunch of cuttings hidden in my wife's vegetable garden to maybe turn into a forest next year or keep growing out.
 

RKMcGinnis

Mame
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You’ll probably get a lot of back buds soon so you can pretty much take it anywhere from there.
 

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