peh3's "This is not a Contest" Tree Entry


Southern Germany
Originally I didn't get this for the not-a-Contest, but since it fits the criteria and I got it just 2 weeks ago. I figured I might as well entry.
It is a Thuja Occidentalis, hedge material from a hardware store, they were reduced from 4,49€ to 2,49€.
I've often bought near dead and very negleted trees that were reduced to try out things and see if I could make something out of it. Most died, but I did not care too much about them anyways, as it was for this tree, but with this contest I am going to try to actually make something out of it.
Some Background info since I haven't mentioned this at all: I just started to get interested in Bonsai last year in december. I've tried to learn as much as I could before I started to get a tree. Then I got my first tree mallsai right after the new year when the shops opened up again (it died shortly after). So this is my first year in bonsai and as such my first growth season.

This is the tree how I got it:
This is the tree midway after I removed some branches I knew wouldn't be needed:
This is after I was done torturing it:

Here are some better pictures I took after deciding I'd entry in the Contest:
Thuja_April_04.jpg.JPG Thuja_April_05.jpg.JPG Thuja_April_06.jpg.JPG

The soil was some kind of dusty sand, I'd have kept it like that but I had a hard time watering the tree. The water wouldn't penetrate properly, keeping the bottom of the soil dry.
I used whatever I had left over to repot it, about 40% Seramis 40% Attapulgite (Cat Litter) 20% Pine Bark, Lava and some Broken Expanded Clay.

I don't think I did a good job pruning at all. For now my plan is to just keep it growing and decide on what I could do with it after the growth season.
For now I just know that I will probably remove the two branches on the bottom eventually and that I might Jin one of the tops. Possibly also shortening it a bit more.
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
Thuja are a good species for bonsai. Most of what is written about Hinoki (Chamaecyparis) applies to Thuja, so there's plenty of material on this site and out on the web to read. Thuja does not bud back on mature wood at all, (at least not easily) so keep more branches than you normally would, especially ones with foliage near the trunk.

Your start is okay, i would now let it grow out the rest of this season.