Ramification on developed trees

IzzyG

Sapling
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Good morning all. I’m trying to find some clarification on pruning back ramification on more developed trees. Every video explaining pruning talks about basically removing a few types of growth;

1: crotch growth
2: 3s to 2s
3: cutback to maintain shape
4: obviously non lateral growth(any shoots growing above or below the lateral plane of the branch).

So my question is, do you follow all of these guidelines for developed trees? Seems like a perpetually lateral only growth doesn’t create “body” and would just be a long branch with lateral growth.

Here’s an example of a pad on a developed tree that needs to be pruned. It has volume/body because of the overgrowth(which includes non lateral growth)

A8FE0ED3-38B4-4C17-A37C-EF34E9D0048E.jpeg


Following the guidelines regarding pruning, the results are as below but it then loses that body and looks rather sparse

78B16367-A4E2-4400-B766-34908EFD8BA1.jpeg

Thoughts?
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Trim the unwired one in your palm, removing about 50% of the foliage on that shoot. Otherwise looks good.

Ramification development practices can be different depending on species. In the case of junipers you want to strike a balance between opening up the foliage to allow sun and wind into the interior of the tree, versus removing too much foliage and weakening the tree. You also want to balance growth on apically dominant trees so that you are a little more aggressive on the top of the tree, while being a little less so on lower and interior branches. Also with junipers if you remove too much, the foliage can revert (temporarily) back to needle (prickly) foliage instead of staying scale (soft) foliage. This is less of an issue with shimpakus, where it is pretty easy to maintain scale foliage, but in the case of San Jose or Procumbens junipers, it can be a real challenge.

Once your tree is strong and you prune to open up the foliage mass and balance strength in the tree, you will get back-budding and your interior shoots will strengthen. You just have to keep at it, because if you let your tree grow like a topiary for a couple of years, all that growth will tend to die off because it gets shaded out. However with junipers you can almost always get back-budding... even on very old wood. (On the second image below, note the green scale foliage on the descending branch that I am letting run to fill out the design of the tree - I'm trying to get that branch as strong as possible even though it is a low branch (this is a San Jose juniper)).

(Note - I know you are asking specifically about developed trees - I was just posting these photos of how you can get junipers to backbud and fill in from aggressive pruning).

08_04_sanjose2_sm2.jpg

14_11_15_sanjose2_lg2.jpg
 
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NaoTK

Shohin
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Here is a ramified shimpaku in Amy Liang's garden. This was in the Kokufu at one time. Countless pads are layered to create the helmet effect. Over time it gets larger, but with tip pinching you can keep the size constant.

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Grego83

Yamadori
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Yes, I follow those rules for ramification on developed trees. The "body" should come from other branches filling in the empty space. Pruning back following these rules, when the tree is strong, at the right time of year, should promote back-budding allowing you to create other branches for increased ramification. Meaning the long branch is not simply extending but strengthening from inside out, if that makes sense. What I know from experience though is this - the tree must be strong though for this to happen. I think that's why some juniper bonsai end up looking leggy or sparse or whatever you want to call it.
 
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