Redbud 2009

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OK, don't laugh but here is what I have done so far. I cut it back pretty good over winter and it responded with growth patterns all over the spectrum. Some areas are strong (bottom branches) and some weak (upper part of tree).

I know that it excedes the 1 to 6 ratio but I am ok with that. I need to worry about getting good ramification. I suppose that there are several ways to go about doing this.

Either I will do a complete defoliation and trim back into shape.

or a partial defoliation and trim back into shape (leaving the end leaf on each branch tip)

or should I just fire up the Stihl and wack it back to stumps closer to the 1 to 6 ratio and start over?


The nebari is funky but hey I never intended on getting into Bonsai during the first 8 years of it's growth.

Cheers

Marc
 

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snobird

Mame
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Yeah, photo 3 reminded me that this is a redbutt. But, seriously,: this material looks promising.
 

rockm

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Airlayer?

If this were mine, I'd think about air layering the trunk just above than nasty funky nebari. The trunk at just above the haunches of the current nebari has nice taper to the apex and the resulting air layer could produce more even rootage and a pleasing line.

Currently, the nebari is not workable in my opinion. It's plain ugly and ungainly. Beyond the chuckle factor of a "redbutt" bonsai the nebari is simply distracting. It will only get more so as those tangled crossed roots get bigger and uglier.

That's a pity because freed from that ungainly nebari, the trunk has some nice features that would make a pretty nice bonsai down the road.
 
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uuuhgg

I new someone would say airlayer:). The reason why I still have this thing is because I am emotionally attached to it. I aquired it as a seedling 12 or so years ago. It is my child, you know the retarded one. It would not have all of these problems if I new then what I know now. You can actually see the concentric rings of roots starting from when it was in a one gallon can and then a five gallon can.

The good news is that I was able to get a 2" dia. cutting to take. You know, roots and leafs are sprouting out everywhere on it and all that jazz.
An airlayer may actually be the best option for the continued health of Redbutt the recalcitrant Redbud.

It is strangling itself with it's own roots and the root work it would need may prove fatal at this point.

What would you suggest would be the best time of year to air layer? I would think in June or July.
 
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rockm

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Sentimentality can prevent alot of things

It boils down to --you want a decent bonsai, or you want a keepsake, knick-knack, conversation piece? One or the other is fine, but this can't be both.

Sentimentality about a tree is fine, but sentimentally-driven trees are almost always the worst in anyone's collection. I have some, but they are becoming scarcer as their futility as bonsai overwhelms my desire to keep them.

Sentimentality essentially blocks for all time, the development of a good bonsai from this kind of material. It clouds the vision to big flaws. It prevents necessary pruning, it prevents redesign, it just prevents...Sentimentality can be an obstacle. It has to be overcome with some trees.

You can air layer anytime there is green growth beyond the layer's beginning and there's enough time for the new roots to begin and harden off before the first frost--this is about 6-8 weeks...
 

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