Struggling on shaping

lucasalc46

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Hello all!

i just bought my first bonsai. It’s a Japanese kinzu. Although I have begun to learn about shaping and have a basic understanding, the tree I bought is really stumping me. It has a decent amount of character, but I’m not sure how to work with it. I’m trying to keep it relatively small. I have yet to trim it back because I’m waiting to get an idea before I do so.
Right now it’s 7 inches tall. It has a branch that wraps around the trunk that I think could be an interesting feature as it matures but I’m still unsure what to do. I’m going to attach images below . Feel free to suggest any ideas!

thanks,
Lucas
 

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NaoTK

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Welcome to crazy

It's still very young and trimming it will unnecessarily set you back. I would wire movement into all the branches then forget about and let it grow for several years to thicken up. new buds will pop and you will have a better idea how to style in a couple years
 

lucasalc46

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Welcome to crazy

It's still very young and trimming it will unnecessarily set you back. I would wire movement into all the branches then forget about and let it grow for several years to thicken up. new buds will pop and you will have a better idea how to style in a couple years
Okay! Would you recommend trimming away any of the branches that seem congested?
 

Wulfskaar

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Okay! Would you recommend trimming away any of the branches that seem congested?
From what I've read, maybe.

Sometimes when multiple branches come out of one spot, it will cause that spot to bulge and created inverse taper, which is generally not what you want. People use "sacrifice branches" to thicken the trunk near where the branch comes out. If there are too many or they aren't where you want thickening, then consider removing.
 

lucasalc46

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From what I've read, maybe.

Sometimes when multiple branches come out of one spot, it will cause that spot to bulge and created inverse taper, which is generally not what you want. People use "sacrifice branches" to thicken the trunk near where the branch comes out. If there are too many or they aren't where you want thickening, then consider removing.
One last question, do you guys think that wrapping around branch is worth keeping around in the future? I'd prefer to keep the tree shorter but if I kept that branch around it would have to be taller. I don't have enough of a vision to imagine what the wrapping would look like in the future, and if its even worth it. Any ideas?
 

ShadyStump

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now thinking about it, since I'm going to keep it in the in a larger container to allow it to grow, I should be focusing more on the trunk than the branches. so should I bother with tha branch?
You just figured it out. ;)

You could easily get away with leaving the thing completely alone for a few years, but like @Nao TK said, some wiring now wouldn't be TOO hasty. Focus on your trunk, and your branches will follow right behind, whether you want them to or not.
 

Wulfskaar

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Just fyi... I'm only in my 2nd year of being into this, but I have learned a lot so far because I've had many similar questions. I still have a TON to learn, so it's good to get more opinions.

That said, I think ShadyStump and NaoTK are sending you down the right path of focusing mainly on the trunk until your vision of an end result starts coming into focus.
 

Katie0317

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You'll need to add your location under your user name so people know what part of the world you're in.

It's in an odd pot. You might want to consider putting it in something smaller, maybe a medium sized pond basket so the roots are air pruned. You can google it.

Also, are you adding fertilizer? The leaves look like they're getting yellow.
 

lucasalc46

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You'll need to add your location under your user name so people know what part of the world you're in.

It's in an odd pot. You might want to consider putting it in something smaller, maybe a medium sized pond basket so the roots are air pruned. You can google it.

Also, are you adding fertilizer? The leaves look like they're getting yellow.
Ok! just added it.

Ok, as I'm still growing the plant out, how long would you recommend to stay in this grow style pot? I look into the ones you recommended.

I just got the tree a week ago and so I assume shock might be the reasoning behind the yellowing. Yes I am.
 

lucasalc46

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Just fyi... I'm only in my 2nd year of being into this, but I have learned a lot so far because I've had many similar questions. I still have a TON to learn, so it's good to get more opinions.

That said, I think ShadyStump and NaoTK are sending you down the right path of focusing mainly on the trunk until your vision of an end result starts coming into focus.
Ok Thanks! I really love how involved the community is in helping beginners like me!
 

lucasalc46

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could I cut the trunk down to where there are no leaves? or should I wait for it to potentially back bud lower on the trunk?
 

ShadyStump

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could I cut the trunk down to where there are no leaves? or should I wait for it to potentially back bud lower on the trunk?
If it's not in prime health you shouldn't hard chop the trunk. Wait for it to recover completely, then a little extra just to be sure.

I'm unfamiliar with this species, but generally you need to prune or chop to spur back budding. Maybe someone else can answer more specifically about how and when to cut.

As long as it drains well and you're watering properly, the container it's in should be ok.
Have you heard the chopstick trick yet? Stab a wooden or bamboo chopstick or skewer into the soil under the tree and leave it there. Use it as dipstick to check the soil moisture. Wait until the stick is almost dry, but not quite, before soaking the soil all the way through until it runs out the bottom of the pot.
 

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