Styling a Senegalia (acacia) burkei - advice needed

Bonsaiish

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Hi all! First time poster here…
I bought a black monkey thorn from a nursery 10 days ago. The tree was in dire need of some TLC so I decided it should come home with me. (When my husband saw it, he said it’s the ugliest thing he’s ever seen). I repotted it in a plastic container with bonsai growing material and it’s been doing good since. It’s now a week since repotting.
I really think this tree has some potential, and I have some ideas on how to style it. But can anyone offer some advice please? I am scared to take too much off the trunk (and how? And where?) and which branches to leave or which to cut off and and…. (I have already removed some of the eye-poking ones in the front)

I have attached pictures from all angles, I hope you can make sense of it?

1st pic - Potential front

I’d appreciate any suggestions!
Thanks
 

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Bonsaiish

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Bonsai Nut

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I think the tree has character and you might be surprised how quickly it could turn into something nice.

Make sure you plant the tree low enough in the soil so that it doesn't look like it is doing gymnastics :) You want to create the impression that there are old roots gripping the soil.

If you go with your chosen front (image 1) in addition to planting the tree lower in the soil, I would increase the lean of the trunk so it is closer to 45 degrees. It will work better with your available roots, plus there is a natural arch to the trunk that will make it look like the tree is growing slightly upwards.

Once you have done that, chose your leader / new apex from one of the branches on the upper side of the trunk. Wire it so that it follows the line of the trunk and projects 45 degree to the upper right. Then, based on the trunk line and apex, wire all the rest of the branches so that they sweep down and away from the trunk. The branches on the left side of the trunk (lower side of the tree) should be longer than the branches on the right side.
 

Forsoothe!

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Post #19 has a primer on Bonsai for beginners. It can help you organize your efforts by following the rules of bonsai which guide you when you don't know what to do. You need to buy some wire. Aluminum 1.5, 2.0, & 2.5mm will be useful for your existing branches and ramification. You don't need much for right now.
 

Carol 83

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Welcome to the site!
 

sorce

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I'd only aim to cut off that one thicker swoopingup thingy. But not soon. Maybe soon in SA.

Welcome to Crazy!

Anywhere else with 2 many or three branches emerging from on place should have an eye left on them with a future goal of removing the ones worse for design.

Sorce
 

YukiShiro

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Looks like your tree has only recently budded out? as @sorce stated; remove branches coming from the same place, leaving one of them. You can wire the remaining branches up at 45 degree angle to get that umbrella thorn shape going, if that is what you want to go for. I'd remove those small branches low on the trunk. And yes planting it deeper next spring or maybe the spring after will do a lot for the tree

best regards
Herman
 

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