When is a sick tree “recovered” enough to trim?

smc

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Hi,

I’m about a year into my bonsai journey and am trying to figure out when is the right time to cut back my Lavendar Star tree. What I don’t know is if I should cut it back now because it is quite grown out and it’s not a deciduous tree (so I don’t think there is any issue trimming before winter), or should I let it keep growing because it was previously in weak health and is now just 4-6 months into recovery. For the winter, it has an indoor home that has lots of light + supplemental lighting.

Below are three photos of the tree. One after I bought it in Sept 2018 (it was a bit overgrown). One in November 2018 after I did a great job of almost killing it - between over watering, a large scale infestation and not enough light, and now after I let it grow out in full sun outside during the summer and getting rid of the scale.

It is obviously quite grown out now but for a tree that was recently weak should I let it just keep growing to rebuild maximum strength or should I consider cutting it back now so it doesn’t totally lose its shape?

Thanks!
 

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Carol 83

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It looks like it's recovered well, congrats. Unless, you have really good grow lights, they tend to get leggy in the winter, so I don't think trimming it up a bit is going to hurt anything. Try and root some cuttings from what you cut off. Please add your location to your profile so people know what part of the world you are in to give you the best advice for your climate.
 

penumbra

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You did a great job of bringing it back. 99 in a 100 in the shape it was in die in the hands of a newbie. I would cut it back but keep it growing under good grow lights.
 

smc

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Thanks :)

It took a trip to a bonsai nursery for help, a re-potting to get rid of the old soil that held too much moisture, a change of environment to more sun and a long battle with scale. All the credit goes to friendly people who are more knowledgeable and were willing to help.

It sounds like it’s safe to cut back. I’ll search the forums for advice on Lavendar Star trimming.
 
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