Choosing Branches   1 comment

Early in a bonsais life those first branches must be wired. They may not be the exact branches that will determine the final design, but wiring early will help make finer decisions on down the road. Late this afternoon I made some decisions and wired those first branches helping to develop some shape in the future tree. I may keep all of them, I may remove many of them or I may chose others down the road. Allowing rank growth when a trunk is at a good size is just wasting design energy that could be better spent in developing a branch structure.

This small pyracantha was the first to get a prune back and some first wire. At this time this is all I have to work with due to the old nature of the wood. This may or maynot be the future front. Only time will tell. I can’t take the chanmce that more buds “may” pop, and so have to wire now or lose what I have now.


This small pyracantha was going to be layered into two trees. I have no idea what happened but suspect that the top either succumbed to blight or the bottom was cut too deeply when I layered it and cut off the water supply. either way it is dead now and so on to plan B.


The top was sawed off and all the tools were cleaned just in case. Some pruning and some no 8 copper wire was applied to the left branch. It was grasped with the pliers and bent up and twisted somewhat to get the branches into a better position.


With the wire on and the top bent over I can wire out some of the smaller branches. Wireing these smaller branches now will give me a headstart on developing the canopy. Pyracantha fatten up on the branches very quickly and during the growing season they will just snap due to turgidity.


For now this will have to do. I have wired everything there is still alive and all I can do now is let it grow some and keep the long growth in check to help these branches ramify. This wire will only stay on for a couple months at most as the branches on pyracantha set very quickly.


This trident maple semi cascade is coming along OK. I have decided that the long tail will be cut off at the end of the year. It comes off the trunk too far in the back of the design and is not convincing. I also wish the tree to be more compact. There is a gap between the green close to the trunk and the tuft out on the tip. It is the end of the green nearest the trunk that I wish to extend a little and cut off that leader that comes from down low and from the back.


This is one of the tridents I took to the exhibit last weekend. I cut this one back and chose branches to wire and applied the wire. These branches will be chopped and regrown many times over the coming years. This is just to set the direction it moves off the trunk.


The same was done with this cork bark elm. I have retained the larger branch stub to develop into number one only because these elms make large branches very quickly. It will have to be held back while those others down low will be allowed to grow long and build girth. Again, these will be chopped back and regrown many times like the tridents.


This is the larger trident that is shown in “9 easy steps”. The primary branches have been set and the secondaries are maturing. This maple was just hedge pruned to keep the ramification in check. Over the next two years it will be selectivly pruned in fall to remove any heavy branches and then allowed to grow and hedge two or three times per season.


This small maple is in the second year of hedge pruning to achieve shape. One more year ought to be really nice.


This an update on the large pyracantha I dug up from the commercial building a couple weeks back. It seems to be really happy and is popping all over the place. Wired one branch and wired what I consider a possible leader and bent it up and applied a turnbuckle to keep it there. The portion of the trun directly behind the turnbuckle will be removed later to smooth the transition from large trunk to tapered area. There is a lot of superfluous branching and stuff going on around these trunks that does not show up well in a photo. That will all be dealt with later this fall.




One response to “Choosing Branches

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  1. Nice post. Most people don’t realize that the branches will be grown, cut back , regrown many times.
    I’m also glad that the collected pyracantha lived. Nice tree

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