Early pruning for shape.   6 comments

I have two trees that were in need of a drastic makeover. They were over grown and one suffered some borer damage and lost some key branches that helped with shape.


The top is heavy and it needs more balance between top branches and the bottom branches. The bottom branches should be the heavies while they diminish as it moves up the trunk. The upper area on the left is heavy and needs more definition between branches. It needs os negative spaces.

Height: 12″

Trunk at soil: 2.5″

Pot: 10″ x 8″ x 3″



The branches have been pruned and shaped and there is lightness in the image. There is much more negative space now in the canopy and the entire trunk can be seen, ugly as it is…


This pyracantha lost three very important branches a couple years ago due to borer damage. The borers have been eradicated, but now I have to restyle the tree.


This tree is in need of a some special help to get a decent shape back. The branches that were lost left big holes in the canopy. Last year in an effort to have something to work with, the tree was heavily fed to increase green growth. The sub trunk on the left side is completely lost in the foliage and it will have to be pruned down to expose its shape.

Height: 29″

Trunk at soil: 8.5″

Pot: 20″ x 14″ x 5″



The sub trunk was cleaned up and pruned back. Wire was added where necessary. A few guy wires were used for a couple places that were too difficult to wire properly. All the foliage was cut back and the top was wired and some branches were pulled down to fill voids. As the season wears on new corrections will be made to balance further the canopy and allow the leaves to fill in the harshness of 1,2, back branch feel.


Below is a few pictures showing the borer damage and what is left of the branch stubs.





Posted March 1, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

6 responses to “Early pruning for shape.

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  1. Looking good Baba! How hard is the wood on elms? Do they rot easy?

  2. This was very educational for me, Al. I didn’t realize anything bothered pyracantha, although, as I think of it, you see lots of dead branches in old ranch bushes!

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