Looking at this night shot, I was struck by the quantity of ramification developed over the last few years. Often when we look at trees, it’s easy to forget how far they’ve come over time. It can be valuable to look back to see how trees have improved…or digressed over the last few years. It helps reflect back on pruning techniques, mistakes, “should’ves”, and good calls.
First, an overlay of the same group of trees, 5 years earlier…2016.
Chinese Quince, lots of pruning and multiple rounds of wiring has resulted in a denser and quiet canopy.
Ume, not known for developing fine ramification, has also grown a nice, twiggy top
Hawthorn. This 5-year span is not as impressive because in 2016 it was still growing out after significant work in 2014, reducing several primary trunks. The recent shot is a bit messy but the work this year was to restore order: pruning for taper and getting branch clusters down to pairs, wiring out.
Shimpaku has gotten softer, more padding and more rounded. I have also changed the trunk to more upright, and the foliage movement more toward the left:
JBP, lengthened the second branch up on the left. This tree has gotten densely ramified, and the tasks over the last few years have been around maintaining good density.
Nursery stock Shimpaku, subject of a recent pots, shows how much can be achieved in a short time with Shimpaku junipers.
Taking it a step further, corkbark JBP, ‘Taihei’. It resents work, so I am taking it slow…fall pruning only, light wiring, and guy-wires. It has come along better in the last few years after recognizing how slow I need to go.
A couple trident maples. Notice how quickly the last step of making a bonsai, twiggy branches, can be achieved with these:
Japanese black pine with lots of flaws in the upper trunk. Slowly but surely the branch development is coming along. I still have confidence this sill be a great bonsai one day. I love the bark.
Itoigawa, denser and wider. I really need to get around to working on this one again.