This hawthorn was trunk-chopped in ’99, and collected in ’00. Every branch has been grown over the last 14 years. As bonsai start to mature, it becomes necessary to refine areas that have already been refined. This can be difficult because of the sweat equity already invested, but trees continue to grow, and these tasks become necessary to keep the bonsai improving.
The tree is basically a broom style, and as the apex gets stronger, replacing thick branches with thinner branches in the crown will improve the grace and appearance of age. Notice the thick branch in the center of the apex? It kind of stands out:
Here is a closer shot of that apex:
And the thick shoot to remove:
Make a nice, clean cut, and use a gouge to smooth out the edges:
The offending shoot:
Wire remaining, thinner shoots into the space: