We collected this in 2010, and after 3 years of good growth in the same pot, it was time to start it down the road to becoming a bonsai. It has excellent bark, good size (trunk diameter if around 6″, 42″ tall), and plenty of alternatives. The trunk seems to have been hit by a falling tree at some point in the distant past, forcing the otherwise straight trunk to take a 90 degree bend, and a nice wiggly path up and to the right towards daylight. A second trunk forms a “Y”, and moves upright, back and left from the same split, and a new shoot formed at the top of the knob. Here is the tree before we started:
The goal is to use as much of the tree as possible, find the best trunk line, highlight the interesting features, and frame those features with foliage.
The bends required us to use raffia to protect the branches from cracking during the bends:
The main trunk line became the larger of the two, and we bent the smaller trunk from the “Y” from a back-left trunk down to become the lower right primary branch. It took several guy wires, but the branch was very compliant:
After setting the main branch, it became a matter of moving the rest of the foliage into place to frame the trunk. The apex is still coarse, and left upright to keep it strong.