Well, I’d been putting off this chore far too long. After repotting it into a slightly undersized container, I wanted it to regain some strength before unwiring and pruning it back, but it was a balancing act between pushing it too far and just right. June 11 was the day, carefully unwired the buried wires, and pruned it back.
Wires digging in are carefully removed with wire cutters and thumbnails to minimize the bark pulling away from the wood:
And finally, after this much is removed:
It should be set for the rest of the growing season, and ready to be wired in the winter:
This itoigawa was grown out for years in a 2-gallon can, and I’ve been reducing the root mass since 2011. This will be its 3rd bonsai pot, and maybe I’ve pushed it too far…?
Current, production-grade Yamaaki; 11×3″
Last of the nursery soil is removed:
10 1/4″ wide and 1 7/8″ deep Hokido container from a tokoname potter that fired pots from about 1979-1990.
With the canopy thinned out in a few weeks, it should appear less top-heavy.