Here is a shot before the work. I started this as an air-layer about 10 years ago, and it has been mostly container-grown. It has a decent nebari developing under the soil which will have the characteristic ‘arakawa’ bark as it becomes exposed over time.
Branch grown and shaped for thread-grafting
To fill in this space, just under the cut scar and above where it originates from the trunk:
On to the pruning…heavy, long internodes, and those pointing up need to go:
Another example, before:
This one looks pretty good, evenly balanced, tertiary branches emerging in pairs, laterally:
A branch terminating in 3 shoots, prune down to an acute pair, emerging side-by-side:
Crossing branches need to go, especially those which are heavy and pointing straight up. These are the strong shoots that will run long, and overshadow the rest of the tree, and weaken the branches around them.
Finished for now.
A comparison from winter 2019 to late fall 2020, one year of work:
The pot? Older Yozan with the kiln’s iconic red clay.
This project is 6 years in the making, 8 if you go all the way back to when I collected the tree in 2013. I grafted it with itoigawa in 2014, and finally had the confidence to separate it in March of 2020.