Fuji Cherry Defoliation

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about flow, direction, the more artistic side of bonsai and how my trees measure up when evaluating them from a more artistic point of view.  With a few of these concepts in mind, I decided to defoliate most of my shohin Fuji Cherry so that I could better see how the branch structure is developing.

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Current front July 2015

This is the current front as the apex is coming forward, along with most of the foliage.  After accidently breaking a branch last year, there was little left on the opposite side that has the better nebari.  The next photo illustrates better:

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A birds eye view.

I decided to remove most of the leaves from the older, thicker branches and especially those coming forwards.  I want to promote more growth towards the back and I also want this year’s new shoots to thicken as quickly as possible so they were left untouched.

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Defoliation mostly complete. A birds eye view.

I then pruned back branches that didn’t need thickening and thought about a new front for repotting next year.  I realised that instead of most branches coming towards or away from the viewer, I could rotate the tree to alleviate this problem.

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A new front showing the best nebari and foliage more evenly spread forwards and backwards.

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From above.

Last thing to do was loosely wire the new shoots into a better space.

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A lot of work to do with this tree to get the new branches thick enough and then suitably ramified but for the moment I enjoy the flowers in Spring and the leaf colour in autumn.  It’ll be a good while before it’s suitable for winter display.

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