I was afraid that I had lost this Fuji Cherry last summer when it was preyed upon by devouring caterpillars and the foliage withered. Flower buds are appearing so its definitely not dead! I removed the weeds and gave it a light 0 nitrogen feed so hopefully that’ll give it a wee boost.
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.
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:
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.
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.
A new front showing the best nebari and foliage more evenly spread forwards and backwards.
Last thing to do was loosely wire the new shoots into a better space.
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.