The above seedling was given to me in 2011 by my mother as something that I could put into the garden at some point but at that point I had very little in the way of bonsai material so I decided that I would try and grow it as a very small tree. I left it to grow for a couple of years and fed it heavily with chicken manure and a liquid feed.
The autumn of 2013 provided some great red foliage before it dropped and I decided to repot it the following spring. The next photo shows it in a small mica training pot with free draining soil. A lot of the extended branches were cut back and one sacrifice branch left to thicken the bottom of the trunk.
The tree grew so well that I repotted and rootpruned the following spring to spread the nebari some more in order to thicken the base further. The sacrifice branch was removed. The roots show some promise but I’ am keeping them covered to encourage them to thicken as much as possible. The same container was used for the tree.
This year, I have continued to feed it but not as heavily as I think the trunk is the right size. I only pruned once back in spring. So the time came now to make some decisions about styling. This is the tree before my work this morning:
I reduced all of the long shoots and then cut back the primary branches as they were too long and straight. This has created some good taper which I am happy with. I felt the movement of the tree was to the right was I looked at it but the bottom branch extended the opposite way. I removed it and tilted the pot to create a better image. I don’t think I’ll repot next year – just concentrate on developing ramification on the newly tapered primary branches. I’m hoping for some of that beautiful red colour again in a few months.
At present the tree is only 11cm tall and I intend to keep it at this height.