New beginner trees

moulman(6a)May 24, 2007

I have been interested in Bonsai for a long time, and have been reading and studying constantly. I finally feel ready to begin, so I recently began scouring the local nurseries for a victim.... er....starter tree.

I purchased two over the last few weeks. One is a Korean Box in a one gallon pot. It has some interesting visible roots and a natural "loop" of a main root that looks like it could easily be made to straddle a rock. The trunk base is approx. 1" dia, and rises angularly to a spot where three branches spread (almost like an inverted pyramid) evenly. There is no main trunk above this point.

I have pruned it to accomodate the shape of the existing branches - it is overall 14" high, with a 10" spread.

My question - although it has a pleasing shape, is it worthwhile to persue enhancing this form, or would it be best to cut branches and form a higher main trunk (I hope I am explaining myself sufficiently)? - grow a thicker trunk, etc?

The second tree (well, plant) is a Salix Integra - a larger plant than the Box - it is in a 3gal. pot - trunk approx 2 1/2", nice taper - it had some damaged foliage that was dried, which I pruned. It is 20". I have pruned it to three main branches. It had some significant branching very low on the trunk that I have removed. This left some large wounds where they were removed. ( 3/4 - 1" dia).

As these seem so large, will these wounds be very noticable when healed? Some are facing what I have determined would be the best "front" of the plant.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. If I can, I will post some pics.


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Hi, pix would be helpful, but the first thing you want to do is stop cutting lower branches - they're the ones (at least 1-2) that help thicken the trunk (as would in-ground planting x 1-2 yrs). You can always cut them eventually if they don't fit with your design. Also, box grows SO slowly, so be careful about what you prune off... However, if you are sure of what you want from it, do feel free to chop it right down and wait for new branches to emerge that you can guide to your style (and take advantage of the newly fatter trunk being more in proportion with an older tree... which is the idea, of course). As far as the willow goes, same thing, though it grows a lot faster than the boxwood. The bark should heal over in time. And don't fuss too much about fronts - they're overrated I think, and whatever feels right to you and looks best should be what you go with.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Hi Lucy, thanks for your response.

I posted a couple of pics in the gallery

and link below

Here is a link that might be useful: trees

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 5:44PM
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Sometimes, and I do mean only sometimes, I think the wounds give the trees character. When you're driving a long (or walking if you don't live a huge city like I do) notice how so many trees have wounds. It happens naturally - limbs break or die. I love the trees that have the knobs on them. They remind me of an old oak we had at the house where I grew up. My dad had pruned our favorite climbing limb to park the van =0( and it left this perfectly round knob on the tree that was at least twelve inches in diameter. So much of design can be subjective. I am fascinated by a lot of looks, but they are not necessarily pleaseing to look at for me. That's what makes it art, right?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 7:28AM
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