'blue atlas cedar' ... major pruning for bonsai
Dear Forum Members:
Contemplating the purchase of a Blue Atlas Cedar from a local nursery. I plan to turn this tree into a rather large-size Bonsai, but I have no experience with this particular genus, and I need your input/suggestions as quickly as possible.
The tree is in a 15-gallon container. The trunk of the tree measures about 3-1/2"-4" diameter above the root flare. The trunk is bare of branches for the first 28", and then, two major branches grow, at a slightly ascending angle, from the trunk, directly opposite one another, and they both measure about 1-1/4" diameter. At this point the trunk has tapered down to about 3", or, slightly less. Not a very dramatic taper, I will admit, but the tree has possibilities, with drastic pruning, training of the two bottom branches, and, lots of of wiring, to become a nice "Bunjin-Style" bonsai. I'll use one of the lower branches for a new apex, and,the other one, for a side branch. In about 5-10 years the tree may look decent.
Here's where I need your help.
1. Can I chop back, the portion of the trunk growing above the two main branches? Do I have to cut back the trunk gradually, or, can I just remove the whole central leader?
2. When can drastic, reduction-pruning be done to cedars? What season?
3. When can I wire, and bend branches into position?
4. When can roots be pruned? (This containerized tree has a solid mass of very small tangled roots growing at the surface of the potting mix, and, they do not look alive. I'm sure that if I dig down into the pot, to expose the main roots, that I will encounter plenty of useless, dried out roots.) Can I eliminate these roots?
5. What about aftercare, when tree is drastically pruned?
6. When do I repot this tree, and what kind of soils. Id like to grow this tree in a training container for a few years so that tree will be vigorous when planted into correct pot. Fertilizers, ... and, when?
Please give me some help with this tree. I searched the web-sites for information, but came up with only superficial suggestions, even from bonsai sites! So I"m turning to you guys for help.