Their tiny leaves flowers and fruits are very charming and this makes step so very suitable for bonsai

Text and photography: Bonsai Focus Studio. Skills: Martin Bonvie

EBA 2013 New Talent winner Martin Bonvie leads you through the first steps in improving a mid-size step

Analysing the tree

This tree already has a very pleasing appearance, a thick trunk and well developed set of branches. Why change it if it looks so good already? Well, a close inspection reveals that it has many hidden faults. Branches are way out of proportion and crisscross one another. Then there is the base which has some ugly roots. Time to do some drastic work to correct all this for the future. You should have no fear of pruning because we are going to remove many of these branches creating a clear basic shape and a more delicate branch structure. To correct the ugly root base we tilt the tree to the back and right side and later repot it into this position, the big root at the right will look less disturbing. Thick branches at the top will be removed to open the structure. Branches and trunk will be more in balance.

It has a very thick root on the right side

Many of the branches inside crisscross, are just too thick. or in the wrong place. The trunk is not visible because of the many crossing branches.

Inspect the root base with a chop stick

The final choice of the front has been made: the movement and taper of the trunk is best when seen from this side

Thick branches close to the first branch are cut

Which branch to cut?

The goal here is to improve the branch structure by removing those branches which cross one another or are just too thick. Lots of branches grow from the same side of the trunk or grow very close to one another. Now it's time to make corrections for its future appearance. Look for the first and second branches. The first branch on the right needs to stand out as well as the second branch. Branches which obstruct them are removed. The same goes for the back and top branches.

Thick branches growing above the first branch are cut as well.

 

The first branch on the right needs to stand out as well as the second branch. Branches which obstruct them are removed. The same goes for the back and top branches.

 

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