A little project

Following from an earlier article I wrote on the subject of bonsai on a budget where I explained that buying starter trees was one if the cheaper ways of keeping bonsai.

This article is about the development of a tree which I bought at a traders event in October 2018.

I was looking for something of Shohin size and was debating between two trees, this Acer and a Premna.

I missed out on the Premna when it was bought by someone else, which in a way was fortunate as I don’t have ideal facilities to overwinter such a tree, something to be considered when purchasing any tree.

When I purchased the tree it had absolutely no foliage and had obviously recently been pruned. This was a bit of a risk as it was impossible to tell how healthy it was or how it had grown that year, however the trader is reputable which is also something to consider when buying material, so I was reasonably confident that it would be okay.

I repotted the tree during the spring of this year and it grew healthily as can be seen in this autumn image.

The extension growth was predominantly vertical which was hidden by the foliage during the growing season, but is something which I ultimately wish to change.


After the tree shed it’s foliage this was really noticeable and prompted the need to carry out the initial styling of the tree.

As can be easily seen the tree does not follow one of the basic principles of bonsai, namely that it does not fall within a triangular outline.

To achieve the design which I have in mind the lowest branches need to be repositioned and working on deciduous trees is easier when there is no foliage.

There are three options to achieving this, wire the branches along their length, use weights to pull them down or use tourniquet wires.

Considering the options, I decided on wiring along each branch that I identified for repositioning taking care to avoid the tiny buds which are barely visible.

Several of the branches will be reduced in length in the spring to start the improvement in ramification and hopefully this will become quite a nice shohin in the coming years.