Maintaining bonsai involves letting trees grow and cutting them back. The greater the vigor of the tree, the greater the need for cutback. Of my small collection, my Yaupon holly gets the most cutback. For the second time this year, the tree made a dramatic change in shape.
Before cutback – Fall 2010
After cutback and wiring
Last spring, I didn’t cut it back as hard as usual to discourage the tree from sprouting vigorously. This seems to have worked well – the shoots I left long continued to grow, helping establish the future framework for the tree (see full post: Yaupon holly bonsai). This fall I removed more growth to ensure the interior areas of the tree receive adequate light. I plan to take a similar approach this year, letting the main shoots run while removing unwanted growth. As the tree grows all 12 months of the year around here, I’m hopeful it will develop quickly with this approach. Time will tell!
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