Bonsai Tonight

Developing olive bonsai from scratch

Posted in Before and after, Bonsai Development by Jonas Dupuich on September 21, 2012

I’ve been working with the stump of a small olive this year. After removing most of the trunk in winter, I now have plenty of shoots from which to select new branches. While there’s not too much to this work, it’s important in that it sets the structure for the tree’s future.

Olive - front

Olive – front

Right side

Right side



As the tree had two trunks, I removed the less interesting of the two and covered the wound with cut-paste. I don’t have great expectations about the wound healing, but will be happy if any of it does. Often large wounds only close on olive bonsai when they are growing vigorously – in other words, when they are in the ground. I removed the shoots that emerged from the base of the trunk and those that grew near the big cut at the apex. This left a small number of shoots that will form the basic branches. I wired these down and added curves and left it at that.

Olive - after wiring shoots

After cutback and wiring

I’ll remove the top part of the trunk when the new apex thickens, and will continue to develop the branches over time. In the meantime, I’ll have yet another omoshiroi tree on the bench.

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