I started working on an olive bonsai last summer. After taking the tree home and letting new shoots grow out, I wired the ones I needed and removed the rest. One year later, I’m doing the same thing.
Olive bonsai – one year in training
The idea is to establish the main branches. Once they are wired, I let them grow so they can thicken.
I also started working on the deadwood. The top several inches of the trunk were straight and uninteresting, especially compared with the lower areas of the trunk. I’d put off the work as I know that olive deadwood can be hard. Boon showed me a tip to make the work easier.
Using hammer and chisel on olive deadwood
I liked the hammer and chisel technique as the wood mostly flaked off along the wood grain. This helps maintain a natural feeling and reduces the number of tool marks left behind. I removed about 2/3 of the straight section – more will come off in the future. Here’s the tree after reducing the deadwood and wiring the main branches.
After cutback, wiring and deadwood work – 17.5″
For now the branches have a lot of growing to do. I’ll work on the deadwood again at some point and will repot the tree either this winter or next.
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