One bonsai variety that I’d like to see a lot more of is crabapple. They make great shohin, great mid-size trees in medium displays, and, occasionally, outstanding full-size specimens.
Kokufu Prize-winning crabapple on display in 2016
I particularly appreciate the color they can add to fall shows. One common variety of crabapple is Malus sieboldii. I started some from seed last year and have found they grow quickly.
Now is a good time to wire deciduous seedlings like crabapple. If you have seedlings that are still perfectly straight, grab some wire and gently apply it to the trunk.
Wired crabapple seedling
Once the wire is in place, add some bends.
It’s hard to go too wrong at this point. The main thing is to avoid finding several flats of unwired trees in your collection that are too stiff to bend.
Have more than one? Try making some tall and some short, some twisty and others curvy. There’s still time to adjust the ultimate size and style of the trees in the future. With a little wire, they’ll be that much more fun to work with next spring.
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