Mid-May is when I usually begin working on my deciduous bonsai. If a tree has grown well, I’ll reduce the new shoots to 2-4 leaves and wire any branches that need adjusting.
An ume in my garden has been growing vigorously this year. It’s time for cutback.
It was hard for me to see how the branches were arranged in the tree’s interior so I reduced the longest shoots before taking a closer look.
After reducing the longest shoots
From here I could start wiring. I used aluminum wire and further reduced the branches as I worked, starting with the lowest cascading branches. Near the top, I bent everything down as I want new branches in this area to round out the apex just above the current level of foliage.
After thinning and wiring
From the left side
I’ll plan on more cutback in fall depending on how much the tree grows between now and then.
When the wiring was complete, I took note of how the deadwood has aged since I did some carving last year. I have yet to apply lime-sulfur or similar treatments to the deadwood – the colors here are natural.
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