It took a while to get to this point, but my semi-cascade coast live oak put on enough new growth to warrant pruning this year.
Here’s a photo of the tree from 2019 (see “Rehabilitating a coast live oak – part 1” for details).
Coast live oak – March, 2019
And here is a photo of the tree from earlier this week.
Now that the tree is growing well, I can remove the dead branches and branches that won’t be used in the final design. I can also shorten the remaining shoots to encourage new growth closer to the trunk.
Here’s the tree after pruning.
After cutback and thinning
Although I’m missing many of the branches I need to complete the design of the tree, I wired the branches that were flexible enough to bend to create a rough silhouette.
After wiring – 17″
Looking at the tree from different angles reveals gaps in the canopy that I hope to fill in over the next few years.
Missing branches on the cascading branch
A gap on the back of the tree
The silhouette looks relatively complete when seen from the side.
It’ll take a few more years before there are enough branches to fill all of the gaps. In the meantime, work will focus on improving branch density by pruning one-to-two times a year.
Handmade scissors are back in stock
A few years ago, my favorite model of trimming scissors went out of production. Just this week, the manufacturer began producing them again.
Handmade trimming scissors
The above model from Kikuwa, along with several models from Kaneshin, are now back in stock. See the Bonsai Tonight Online Store for details.
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