When most of the leaves on deciduous trees have turned color or fallen away, it’s time for fall cutback.
Trident maple ready for cutback
I start by removing the leaves so I can see the branch structure clearly.
After removing the leaves
As you can see, the branch density is good but the branch structure is poor. To improve the branches, I pruned to:
- Shorten shoots that were longer than 1/4″
- Remove downward growing branches
- Thin crowded areas
- Improve the silhouette
After cutback – 12″
Although the result is less dense, it’s easier to follow the line of the individual branches from trunk to branch tip. By repeating the process over the coming years, I hope to increase branch density while refining the directions in which the branches grow.
I recently received a small shipment of akadama. More is on the way, but I don’t know when it will arrive due to current shipping conditions. While supplies last, you can order akadama on the Bonsai Tonight Online Store.
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