The first step when creating branches from scratch on coast redwood pre-bonsai is to stimulate lots of new shoots. Once this new growth appears, the next step is to trim the shoots on the upper portions of the trunk to begin developing compact branches (aka short internodes).
(See “Step one” for details about starting the process.)
Here’s a multi-trunk coast redwood covered with new shoots.
Multi-trunk coast redwood
And here’s the tree after shortening new growth where I want to create dense branching.
After pruning, 31″
The lowest shoots will grow freely so they can thicken before pruning. Once they reach the desired thickness they can be reduced. Here’s what this looks like.
Coast redwood before pruning
After pruning, 12″
The upper branches are now short which will help me create a dense crown. The lowest branches on the right were reduced so I can get started on the secondary branching. The lowest branches on the left will grow freely so they can thicken some more before pruning.
This middle stage of development can be repeated as many times as it takes to create the silhouette you’re looking for. For small trees the process might take 1-2 years; for larger trees, 3-5 years.
Thanks for Max for the help with the pruning and to Peter Tea for the inspiration.
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