During the weekend I decided to remove sacrifice branches on this hornbeam bonsai tree. As you can see this is not one but two trees. Looking on older picture made shortly after tree was collected from wild, it is clear I have to use different horticultural approach to each one of them. One must be kept rather compact all the time and focus is on developing fine ramification. That is why it was defoliated back in May.
Second one must grow and structure of the crown must be created (from zero in 2010). As you can see on pictures straight trunk was left untouched till recently. Long shoots are very long and have large leaves and lot of foliage. Obviously this leads to thickening of particular trunk segments, which is main target of the operation. If you want to have thick branch, or thicken the trunk, you have to let grow massive amount of foliage over it.
More foliage equals more photosynthesis - more photosynthesis equals bigger transportation routes for created energy- more routes for energy equals thicker branches or trunks.
One thing you have to keep in mind. If you leave sacrifice branch grow too long, you will have to deal with created large scar, after removing it. So you have to keep balance. On other hand you have to resist cutting your tree too soon. With doing so you will make your tree looks tidy, but hardly be able to achieve design target soon. And it is sometimes not so easy to find that balance, but you can learn what works best for you and your tree.
|Picture of the tree after work session during the weekend.|
|after picture from other side.|
|This is picture from May after removing wires and partial defoliation performed on left tree.|
|And this is how tree looked like after editing and wiring this winter.|
|Here is visible thickness of the sacrifice branch gained in few months.|
|You can see difference of leaf sizes. This is from left tree, which was defoliated.|
|And this is from one of the sacrifice branches. So bigger leaves, more leaves, more energy, thicker branch...:)|
|And those are part of right trunk which I would like to develop and thicken. It is obvious I need several more seasons to achieve convincing transition between original trunk and new segments. But I have the time. :)|
|...and this is how tree looked when it was collected in 2009.|