I potted this Water-elm earlier in the season. It came home last August, and recovered very well. Since Water-elms love the summer heat, I know I can do some development work now.
It’s common to have to make choices as you develop your trees. In this case, I have a situation where there is a large chop on the trunk that was necessary post-collection, and I have what was originally another upright branch that had to be cut back. I can’t remove the stub from this original branch, or I risk losing the entire right-hand trunk. So the better-developed branch has to go.
This is an example of giving up something now for something better later on. You’ll do this a lot as you continue on your bonsai journey.
Next came the lowest branch on the left-hand trunk. I’ve also done a very rough trim to shape on the tree overall. This should be part of your development plan for every deciduous tree you work on (excluding American beech, but that’s another story).
This is also a good time to start carving some of the chops that were made when this tree first came home.