That Boxelder I lifted last month did so well I thought I’d lift another one. Might as well have two to play with next year. For this specimen, my plan is somewhat different as I want to build the trunk from the ground up. In this blog post, I’ll show you what I have in mind. It’s the sort of technique you’re likely to practice many times in the course of your bonsai journey.
When you chop a trunk low down, you often will be looking for adventitious buds to emerge from the chopped trunk. It’s from those that you choose a new leader. In the case of this Boxelder, I had a low branch that will give me something of a head start. It also happens to have a bud, at an obvious node, that will work perfectly with my plan.
The branch I chopped to is obviously a good deal smaller than the trunk, so it’s vital that I thicken up its base where it emerges from the trunk. Again, this is a technique you’ll use many times and it’s critical to get it right.
I encourage everyone to take up drawing when they get into bonsai. It’s one of the best tools I know to plan out a tree. Notice in this case how I have “drawn through” the existing leader to illustrate both the thickening of the base, along with the eventual trunk line I’ll get when I repeatedly cut back the leaders. This is to show you both where this tree is along with where it’s going.
This is how I envision the final appearance of this tree. If I take each step the right way, and patiently grow out the leaders while positioning branches as they emerge, I should end up with an outstanding bonsai with great taper and movement. Let me know what you think of this project in the making. Do you use drawings or photos to help you style your trees?