This Roughleaf dogwood has made the most of its spring growth. Today’s the day to take the next step in making this tree into a bonsai.
Starting at the bottom, I removed the superfluous shoots in the lower right-hand area in preparation for wiring and positioning branches there.
I started by wiring a young shoot I’d noted in a previous blog, that is emerging from just the right spot at the low trunk chop to provide a foliage mass where I need it.
On the left, I needed more movement in a branch that was already fairly stiff. I wired it with some 3 mm aluminum wire, which allowed me to reposition it where I wanted. You can see that now I’ve gotten all of the low branches in good spots, with some nice movement in each.
I’m a big proponent of “hedging” bonsai in development; it’s a technique I’ve been practicing for over 30 years now, and which has gained popularity at the forum Bonsai Nut based on Walter Pall’s work. Hedging is more or less what it sounds like – you take your shears and shape foliage masses on your tree by rough-pruning to a silhouette. The tree responds by back-budding and increasing its twigging. The added benefit is it allows you to come back and do selective pruning as you build out foliage masses from top to bottom. This is the refinement stage we work toward as we get closer to the best expression of each of our trees.
The final step for today. I’ve had this unglazed Chuck Iker round for a few years now, waiting for the right tree to come along. I’m thinking this is the one. What do you think?