I collected this riverflat hawthorn, Crataegus opaca, in February of 2015. This is a photo of the tree a few months later, after it had put on a first flush of growth. With plenty of new branches to choose from, the initial styling was not difficult.
Fast-forward another few months, and you can see this bonsai in the making is really doing its thing. Particularly impressive is the new leader, which performed ideally in its first growing season.
This tree will be coming out in the next week or so. There are a couple of development chores that need doing as a result: one, perform the angle cut in the apex where the original trunk chop was made; and two, smooth the tapering transition low in the trunk where the second, larger trunk was removed at the time of collecting.
And here it is, about 10 minutes later. I’ve turned the tree a bit, and I think this angle is actually preferable. Both tapering transitions now look very natural.
The next chore on my list is to shorten the new leader. I’m going to wait till the tree leafs out, so I can use the removed leader for cuttings. Ordinarily I’d perform this operation now, sealing the cut end of the leader to prevent drying out.
This tree is available at our Hawthorn Bonsai sale page. It can ship in about two weeks, once the first flush of growth is underway.