live oak update

Sneak Peek

Sometimes you have to start over with a bonsai. That has been the case with this old Live oak I was left by a bonsai friend who passed.

Live Oak Update

Back in May I started the rebuilding process on what started out as a legacy tree I was bequeathed by a good bonsai friend. The tree had been in training for quite some time, and was actually in need of renewal pruning when I first got it. Not wanting to tamper (at least not at first), I “nibbled” at it for a few years until the tree made it clear I needed to get on with the business at hand. I was left with just a stump, but that was enough.

Here we are, after the work on May 16th.

Here’s the tree, untouched except to remove the wire that was biting into the branches when I caught it (oops!). Not too bad, fortunately. Well, that’s a heck of a lot of growth.

We start with trimming off everything that doesn’t look like a Live oak bonsai (that’s a take on the old joke about carving an elephant from a big block of marble – just chip away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant).

Now we start applying wire. The branches grow where they want, of course, subject to their whims and my pruning shears.


More wire, more shaping. Those drooping branches are what Live oaks are known for, and though the superstructure of this tree is not in the classic form I think I can pull off a representative appearance with what I have to work with.

The final change for today is to lighten up that left-hand branch. Once I thicken up the other branching, I should have the balance I need.

That’s it for today. Let me know what you think.