This loblolly pine, Pinus taeda, started out as a much taller specimen featuring a secondary leader that was an obvious choice to cut to. Since the tree wasn’t going anywhere as it stood, I chopped the main trunk down to the secondary leader this past summer. If you look closely you can see where the original trunk line was.
The tree responded by pushing a ton of new shoots. I removed most of these and then applied some wire. Frankly, the tree didn’t look like much, so the situation called for a little vision and artistry.
This was a relatively simple solution, but I think you can see what I see as the future of this pine. Next year I’ll let the crown fill out, giving the tree a more rounded top. I wouldn’t mind the descending branch on the left falling a little lower, about to mid-trunk; that can be done during the 2016 growing season as the branch grows out.
I think this loblolly will make a fine bonsai in just two or three years.
If you’d like to continue the development of this tree, it’s available at our Pine Bonsai sale page.