You may remember this Muscadine grape, Vitis rotundifolia, from last summer. It came out of the ground with two trunks, so I planned to make a twin-trunk bonsai out of it.

Something of a start. There’s a lot of character in the trunk. Major development work needed in the structure of the bonsai (it was pretty ho-hum at this point).

Last fall the smaller trunk died. I have no idea why. But that completely changed my plan for this bonsai.

Here’s the tree with this year’s spring flush of growth on it. Obviously strong, so I’ve got something to work with.

I’m not seeing how I can make a viable upright bonsai from this specimen, given how it’s grown out. So I either have to chop it back and see what happens, or change the design. I’m thinking a semi-cascade may work. Let’s find out. First order of business, change the position of the trunk.

Next, make the leader “semi-cascady.”

Trim back, clear out the overgrowth, find the lines, put on some wire.

Let’s get some movement into the branching.

Adios, dead trunk.

And finally, repot, reduce the weight of the apex and do a final trim.

I think this bonsai in the making is much better than my original vision. Which just goes to show, when your tree throws you a curve ball just relax and redesign.

Let me know what you think.