I got this Crabapple, Malus sp., along with a number of others, from a bonsai friend in Pennsylvania. I was really struck by the trunk character and taper. It had grown with a fork in the trunk, which I normally use to chop to the smaller trunk for enhanced taper. This time I did things a little differently. I deliberately left the stub of the larger trunk, with the intention of making a more “Crabapple-like” design.
A few months later, this thing has thrown a huge amount of growth, rangy and coarse. But with this growth lies the future design of the tree. It just takes some imagination, and tried and true techniques.
Things are looking a lot different in this photo. Sure enough, I’ve identified and wired out a rudimentary branch structure. The stub of the second trunk has gotten a first-pass of carving (there’s more to come, but not this year). All in all, I think we’ve now got a tree structure.
I’ve pruned back the leader. There’s new growth all over the tree, which means all the attention must have been welcome.
In just 10 more days the growth is really pushing hard.
And here we are, two weeks later. I’ve had to wire two more branches in the apex.
There’s plenty of recovery growth on this tree and plenty of roots down below. Why not slip-pot into this nice custom round by the late Paul Katich.
I’m really excited about the future of this bonsai. Crabapples are one of the best species to grow for bonsai, as they flower and fruit freely in a pot. I don’t know if I’ll get any blooms next year, but it’ll happen in time.