Subject: Water-elm Date: 8/4/18 Stage: Big stick in pot Input: Lift, chop, wash, trim, dust, pot, pray Issues: None, if it lives
Date: 3/17/19 Stage: Big stick with twiggy shoots Input: Select branches, wire and position branches, remove branches that serve no purpose, put into bonsai pot (it’s not too soon, is it?) Issues: Leader is so slight it’s hardly as thick as the wire wrapped around it; are we too soon in the shallow pot?
Date: 5/27/19 Stage: Looking more bonsai-like, but how many years is this going to take? Input: Unwiring and rewiring, trim what needs trimming, leave alone what doesn’t need trimming Issues: Though the tree is in the right spot in the pot, the left-hand side is heavy and it throws off the tree’s balance.
Date: 6/17/19 Stage: Mixed bag of well-developed branches with some ramification and undeveloped branches that need to run; apex in running-wild phase to get thicker Input: unwiring and rewiring, trimming the left-hand branches to reduce heaviness on that side Issues: More apical growth needed, number one right-hand branch needs to catch up to the rest of the tree

In the last photo for today, you can see how I’ve shifted the balance of the tree rightward. You can’t always make this sort of correction when you want to; that’s where patience pays off. The final step in getting the balance of this tree right is going to be accomplished once the lowest right-hand branch fills out. It’s one of those subtle things that will often make your bonsai really stand out. Let me know what you think.