styling an apple bonsai to be

Sneak Peek

I collected this rather stout apple from a bonsai friend’s property last year. Since then I’ve left it alone to grow out and gain strength. Now that some of the branches are almost too stiff to bend, it’s time to do an initial styling.

Styling an Apple Bonsai to be

I collected some trees from a bonsai friend’s property last year, including this apple (not a crabapple, a regular one; he didn’t know the variety). It’s a stout fellow, with a trunk that measures 5″ across at the soil. It’s chopped at 13″, so I’m thinking it should finish out at about 20″ when I’m done.

From February of last year until early July of this year, the tree has put on a nice bit of growth (it did take a while to get going last year). Some of the branches are almost too stiff to bend, so I can’t afford to delay styling the tree any longer.

I always start with some editing, working my way up from the bottom. That all-important first branch needs to be selected with care. I have a few candidates.


I found it and its counterpart in back of the tree, which will be my number two branch. Here they’re wired together and positioned. I also pruned away the superfluous branches near these two.


Now one of the left-hand side of the tree.

Two more branches are now wired and positioned. The shape of this future bonsai is emerging from the mass of branches I started with.


The last step was to prune the leader, in order to introduce some movement and taper. I’ll let this new leader run for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022 – there’s still a lot of work to do to build the tapering transition at the chop point.

Let me know what you think of this specimen. Isn’t that hollow at the base interesting? I’m sort of expecting to hear from the Keeblers about moving in.