When we found this Water-elm last August (2018), I knew it was going in my collection. I had lost a similar specimen back in 2014. There’s something about those two trunks!

Today (5/25/19) it was time to style and pot this tree. Most of the bonsai is there; I just had to “find” it.

That nice branch on the right-hand trunk came with the tree. I want to keep it, but it has to be brought down some and then chased back to get the foliage closer to the trunk.

Here I’ve trimmed the foliage back a good bit. The branch is still over long, but I’m hoping to get back-budding on it so I can cut it back even further. I’ll know in a couple of weeks.

Moving over to the left-hand trunk, I wired a low branch and positioned it. Then I removed some small branches on the inside of both trunks. In a twin-trunk bonsai, branches should not be left growing on the inside of the trunks. This is not horticulturally sound, and usually doesn’t make the tree look any better either.

More clearing out of unusable branches on the insides of the trunks.

While I have a complete crown on the right-hand trunk, I don’t on the left-hand trunk. So I’ll have to make one. I have two nice leaders at the top of the trunk, so here they’ve been wired and positioned.

The right-hand crown was way too bushy, so I removed a lot of the foliage and did some strategic pruning to open up the structure.

The final step was potting the tree. I think this gorgeous Lary Howard oval really goes well with it.

The tree is a little right-hand heavy in the apex, but allowing the left-hand crown to fill out is going to shift this to a more balanced condition. It will also help to chase back that low right-hand branch some more.

I’m very excited about this Water-elm. By next year, it should be just about show-ready.

Let me know what you think.