The saga continues for my awesome willow oak, Quercus phellos. You may remember the tree got its first bonsai pot back in April, which was roughly four years after I’d collected it. The tree had not yet budded out for spring, so I was anxiously waiting to see what kind of growth I was going to get. I also had noted that the apical leader was too long and needed cutting back, but I planned to wait until the tree came out to make the cut.
Here’s a photo from today. The tree has come on strong following its root pruning. I cut back the apical leader to a smaller branch that was at just the right spot, and wired up a new leader. I’m letting that leader run. I’m also letting the lowest left branch run in order to thicken it. I won’t do any pruning on this branch until next year.
Also, the number one right branch needs to be cut back hard next spring, for the same reason I cut back the apical leader this year: it’s too straight for too long a stretch, and this branch needs to finish closer to the trunk. So there’s more to do here as well.
I anticipate completing the major structural work on this tree in about three years, at which point I’ll focus on building ramification.
The trunk of this tree is 4″ in diameter above the root crown, and will finish at about 17″ in height.
I expect to be offering willow oaks for sale as early as next year.