The last post on this tree was from December 2019. As indicated in that post, the tree was further styled over winter, bringing us to March 2020.
Taxus bonsai work 2020
I decided that the tree was strong enough to reduce the branches to back-buds. All branches were wired, and I removed all inner needles, leaving only some 20 needles at the end of each branchlet.
Creating swollen lifelines on yew bonsai
As I like the look of swollen lifelines over an otherwise bare trunk, I cut out some sections of bark, to stimulate the development of swellings along the face of the trunk. Over time, I will further narrow the lifelines and open up more of the bark, but that is once I see the tree has started to really create main routes.
Fast forward to September 2020 and it is clear the tree has taken the treatment without big problems: The grown has filled out nicely.
Taxus bonsai work 2021
Late summer / fall 2020 the tree was once again fully trimmed and wired out, ready for the growing season, as shown in the April 2021 picture. Once the branches start to engulf the wire (Also erroneously referred to as wire “biting in”) I un-wire. Unfortunately, this means often that the branch is not set yet. This is where plastic growing tubs come in handy: A few guy-wires to the lip of the pot allow to gently nudge a branch in the right angle to the trunk. It is clear from the august picture that this was needed on many branches. The tree is obviously very healthy, look at that growth! That was before trimming. In August I trimmed the tree back again.
Planned work on taxus bonsai 2022
The last picture of this update is from November 2021. The tree is fully wired once more. The branches are slowly starting to build a pleasing crown. (Because all primary and secondary branches are placed in horizontal planes, the crown now appears quite bare. However, these are placeholders for the foliage pads. Once these are set, tertiary branches will hopefully be of the rosette-type, growing vertically and these will fill up the pads). Next step will be some work on the deadwood, which is too overpowering. Also, in the top of the crown, one branch on the left is too thick, and will need removal. The removal will also enhance the flow of the trunk. But that is for 2022.