The first picture was taken on the 13th May 2011 and shows the tree on the day it was collected from my garden. It clearly had a rough life up to that point as many of the thicker branches had died and the main trunk had been flattened to the ground. I kept it in this 14 inch pot for just over a year, feeding it regularly with high nitrogen fertilizer.
When it was removed from the pot I could see that there had been strong root development at both ends of the trunk but nothing in the middle. I decided that the best thing to do was, to cut the tree in half, along the red line visible in the first picture, with a view to creating 2 shohin trees. The left half was planted, in an upright position, into a 6 inch pot. The right half, which was by far the weaker part was trimmed and planted as it had been previously. The next picture shows the left half a little more than a year after the separation. The right half showed so little promise at this stage that I did not photograph it. I did, however, remove it from its pot and removed some heavy roots.
In 2013, both trees were left to recover, fertilized frequently and allowed to grow freely. By March 2014 they had made such good progress that I decided to remove them from their deep plastic pots, carry out some more root reduction work and re-pot them into shallower bonsai pots. The next 2 pictures show both trees after re-potting earlier this month.
I think that both of these trees are now at a stage where they are beginning to show some potential as future shohin and I look forward to developing them further in the coming years.