Re-Working my Thuga Occidentalis

My Thuga  Occidentalis bonsai grows like wildfire over the summer months and is always in need of a good haircut by the time autumn arrives;

The first picture shows how it looked after pruning this time last year. For some years I haven’t been entirely happy with the chosen front or the planting angle of this tree and I have been considering other possibilities


Last year I thought I might turn the tree 90 degrees to the left and re-pot it in a more upright position as shown in the next picture. I didn’t go through with these changes for the following reasons. This angle reveals the widest point in the nebari but totally obscures the deadwood feature and makes it kind of redundant. Also with the tree in this position it looks awkward when you approach it from the left or right.


This is how it looked at the beginning of last week after a further seasons growth. The foliage is far too heavy and I will need to put a lot more work in on this tree  to get the lighter image that I am looking for.


After a lot of study, I think this is the planting angle that I am going to go for. It makes the best of the trees movement and the deadwood looks better too. It will be re-planted in a nice round Japanese pot next season


This is how it looks at the moment after the removal of three heavy branches from the front. I am not entirely happy with the lower right branch, it seems a little remote from the trunk now but I might be able to reduce the impact of this  as the branch above it extends It will take a bit more growth and a lot more pruning to achieve that light airy foliage mass that I am looking for but I think it is beginning to move in the right direction.


One thought on “Re-Working my Thuga Occidentalis

  1. I like the new planting angle overall, but at least from this 2D photo the way the deadwood and the drop branch line up perfectly is somewhat bothersome. Just something to consider as you continue to refine.

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