I spent part of today thining and cleaning My Thuja Occidentalis bonsai.
It grows very quickly during the summer months and soon becomes untidy. This is how it looked before I started this morning.
and this is how it looks at the moment
This is how it looked in 2004 when it was lifted from my garden. It originally had three trunks but I removed the 2 on the left and decided to work with the one on the right.
It’s been 4 months since I re-potted my Thuga Occidentalis and today it was in need of some seasonal care. This is how it looks today after some cleaning and pruning and a fresh coat of lime sulphur on the deadwood. Still needs more growth on the lower branches but it’s getting closer to how I would like it to look.
Its’ come a long way and been through several transitions since I collected it from my garden in 2004.
I have been planning to change the front and the planting angle of this Thuga Occidentalis for some time. As it was badly in need of a re-pot, today was the day to get the work done.
You can see in the next picture that the roots had filled the oval pot
After some serious root reduction
This is a picture taken last year which shows the new preferred front and planting angle
And this is how it looks at the moment. I had hoped to plant it in a nice round Japanese ceramic pot I have but it was just a little too small. So for now it is housed in a round mica training pot until I can find something suitable.
I still have some way to go with the foliage development of this tree but the new front is a definite improvement I think. The next job will be to fully rewire it in the late summer
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.