My name is Mike and I just joined Mirai Live. First off, I am really digging the Bonsai Mirai Live library and forums. It’s a great resource for a beginner like myself. (Although sometimes it’s difficult to get my head wrapped around the bigger theories and ideas at the stage I’m at!).
I watched the 8 beginner videos that Kendall posted in the beginner forum and I though maybe it was time to put my early education to work and try it out on some inexpensive nursery stock. I found a 5 to 10 year columnar common juniper that had an interesting trunk line, and there wasn’t too much inverse tapering down near the roots ( a little though as I found out later). Imagine a dwarf Lombardy poplar, that’s what the original stock looked like. All branches pointing at extreme up angles.
Before moving to New Zealand I spent some years in Northern California and am very influenced by my memories of the Bay Area trees, Yosemite and Sequoia. I thought I’d give a try styling this first tree like some of the older Douglas fir type trees that live in my tree memories. (Informal upright)
It was my first time cleaning, choosing a front, pruning and wiring a tree, I’m sure I messed up a lot! I feel like I butchered the poor thing and probably took like 90 % of all the foliage off! I’m trying to set up the branches for future ramification…
I’m a little unhappy with how symmetrical it turned out but overall I think its ok.
But please, lay it on me! What jumps out as a classic noob mistake? What should I be thinking about when working on a tree this young?
Was this tree too young for me to just jump in and start wiring and pruning? Is there a rule for how thick a branch must be for you to start wiring? Some of them were really green and thin (matchstick).
Also, as I got to the top, I realised I know nothing about design of the apex and didn’t know what to do… are there any resource videos for that in the library that really explain that?
Just trying to make mistakes and learn from them before getting into older, more established trees!
Thanks so much.