I grew up with a Magnolia tree in the yard and want to create a bonsai from recently purchased nursery material. It’s in a green ~2 gallon nursery pot. Thin, long, and lanky. I’ve got lots of questions about how to handle this tree.
I’ve read it needs to be pruned like a typical deciduous - mid summer after new foliar growth has hardened off. Is this correct?
-If I prune really hard - down to essentially stumps ~6-8 inches off the soil, taking most of it’s foliage, can i expect that, without that foliage it built all spring, it will store enough energy to survive the new england winter? winter protections taken
-Is a more conservative pruning strategy better, even though i’ll be essentially delaying setting up the structure for it’s bonsai design, and pruning it over 2 years might not be the healthiest way to go about doing this?
-Repot timing: Should it be left in its nursery pot (provided it’s draining) for the duration of this health development phase? If it bounces back the next year with a lot of new growth, when in the following year is a good time to repot and see a healthy transition into its bonsai container? Would it be more reasonable to expect 3-4 years of health development after a hard prune to set up enough foliar mass to drive healthy root growth in its new bonsai container?
Can the answers to these questions be applied generally to similar pre-bonsai deciduous specimens with a well established root system, but the need for hard pruning to begin that compacted bonsai design?
Thanks so much!