New Acer Palmatum

Hi guys,
I hope you are all doing well.
Let me introduce you my little acer palmatum. I bought it last summer, did the major prunes in the fall and repotted it couple of weeks ago. Obviously, we have a long journey ahead of us but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it and ideas on what to improve. The plant was not what you’d call a healthy tree and hence I got it for just 25 euros, which I thought was quite a deal. Due to it not being the healthiest, I left few of the branches untouched and was a little bit conservative during the repot. That is why the long straight branch is left on the trunk and why the full nebari (that is actually decent) is not uncovered. I plan to wire/shorten/cut off some of these straight branches this coming fall.
Also, it is the cultivar called “Butterfly”, that does not seem the most suitable for bonsai. At least it seems like many people think that but I cannot find the reason why… Does any of you BBB (Big Bonsai Brains) know? The tree does not seem to be grafted or the graft is not visible (the discoloration in the bark is caused by it being buried in soil almost halfway up the trunk).
What I envision for the tree is something like that old english oak style…
Happy to hear all your ideas on where to take it from now on.
Have a wonderful spring, Jan.



Rear and a pen for reference:


Looks like a good start on the journey to turning this into a nice bonsai. I suggest you focus on the health of the tree this year and put some movement into the branches once they get going. Butterfly has fairly deeply divided leaves that are variegated often serrated. It is easier to keep the tree looking tidy if the leaves are less deeply divided and single color. Many cultivar are also a bit weaker on their own roots which is why they are often grafted. I like the leaves and have a thinner one that is grafted and I need to air layer it this year since the graft is fairly high. Good luck with the tree.