Suggestions on where I could take these trees?

These are my first ever trees: Tree collection - Album on Imgur Types are below the images.

Any suggestions on where I could go with them?

The Myrtyle I’m thinking of seeing if I can create two fan layers from the top bundle, and thinning out the lower layer so it’s thinner horizontally.

The Elm looks a bit of a mess right now, and needs some shape, but I’m not sure where to go with it. Should I let it grow out a bit first?

The first olive I’m wondering whether I should remove the (old?) darker leaves, and let the new lighter leaves flourish. I think it needs a lot more growth to increase trunk thickness, so I may need to plant it in the ground for a few years.

The second olive looks like with a year or so of growth it could start becoming something interesting to work with, but until then I’m thinking of leaving it to grow. The figs also need time to grow.

On the myrtle, I’d move the apex to a side, to get it off line with the base of the tree. Maybe change the potting angle so it’s not so vertical. I think that the myrtle and the elm are great for learning how to “clip and grow”.

Elms give you as much as you put in, and even small ones can be impressive. Maybe let it grow out so you get more of a selection on primary branches, then set the structure. Look at other small elms for ideas.

For me, olives are typically really slow growers. It may take a while before it looks like an old tree, but follow the same principles and techniques, and you’ll be surprised at what a young tree can turn into. Try messing with the potting angle on this one as well, to add interest to the trunk. Most of all, see where the buttress of the roots directs you on all of them. You’ll have to work the soil down to find the best from for all of these.

The nursery series is a great intro with how to deal with your plants. Also watch Shohin 101 for tips on soil, watering, and other aspects of keeping smaller trees like yours.

Myrtle: How would I begin to move the apex? Wiring? Then working towards creating a fan/pad more like the lower branches? I was trying to think of how to get 4 pads out of it but couldn’t come up with a plan. What makes you suggest tilting? I’m guessing to the left? This aligns the lower branches more.

Olives: Should I adjust the trunk angle now, or let it grow first? I re-potted them recently, so had a chance to see their roots. Both had minimal rootballs with very thin roots only. I’m guessing I need more growth before I see anything interesting.

Thanks for the ideas! I started watching the nursery series; will continue + watch the sohin one.

Wiring and clipping will help you move the apex over to a side. Moving the apex off the base of the tree creates interest and asymmetry. Changing the angle of the trunk to one side or the other helps move the apex and creates more interest in the trunk. Not required, but an idea to play around with.

If you decide to change the angle on the olive, explore the new angle when you style it. It’ll be easier to get the tree used to a new angle now, instead of once it has nebari and primary branches established.

Watch the design video while you’re at it for great ideas on how to get the most out of a tree. :wink:

I’m thinking of something like this:

Where the blue branch is something I’m considering to get quasi-symmetry, although I don’t know if it could work out.

For changing the angle of the branch, would I need to use a guide wire?

Dunno. You might need one. My understating is that myrtles are fairly brittle. Maybe sometime else can come in with some advice. Either way, nice and easy with the bends.