This Prunus Accolade to Bonsai. How?

Hi, i bought this Prunus last Fall in the nursery. Now i’m trying to find out whats the best way to turn the trunk into a bonsai. If possible i would like to keep the top part alive as well.

My first idea was just to make an air layer, but after watching some videos about it here, i noticed that might be the best way to kill the trunk.

So do i have to cut the tree at a very low point, even though there are no branches yet. If yes, when is the best time for this?
I read, the best time for pruning an ornamental cherry is after the blossom.

I would be very grateful for tips.


Hi, welcome!
If you were to perform a trunk chop then I’d do so once the foliage has fully extended and hardened off. I’d only do so if it had a very good root ball though… lift it from the pot and check. An alternative is to cut the branching back hard and push back budding down the trunk.
Have you checked the trunk base? It may well be grafted and you might we’ll end up air layering new roots anyway I’d the graft union or root arrangement is undesirable.
In short, examine trunk base and roots before making decisions.

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First, thanks for your reply.

I did a first look at the roots, and it doesn’t seemed dense at all. I will take a better look at the weekend.

But i think i will go, with the hard pruning and hope for a better situation after it, or next year.

If it doesn’t have a dense root ball (or it’s poorly rooted in other words) I might consider letting it grow freely for a year first, to build up stored energy, then cut it back hard next year to push back budding down the trunk.

Yeah this would make sense, since the treetop isn’t that impressive either.

So in summary: Let it grow freely for one year (maybe longer). If no low branches have developed i have to cut it back hard. Before or after the bloom?

As soon as i have those lower branches i can cut the top, or make an air layer.

Well, this might take longer than expected but it will worth it. Those pink blossoms look damn pretty.

That would be my approach, I’d ensure it was in excellent health before trunk chopping next year once spring growth had hardened off (you get to enjoy the flowers again next year).

Thanks for your help. If i don’t forget i’ll report back when there are new developements :smiley:

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