What can I do right now?

I did the inital trimming and wiring for the two middle junipers last spring and was planning to further the design and repot this fall. Then I found the two end ones last week (Japanese maple and larch) and am itching to do something with them.

I live in western Montana.

So what can I do right now?

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I am no expert but I would only reduce 4s to 3s or 3s to 2s if obvious reverse taper. If not them I’d take a tranquilizer or drink a lot of wine and wait til early spring and repot into smallest container they will fit in. Then late spring if doing very very well you can clean and prune.

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I agree with trimming the 3s and 4s down to 2, but don’t go too far at once.

It is a good time to wire and arrange the junipers.

You can trim the larch back keeping 2 or 3 buds on most branches.

The maple is failry compact so I would trim any long extensions.

You can wire them all but avoid breaking buds since they are hard to see and watch for wire cut in as you get vascular growth in the fall.

Bring them for the Inland Empire Bonsai Society meeting in Sun. 8/20 from noon - 3 pm at the Manito Park Meeting Room in Spokane, particularly if you are far western Montana.

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Alright, I’ll try that! Thanks guys.

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Just for fun, here’s the before/ after of the two I worked on last spring.


Both look healthy; I’d research and come up with a plan for winter and spring. If you need to cut something, you may be able to remove 1 or 2 thick, coarse branches that you won’t need in the design for the larch.
Best to wait until leaf drop on the maple to remove a large branch, the tree will still form callus and heal for 2-3 weeks after leaf drop…
Maintaining branches help with cold hardiness - since you live in Montana it may be worth considering.


Hey Jonathan! I live in Western Montana as well! Do you know of any bonsai clubs around here? I just started out and would love to find local people who I can learn with