Will this work as a "Windswept"?

This is a prunus maritima that I got at a nursery last summer. I spent a lot of time with it on the turntable, and other than doing it as a windswept to the right, couldn’t figure out a good front. What do people think? If you think it would work, any advice? If not, then what alternatives would you suggest?

Thank you in advance,


Why windswept (if you don’t mind me asking)? What do you have in mind, in-land type or coastal?

I might be wrong, but i have never seen a fruit tree in the windswept style, at least in a shape similar to the ones we see in pictures from different shows, displays etc. Most of the time, if not always, it is conifers. To me at least, a fruit tree does not look natural in the windswept style. But then again, bonsai is an art; if you can envision it in that style who am i to judge. Just my 2 cents.

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A sort of windswept style. Fruit trees that grew where one side is shaded by another tree, wall, cliffside, boulder (beach), etc. Mainly due to phototropism, so branches tend to grow in one direction and slightly upwards too. The otherside tends to have a lot of dead branches or they curve towards the sun making the sort of windswept appearance. I had a cherry tree in our backyard that grew this way, too close to our house and takes in the afternoon sun. Saw some cashew trees (rain, shade, heat and heat and heat) do this back home in Philippines too.

WHen it comes to trees that are partly shaded, the shape of branches and the direction is not directed by the wind but by phototropism. The style cannot be the same as in windswept.
The only common thing these 2 “styles” have is the fact that one side does not grow well and the other has more growth.
The true windswept is a tree that is fighting for life, with little growth on one side, the side away from the wind, and has rather triangular shaped sparsely formed foliage pads. The fruit tree that is growin in shade on 1 side, has healthy growth towards the light, with healthy thick foliage pads.
This is how I see it.

I think you can style the tree how you want, if it’s done well, and if you have a story for it, then that will help. I see a more feminine tree there, especially with that nice lower branch on the left. Space everything out nicely for the sun, and then curving and upwards and outwards. That is a nice little tree, and I would love to see some follow-up pictures after you style it.

Keep in mind that with deciduous material you can remove many or all the branches (AKA trunk chop) if you so desire. So the fact that you have lots of upper branches going towards the right should really have no bearing on how you choose the front of your tree as these can be regrown in one summer. Base your front solely on the trunk base and nebari and the initial movement of the trunk line. Cut off everything else that doesn’t fit that front and regrow :yum:.

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For an informed recommendation, I would need to see the base. Just from this photo, I would notake this windswept.

What I think you should do is put this in the ground and grow it for a few years. The trunk is very thin.

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Thank you for all of the feedback. Based on what I could see of the nebari during the repot and my overall thoughts, this is what I did so far.

I suggest you plant in the ground for a few years. Each year hedge prune it and in the fall/winter scissor prune off the branches that are undesirable. In a few years you’ll have a thicker trunk, a lot ramification and a tree with some potential. Other than that, all I can think of is potentially as one member of a forest planting.


Take a look at Hawthorn on the downs of the Isle Of Wight or in Wales and you’ll see windswept fruiting trees.


Agree with all they suggested to focus on thickening trunk - let it grow either in much larger container or in the ground.

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