How to Make Cotoneaster Bonsai

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We’re Going to be working on a few ketones Asters and some of them are going to be Passed and others we’re going to be Working on the top of the trees there’s Quite a variation of how these trees Have grown i’m going to be showing you Different ways to approach these trees In order to develop them for a great Bonsai [Music] So we’ve got four trees that we’re going To be working on today and all of the Videos that i have created thus far have Been to show how to make a finished Bonsai if you will something like this One here a tree that’s presentable and It’s in a lovely rectangular pot and you Could consider it finished there are Quick and easy ways to develop on-site And place them in a pot like this and Have something that looks great but Today i’m going to be working a little Bit differently in the sense that i’m Going to be looking maybe five ten years Ahead for the future of a tree rather Than having something that looks great In the moment i’m actually going to Start with this tree and explain why i Don’t think this is at its full Potential as a bonsai with bond size i Think it’s important to create a tree

That has a lot of taper in the trunk It’s not always required but it looks Quite nice when you have good movement And taper i think it makes a tree look More powerful and with this tree it’s Just a straight trunk the entire way up When you get to the canopy of the tree There’s no real shape to it it’s just Sort of a bush growing wild we’re just Going to give this a little trim here And get the branches in order the top of The tree also doesn’t have much Ramification and that’s what i want to Try and create whenever i prune this so I’m looking into the future of the tree So i’m going to start by cutting off This branch here it’s quite a thick Branch Ramification is essentially whenever a Branch emanates from the trunk and Instead of it being a long spindly Branch Like this one where it is the same Thickness the whole way down a branch With good ramification is thick when it Leaves the trunk and gradually gets Thinner and thinner and thinner with Each split of the branch let me know in The comments if that makes sense so to Encourage ramification every time we Prune a branch on a tree this encourages The tree then to produce side branches From where we cut instead of growing Really really long so one year we prune

And it develops a side branch and we Print again the following year that Develops a side branch we prune again That develops a side branch we get this Beautiful natural looking movement Throughout a branch of a tree without Using any wire as a rule of thumb it’s Always good to prune back to a few set Of leaves maybe not the only leaf left On the branch as the branch could die But it’s good to leave something on the Branch just to pull the sap and the Branch won’t die we’re trying to get This as compact as we can with leaves on It the next year we’ll get a little bit More expanded print it back a little bit More expanded and print it back So when is it okay to print this tree You can print the old growth off and Spring just before the burst of growth Starts on the tree but you can also Prune throughout the growing season in Summer and if you want to give the tree More back button you can just pinch the Growing shoots off and that will Encourage denser growth in the tree but I wouldn’t advise doing this after mid Summer because then you’ll be pinching Off the flower and shoots for the Following year and i really like the Little white flowers that could tony Asters produce here’s a picture of it Whenever it was flowering earlier this Year and now it’s got these little red

Berries on it sometimes it’s good to Work on a turntable and that way you can See the tree from all angles so when you Spin the tree you’re looking sort of for On balance i can see this part is Sticking out quite a lot the pruning Decisions that you make are very much up To you as long as you understand the way The tree grows so i want to explain a Thing called directional pruning Directional pruning is when you decide Which leaf to keep on the branch as you Cut it and the leaf that you keep on the Branch is the one that will become the Next branch so i wanted the tree to Develop in this direction to the left i Would simply Prune it to here and allow this leaf to Develop but on the other hand if i Wanted the tree to develop to this side On the right i would print it to a lower Leaf that has a leaf growing on that Direction the cuts you make will Determine where the next branches are Going to grow into so maybe if i was Cutting in the inside of the tree here i Would directional prune and leave leaves On the outside so the canopy becomes More expanded it’s all up to your own Vision and design and how you want the Tree to look so i’m just going to go Ahead and print more this seems rather Drastic prune it ends so close i’m going To cut right in here

And remove this entire section This branch here Is quite thick in comparison to the Other branches around it you don’t want To let one branch get very thick and the Rest sort of trail behind i’m just going To shorten it back to the thinner branch That’s on it already and that just Creates a little bit of taper on this Branch as it’s thicker here and then Develops into a thunder branch and these Branches right here are growing too low I’m going to develop it from further up Actually just one massive branch growing At a weird angle see if i can remove it In one go This little branch down here i’m going To keep it for now just to see how it Develops and if i don’t like it in the Future i can always remove it so as you Can see here that i’ve removed over half Of the foliage of the tree and some Might say that it looks worse than what I started and i think it does also but This is for the future of the tree so It’s one of them things where it will Look worse before it looks better and We’re just slowly building on the shape Of the tree all right let’s move on to The next one this is a little tiny Catonia aster but believe it or not this Tree was once maybe this height but what I did at the beginning of spring is i Chopped the trunk clean off the tree and

I’ve cut it down to branches that were Further down the tree so as this is Right now it sort of just looks like a Stump with some branches growing off to The side what i want to do is place on Some wire and encourage these branches To grow straight up like this that’s all I’m going to do and maybe give it a Little prune so i’m going to take a Little piece of wire that i’ve already Used before i like to reuse wire i don’t Like to throw out wire or cut it off the Tree if i don’t have to just unwind it And before we go further i’m just going To take an old toothbrush and scrub the Base of this tree because i can see some Moss developing and you don’t want that If moss develops in the base of a tree Can actually rot the bark off the tree And give you a whole load of problems That you don’t want if you ever see moss Or wetness at the base of a tree it’s Okay just to scrub it off with a Toothbrush so to wire this i’m going to Stick the wire down and through the soil Now bear in mind this ketone after was Repotted from a giant pot this year just In early spring i’m going to wrap it Around the trunk did you know there’s Over like 200 species of cotoneaster and Many of them can be used for bonsai see How it’s going up the trunk so far and Just be very careful So i’m going to bend it towards

And back And down Just to give it a little bit of interest I can cut off this excess wire Isn’t that beautiful perhaps i could Bring this branch downwards also just so It isn’t sticking straight up you know Kind of looks out of place compared to The branch next to it and for this we’re Going to use the same principle run it Up the trunk of the tree i’m just Following the wire that i’ve already put In place Now we’re gonna go up this branch This is just a little piece of uh Wire that i’ve used before it’s one Millimeter like this And that sets it in place already And i’m very happy with this now it’s Got a lot of movement in the trunk Starts here and then it goes off that Way and perhaps maybe in the future it Will develop in a different direction But for now that is all i’m going to do And this could perhaps be a possible Front if the tree was planted at this Angle it was important to think about The planting angle too because the tree Doesn’t always have to be the way it is In the pot you can change that in the Future so this tree isn’t a much larger Pot but it’s quite similar in thickness And size to the one we just previously Worked on that could be the goal for

This tree to get it to look something Similar to this one it’s been trunk Chopped here at the bottom just like This other one has been but it looks a Little bit Out of shape it might need a little bit Of refinement on the area where we’ve Trunk chopped it here this tree came Straight from a garden center and has Been quite neglected all year all i did Was trunk chop it and leave it at that So as you can see here there’s quite a Lot of moss around the base of the tree That i’m going to remove first Catonia asters are also quite easy to Propagate from cuttings and even thick Cuttings surprisingly enough and as They’re quite common in garden centers As a young material like this many People have them planted in their Gardens for years and years and years so You can actually get some lovely thicker Material and older trees if someone’s Getting rid of one in their garden so to Work on this area i’m going to be using These which are concave branch cutters And when these cut they kind of take Like a bite out of the material and this Is so that whenever the tree heals it Kind of rolls over and it doesn’t uh Stick out so what i’m doing is i’m Looking at the side profile of this tree And the next branch that this is leading Into if you sort of imagine this sort of

Flowing downwards this is kind of in the Way of that flow it sticks here so i’m Just going to thin out this area a Little bit at a time Let’s get the mic down here All right so do you see now how this is A better side profile and the taper of The tree flows up nicely into the next Branch and the leader here this is a Technique of blending seamlessly and to The next branch as you create cuts up a Tree to give a taper from the base and i Think i want to get this tree out of This nasty soil So that is quite pot bind in bonsai you Would normally repot the cotoneaster Every other year but i’d say this tree Has been in this pot for Maybe 10 years with the the densest root Masses the best time to repot one of These is late winter early spring but This tree hasn’t flowered yet and i Think it’s gonna be okay as long as i Care for it afterwards protected from Frost this winter so i’m gonna get it Out of this nasty old soil and into some Fresh bonsai soil [Music] So i have reduced the roots quite Significantly compared to the pot that It was in i did prune some of the roots But i’m not going to bear with this tree Because if i take away all of the soil Especially at this time of the year the

Tree may not survive so i want to put This in a relatively largest pot i don’t Want to reduce it down to the size of This tree because i want this to heal Quite quickly and to do that i’m leaving A lot more roots than is on this one From here you could place it into a Training pot or if you like and you Don’t have a training pot you can take The part that the tree was previously And just cut down it and shorten the Height of the pot You know instead of throwing this larger Pot out or leaving it somewhere i’d Rather just Recycle it So i’m going to prepare this in the Exact same way that i would prepare a Bonsai pot this is a piece in here and It’s just there to stop the soil from Falling out the base of the pot i’ve cut Some cotton mesh into little squares Just take a little length of spare wire And make a u-shape push it through the Cotton mesh and through the whole of the Pot and just pull the sides down I’m just going to put in my bonsai soil Mix which is a mix of pumice akadama and Lava rock with a little bit of compost Just messed in the roots here so they Don’t dry out and die and we’re going to Come on with the tree just place it down Not too worried about potting angle yet Until the tree is finished all i want is

A tree to not move And then i’m grabbing my gin pliers Again pull up and twist down [Applause] The tree has now been nicely repotted Into some fresh bonsai soil already i Can see some branches growing straight Up that i don’t want These branches are a little bit long so I’m just going to shorten them to maybe The first two sets of leaves This branch is growing straight up i’m Going to shorten that a little Now we’re going to apply some wire and Tilt the tree Up like this so for this i’m going to Use some really thick wire this is three Millimeter wire and it’s made of Aluminium now because cotoneasters in Terms of their bark are quite soft you Don’t want to leave the wire on for a Very long time as it can scar the Beautiful bark so easily it’s very hard To grow out of the tree once it has a Scar on the trunk so keep a very close Eye whenever you wire ketone esters or Any deciduous tree bending it up here Now I want this little branch to come back On itself here so to do that i’m just Going to lift the wire this is the top So i’ve looped it here like this And this branch can just sit behind it So the plan for this tree now is to let

The roots fill the pot in the next maybe One to two years and as the foliage Grows out just keep it in check by Trimming it back to the maybe first two Leaves so as you can see the tree is Quite Straight and it’s got the same thickness The entire way up the trunk now i really Like this particular genius of Cotoneaster because it’s got a very Small leaf profile this genus is known As the cotoneaster horizontalis which Means it tends to grow horizontally as The name suggests this was a giant tree Whenever i got it from the garden center It was maybe out to here somewhere and i Chopped it here and now all of these Little shoots and leaves have just Developed as of this year so it’s got no Real branches at the moment i am just Noticing though there’s quite a lot of Mosque or went up the base of the trunk I’m just going to get rid of it i think Because the branches in this tree are so Underdeveloped i can’t really make an Informed decision as of right now Because i don’t know how it’s going to Look next year so for now i’m just going To leave the tree as it is and be Patient and there we have it so that was My approach to four different Cotoneaster trees to develop as bonsai You want to water them quite regularly Whenever the trees are in flower and be

Careful not to get water on the flowers That can diminish the lifespan of the Flower of the tree can sort of rot them Off and in winter you just want to keep The soil moist never let it dry out if You’ve bonsai ketones to yourself let me Know how you did in the comments Remember to leave a like down below this Video also it helps me out a lot and Subscribe if you’re new thank you so Much for watching and i’ll see you guys In the next one [Music] You

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