Pruning My Money Tree Bonsai and More

Lovely tree. My money tree is going crazy this summer. I have two trunks as well but I’d be so scared to prune it back so severely! Really love the ratchet pruners, beggars belief what they’ll go through! Also found they are excellent at trimming plastic mouldings too! Thanks as always for the videos, so useful to see the work I need to do to my trees 🙂

Video Transcript

hi everyone nigel saunders here today i’m going to be doing some more mid-summer pruning i’m going to start today by pruning my money tree here’s a look at my money tree it’s been growing well over the summer so the tree the trunk comes up it divides from one into two here and this is kind of boring it has no taper it’s got a slight curve to it but i think on this tree this is a better natural leader for the tree so if i if i maybe even change the front to over here and get rid of this back trunk all together i think it’s just too thick i can get taper here coming up i go from thick to thinner and i think that’s important on this tree is to keep that taper going because it has a lot of taper and this kind of spoils it i think it’s just getting too thick and it looks out of place so today i’ll be pruning that part of the tree off i’m looking at the tree and if we look at the old wounds on the tree because i’ll be cutting off a fairly major branch here it’ll be very similar to this chop on the top and i’ll show you a close-up of that here’s a look at that large wound so you can see there’s a woody core at the center and then it’s starting to heal around that so it’ll take quite a few years before it totally closes over some of these large wounds you can see some of the ones on the back here some larger wounds that have totally healed over so there’s a big one there so it’s very interesting another one down here it’s interesting how they heal over time so after cutting this branch off i will have quite a large wound here that’ll take quite a few years to heal over to remove this trunk line is a fairly big cut so i’m thinking either tom’s ratcheting pruners or the saw i’ll see if the ratcheting pruners are if they open up enough i think they do i think that would be good choice for a tool i have i have this japanese pull saw which would cut it quite nicely also so either of those tools would work nicely i think i’ll try these they’re a little more precise so i’ve got a wound on top so if i cut here i’ll kind of be sort of integrating this cut with the existing one i think that’ll be good place to cut it so here i go i’m going to cut on the angle like this all right you know what we say big cut coming up so here i go i’m going to try and cut it right across here so these don’t open up quite quite far enough but i think i can cut it in sections so here we go so that’s through quite a bit of it now i can raise these up cut through a little more [Applause] almost there here i go okay so that’s off so these do root as cuttings in fact this whole tree is a cutting i had a larger one before and the bottom started rotting away so i cut the top off which is this tree and rooted it so this would root quite nicely as a cutting okay so here’s a look at the cut i need to do some cleanup it’s not you can see if that heals over i’ll have kind of a lump in this section so i’ve gotta smooth it out so i’ll come in and do a bit of a bit of carving probably the saw would have been the better tool to do this with but this works [Music] now let’s see i think i need to come down quite quite far making this wound larger but a better shape [Applause] so i treat these trees as succulents they’re uh they don’t like a lot of water but they like regular watering uh so you got to keep them kind of the soil moist but not wet and it’s best to let them dry out between waterings a bit that’s better [Applause] i think that’s probably about as good as i can get that cut i think maybe a little more off of here [Applause] big wound to heal [Applause] come on okay yeah i think that’s looking good now i am going to seal this cut because it is a succulent and it’ll dry out and it could die back down the trunk so it needs some sealant on there to seal this cut up here i want something a little more permanent than wood glue so i went out and i bought some glue this is general purpose glue it’s basically rubber cement so it puts a nice watertight seal on here and it lasts through many many rains so i’ll put that on now [Applause] and it dries clear which is kind of kind of nice so i just put it on spread it around with my finger [Applause] you can see it’s rubber cement because it’s straining like that and it just rubs off your hands so that’s sealed now here is an overall look at the tree now i think it’s looking quite nice i think it’s a big improvement to the trunk i do have a stub up here i could prune off a little more flush so i’ll do that so i’ll come up here and just cut that off like that and i’ll also seal that with the with the rubber cement we go there my money tree can go back on the bench and i’ll get out the next tree that i’ll be working on today the next tree i’ll be working on is my large american elm my american elm has been growing really well this year it leafed out nicely in summer and the shoots extended but now it’s kind of gone dormant it’s not really doing anything mid-summer i don’t like to prune deciduous trees any later than kind of the end of july that still gives them like august and september to recover before the leaves drop off in october so that gives them lots of energy to store up for the winter so i’m going to prune this today before the end of july i should get a second flush of growth and it should be strong enough to go through the winter just fine i’m going to start with a profile prune to the canopy and i’m going to try the blue scissors i don’t know if they’re strong enough to cut through this wood i may have to use like pruners or something the hedge hedge clippers would probably work but i’ll try this first so here i go i’m going to look for a nice rounded shape that’s a little tough but [Music] i’m taking a look at the tree now from the front view and it’s looking definitely more elm like with that umbrella canopy up here uh this is probably sort of the size the canopy would be with this trunk proportions it looks quite natural and that’s how you would see them in nature with a canopy about that size however this tree is in training i’ve got to grow my canopy out slowly so i think i’ve got to take it back a little further and i’m doing directional pruning when i do this so i’m being kind of selective with my shoot direction my future shoot direction i don’t think i have to go back too much further i think uh you know once the leaves have dropped and fall i can go in and do a more detailed pruning but i think this has brought it back in size kind of got it back under control so it can grow a bit more for the rest of the summer there is still many years of work to come on this elm but at least it’s looking like an elm now which is you know a step in the right direction so we’ll just keep working on it over the years and hopefully it’ll survive and we’ll get a nice elm bonsai i can put the elm back on the bench now let’s get out tree number three the next tree i’ll be working on is also an american l uh this is the medium-sized one the smallest size one died it came out a little bit in spring and then it really weekly and then it died off so i’m not sure what happened to that one but i still have my medium size one and my large size one growing strongly i’m going to use the same techniques using the blue scissors on my medium size so here i go cutting through wood getting that rounded canopy something like that [Music] okay i think that’s got the rough pruning done here’s a look at the tree now i’ll rotate it around so you can see it from all directions so i’ve got a little sucker coming up from the roots here that i’ll remove there’s a lot of heavy scarring on it and back to kind of the front somewhere here so i’m going to remove this sucker that’s coming up like that i’m going to look for any crossing branches in here i noticed you know there’s one growing from up front that’s going all the way to the back so that can be pruned away like that there’s a whippy branch here that’s growing up into the canopy i’ll prune that back here i’m just looking for obvious you know things that need correction there’s a dead branch here that’s too bad that’s got to be pruned out that’s right here one of those trunks died off so i’ll just prune it right out like that cleans that up i’m going to prune this back to here back to here tip off here off here it’s making a little more compact again yeah there’s one going up here i think that’s got it i think that’s looking quite nice yeah it always worries me that third elm died this spring and i have no idea why we had those giant american elms growing in our backyard and they were healthy as anything and then one year they all died all the same year they just never came out into leaf in spring and it could be you know dutch elm disease i don’t know and i’m just worried about these trees that they might get it someday but that’s the risk of growing elm bonsai even the chinese elms they’re resistant to dutch elm disease but they can still get it so elms are a bit of risky they’re a bit risky but the reward is also worth it if they grow nice and healthy the last tree that i’m going to be pruning up today is this red maple that twisty one that i dug up from the front garden i’m going to start the pruning today by pruning back these long shoots that have grown over the summer so i’ll prune them back fairly hard to like the first kind of leaf node here so here i go i’ll cut this one back to here taking that off um this one back to here and this one back to here like that that gets the height down then we can go in and look at the structure of the tree here is a look at the tree now i’ll rotate it around so it’s got a very nice twisty trunk to it there’s some splits in the trunk here that i have no idea what they’re from if it’s just normal growth or insect attacks or what it is um there’s a split up here i’ve just been spraying soap and water in it so it kills any insects that grow in that are living in there i’m not sure it could be just the natural you know the bark splitting on it i’m not sure what it is but the trees looking fairly healthy i’m going to do a little leaf pruning you can see these shoots come up and then you’ve got two leaves coming off i’m going to take one of them out so kind of reducing the foliage but not totally stripping it of its leaves so i’ll take this one off i’m gonna take the inner one here off kind of getting more light to the interior of the tree ah this one could come off take this one off and this one off and this one so now you can see the trunk line from the front which is kind of nice i’m just looking at this structure i’ve got here i have three branches growing from one spot i should reduce that back i’m gonna take this leaf off i think i’m gonna take the vertical one up in the center off here like that that way i’ve got these two fanning outwards i’ve got a butt on the inside here i’m going to take that off i don’t want that groin here i’ve got my division of my two trunk lines i don’t need a third one growing in the middle here so i’ll take that out there’s a branch crossing here or not a branch of leaf i can take that out reducing it to one leaf on that internode i should probably take this little one off here i got three branches in one spot so i’ll take this little one off like that yeah i think that’s it that’s the tree i can give it a good watering put it back on the bench it’s a very blustery day today you can see the wind blowing i’ve got to water my trees on the benches they’re drying out we did get a little bit of rain last night but not much not enough to soak the trees we might get some more today but i better water just to make sure i can’t rely on the rain we haven’t had much so not much lately so yeah my next task water all the trees i’ll give you an update on my elm tree the one i cut back really hard right here so i sealed the top with that rubber cement and you can see it’s got new growth on this one shoot already and around back here there’s a new bud that’s formed right close to the cut point so that’s kind of exciting i uh i think it’s going to branch out really nicely from the top here i’ve got all the tin foil on my trees today because it’s quite sunny and it’s quite hot out so that’ll protect them and keep them hydrated for the day i have seen the first signs of life on the yucca forest if we look around here and i’ll zoom in right here you can see a new green chute just coming out on the trunk there i think that’s the only thing happening oh there’s one back here too it’s a green little shoot coming out do i see any more ah might be one here i’m not sure if that’s a rude or a shoot last time i hard pruned this tree back i got shoots coming out of the root base here so i had to prune those off because i don’t want them growing new branches down there but yeah at least there’s something happening i just have to be patient it’s exciting to see the first signs of life on them after hard pruning the forest the solar powered fan that tom sent me is working really really well it just whales when the sun comes out it’s like a jet engine it just shoots the air out it’s fantastic i’ve got my mr all apart down here i finally got the right torx bit to take it apart so here’s here’s the pump so i’ve got the pump out of the out of the mister i just have to take it apart see if i can find anything that i can clean on the inside if not if the pump’s just you know worn out well there’s not much i can do everything in the greenhouse is doing very well i did have a lot of scale insects and that’s because it’s an enclosed space like this so i’ve been dealing with more scale than if they were outside on the benches but you know that’s just something you have to deal with when trees are in an enclosed space uh but everything’s looking really healthy in here growing well so i’m quite happy the greenhouse is best in spring and fall when the temperatures outside are cool you can kind of keep it heated or it keeps it a little warmer and that’s when you really get the benefit of a greenhouse it was nice to get some mid-summer pruning done today getting a few trees reduced from quite large canopies back to something a little more compact that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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