Pruning My Pre Bonsai Garden – Flowering Bonsai Tree

Flowering Bonsai Tree

It’s time to get the front pre-bonsai garden pruned up and ready for the growing season. Today i’m going to be tackling my pre-bonsai garden i haven’t gotten to this garden in quite some time and as you can see the trees have grown as tall as the front porch in the house i did get a lot of rabbit damage this year a lot of my cedars out front here got chewed right to the ground

Video Transcript

My Bonsai spruce over here ninety percent of it got chewed away and there’s some shoots up top so it’s still alive but i don’t know how suitable some of these trees are for bonsai anymore they’re kind of more like garden trees i guess there are quite a few trees that i do want to get out of here for bonsai my boxwood here i’ve been letting that grow for many many years i’ve got some cuttings from this tree that have grown back in here i’ve got an ash tree that here that’s quite nice uh there’s some more american elms i dug the american elms out of this garden but i must have accidentally left part of the root in the ground and now they’re the size of the house there’s a lot of weeds in here so i can do some weeding there’s a few dead trees i can get rid of those i’ll try and prune some of these trees down and make them into bonsai but some of them you know all the lower branches got chewed away by rabbits so there’s not much left down below so they’re kind of tall trees now but i’ll prune them up the best i can i’ve got a couple of yew trees out front here that have been growing for many many years keeping them pruned compact so they can get pruned again today there’s a spruce tree here that was destined to be a bonsai a large bonsai that i can prune up today also so i’ve got lots of work today weeding and pruning back flowering bonsai tree so here i go because these trees are in the ground you can prune them back really hard and they’ll grow back in if these trees were in a bonsai pot you couldn’t get away with such a severe pruning growing trees in the ground is a good way to get your bonsai underway but as you can see they can quickly get out of hand they can grow meters tall in just one season to be successful like growing bonsai in the ground you need to dig them up every spring and root prune them and then plant them back in the ground if you leave them in the ground like this you’ll get a really poor root system i’m going to start by pruning up this box wood so you can see the tree is fairly large the base isn’t really really thick yet i don’t know if we can see it in here there it is down there so that’s the trunk on the tree so it right now it’s much too tall for the diameter of the trunk so i’m going to try and prune it back in height leaving you know enough foliage on the tree so it doesn’t set the tree back too far i’m going to start at the base of the tree and work my way up so i’m looking for good branches coming off the trunk and i’ll keep the good ones and anything that’s very long straight without any taper or movement will get pruned away so it’s very hard to get in here to see the tree so i need to open it up a bit so i’ll prune some of these straight shoots back trying to keep some foliage on each branch so taking the tips off if you don’t leave any foliage on the branch there’s a risk the branch could die back and that’s with any tree so there’s some very tall straight branches here that come up from the base and they need to be pruned back so i’m going to take this really thick branch off here here i go big cut like that so taking the entire top off the tree box would grow really easily from cuttings so i could plant this and it may root and grow i could uh prune off branches and take several cuttings off of this one branch and try and root them also the pruning scars on a box would heal very slowly because it is a fairly slow growing tree you will get you know growth extensions of about that long each spring so i’ll continue pruning away here here goes the apex big apex coming off the cuttings that i have behind this main boxwood are off this tree and i just pruned it stuck them in the soil and they rooted and grew no special preparations or anything for them i’m going to prune the apex down here now so i’m just starting conservative with the pruning and i may tighten the whole tree back even further as i work away most of the branches on a box would do grow quite stiffly and straight so you need a lot of pruning to get movement into the taper you can do a profile pruning to them it’ll get you a good general shape that you can work with in the future if you don’t have time boxwood can be grown in pretty well any style too um they don’t really have a natural form that’s recognizable i mean they grow generally as a sort of a bush i’m sure there are some fantastic specimens of boxwood summer in the world and boxwood are they’re fantastic plant for bonsai they don’t get pests and diseases much on them they just grow they’re fantastic so i’m removing a lot of the thicker branches keeping the slender ones to create kind of a a fine canopy on the tree hopefully it’ll look like a miniature tree when it’s done here or at least have the basic potential i think when you’re creating a bonsai that’s generally what you’re striving for is creating potential in the tree it may not be a finished bone side but you’re taking steps to create the potential for it to become a really good bonsai someday so you know it’s not necessarily about getting the perfect tree but developing the potential in the tree to get a really good tree someday i’ll come in now and show you what it’s looking like so far so let’s have a look from above here you can see the branch structure in there kind of spreading out there’s the trunk again so yeah a few more stiff branches here that could be removed maybe that one there just kind of growing straight without any movement or taper so i’ll keep going and then we’ll be kind of getting into the finer pruning kind of shaping it maybe in a you know a bit of a canopy on it and i finished pruning up the boxwood and there is a nice little tree that’s emerged so i’ll bend down you can see the top view here it’s a little sparse on top but that’ll grow in but we’ll come down and have a look at it so there it is i hope you can see that okay a nice tree that’s kind of emerged down there now there’s still some pruning i’ll have to do maybe take that vertical section off here but i think you know one more summer of growing and this will be ready to dig up put in a pot and start the more refined training of it the little boxwood cuttings around it i’ll just prune them back kind of making them compact and that’ll be it for the boxwoods for today the boxwoods are all pruned up so next i’m going to move on to my ash tree here this ash tree has been growing in the ground for quite some time and it’s looking really good it’s got a nice trunk and a nice branch structure the ash trees in this area have been decimated by the ash borer and this one has me touched usually the small ash trees don’t get touched by them so i’m kind of afraid to dig it up from the front garden and i don’t really want to put it back with my boneside trees because i don’t want borers to come with it so i’m going to leave it out front here for a while longer i’ll prune it up today but i’ll leave it in the ground for now all right i’m going to start cutting down the height of this tree i’m just putting off some dead branches a bit of winter kill there these leaders are just getting too strong i think i’ll have to use the lopper on these ones they’re kind of thick so here i go take it right here taking the top off take this one back to here and this one back to here i gotta take these back further too take the tips off the branches i think that’ll be it so behind it there’s a big tall maple here we’ll prune that next this maple here is just one year’s growth you can see how tall it is right up to there so i’m going to prune it back using the lopper so i’m going to take it back quite far some hard pruning or trunk chopping all right here i go so the trunk comes up and then it divides and it doesn’t have a lot of taper down below it’s got lots of movement but not much taper so i think i need some branches down below there’s a few started but i’m going to do some pretty severe pruning here i’m going to take this trunk off here timber yeah so that’s a pretty long branch i’ll take the next trunk off here like that another long long branch and the last branch i’ll take it back to here so that prunes it back to a stump if i get some branching coming off down below i can maybe reduce it further in the future but i think that’s it for now the next trees i’ll be taking back are these elm trees these american elms they’re getting quite tall so because they’re so tall and skinny i have to do a hard prune on them you basically just have to kind of cut them off so here i go take the top off there there’s a maple branch in the way here i’m going to prune back there so i’ve got one skinny trunk here one skinny trunk here and it looks like a dead one behind it so i’ll take this one back and go right back to here taking that one back and take the top off i think that’s good enough for that one for now now the one behind is quite thick not much going for it but i’m gonna take it right back i’m going to go right down to here right here actually taking the whole tree back to a stump because this is just kind of useless for bonsai it’s just tall straight growth very tall tree there’s one beside it i’ll take this one back to here another one here i can take back i think this one’s dead back here so i’ll take it right down to a stump yeah it was dead okay that kind of gets those elms pruned back and they’ll grow like crazy this summer from those stumps behind it i have a manitoba maple that’s just gone crazy too let’s clean it back big branch pruned off this one it’s kind of straight here so i’m gonna come right about here like that these are easy to cut because they’re not very old there’s one two three four five years five growth rings in here so it’s five years old that part of it i’m in the backyard here and i got the stakes laid out for the concrete pad you can see the black stakes there so it’s a fairly large area so i kind of have it to this side of the pear tree this side of the garden and the manitoba maple so i think that’ll be pretty good i can have a pathway going in here yeah so that’s the site that’ll be quite something to get that greenhouse up looking forward to it i’ve got a couple of spruce trees next and the rabbits killed off the whole bottom of the tree but it’s still alive up top there’s all kinds of new growth so i can’t do a lot on it i’m just going to prune this broken branch off all i can do is prune it back in height a bit and hope as this gains energy i get a bit of back budding down lower so i’ll take this in half here taking the tip off like that the spruce tree behind it is in better shape it has a few lower weak branches but all the lowest ones are being chewed on by the rabbit so again i’ll try and reduce it in height keeping some nice healthy foliage on the tree so i’ll just take this top bit off here like that taking the tip off and we’ll see i can maybe prune a few of these branches back but other than that i can’t really do too much this year now these are the spruce tips which are quite tasty to eat so you pick the tender shoot off put it in your mouth it’s kind of got a sweet um spooky taste to it and they make jam out of it and stuff so quite tasty yeah not bad there’s another spruce tree here that’s getting really tall out of control i better get to that so i’m looking for some healthy foliage i can reduce it back to so i’m going to take the top off here like that and it’s got kind of a twin trunk here so the one has been on the slant so i’m going to take that off totally keeping it a single trunk like that so that’s gone too the rest i think i’ll just let grow now see what kind of back budding i get see if i can reduce it down further in the future i have weeds i can pull out here get rid of that i haven’t had any success getting these walnuts out of the ground and having them live but i’ll i’ll prune it back maybe there’ll be a first gotta be a first for everything sometime get right back to here big top on that one these walnuts grow really fast you really got to keep your eye on them take this one back to here and this one back to here way back here i’ve got some ash trees growing beside the house so i’ll need to prune those back there i’m gonna take this part of it off here we’ll see how it grows there’s another walnut tree growing here i gotta prune that back pretty hard it’s getting tall i’m gonna go right back down to here like that you see it was just starting to grow leaves on it there’s a couple of branches down low here that something will come out down there i’m making good progress with the front garden things are getting a little bit smaller instead of growing up to the top of the roof so i’ll continue i’ve got some bushes there i gotta prune back and then we’ll start on the front part okay so this maple’s got to come off quite short i’m gonna prune this one right back to a stump back to here taking that whole top off all right the next i’ll prune the other trunk on the maple next and i’m looking for a suitable place to prune it back i want to go pretty hard on it um it doesn’t have much taper in the lower part so i could take it back anywhere i might as well keep the interesting features so i’ll take it off right here we’ll see what it looks like then so off goes the top [Music] and then this other branch i can take that off here there’s a dead branch down here that i can take off and get in there right here yep that was definitely dead i think i’m going to take this lower stump off even closer to the trunk to right there see what happens and then i’ll prune the top a bit just putting it back more compact and that’ll be it the maple is pruned up i’ve reduced the trees in the front garden down to a lot of them just to stumps so i’ll try and get some wood chips in here to keep the weeds down and let them grow for the summer so next i’m going to tackle these yew trees here they’re getting quite full and bushy they use here in the front garden are 25 years old and i’ve been pruning them regularly at least once or twice a year trying to get a nice branch structure so now i’ve got to prune them back so we can kind of reveal that branch structure that’s kind of hidden in there somewhere i’m going to start by just pruning back all the long shoots so these are all the shoots that grew last summer so i’ll prune them back keeping a little bit of the new growth half the battle with these uses putting them back far enough to the point where you can actually see the structure in in the tree so they’re not just a giant bush because they like to grow pretty bushy these use use when they’re in the ground you can prune them back to no foliage so just stumps and they will actually sprout and regrow it’s one of the few coniferous trees like this that’ll do that [Music] and again it is a little risky but if it’s healthy it should grow from a stump i’ve seen it done on hedges people have a hedge that’s just getting too big and they’ll just prune it right back to a stump and i think oh they’ve killed that tree they come back like three months later and that’s growing and they start their bush all over that one’s coming from i get rid of that one too like that there so you can see that second branch the first one is back behind here i’m still working away at the u here i’ll bring it in you can kind of see it a bit so it’s quite a monster of a tree uh it’s not as big as that last you i tried taking out of the ground but it’s fairly large it’s got some good roots in there so i’ll have to try and uh you know dig it out and preserve as much of the root as i can when i do go to lift this out of the ground which maybe next spring i don’t know so i’m yeah i’m continuing to prune it up trying to you know get back to my branch structure trying to figure out what’s going on up here in the apex which is super dense all right here i go yeah so there’s that a fairly young branch new bark on it just got really vigorous up top there there’s another branch here that’s kind of competing with the apex i’m going to take that off that one there and then there’s a branch here that is growing vertical take that back like that this is the actual apex of the tree and this is a really strong branch so to keep the balance of the apex over the center of the the trunk here i don’t want you know a cascading or leaning tree i’m going to prune this one off this thicker one and keep my more balanced branch that’s over in this direction like that so the apex is a little more centered over the tree i’ll bring you in now to have a look at the u tree so there it is you can see the structure on it so now i have to prune up this one which i gotta find the tree within the bush here somewhere in there is a tree all right let me get pruning and we’ll have a look at it i’ve got the second you prune down it’s not as nice a tree it’s kind of hard finding a nice tree in there the trunks kind of curved and then it kind of reverses the curve at the top which is good so i would think a lot of cleaning out needs to be done on the branches i don’t even know which is the front i think it would have to be you know somewhere around here or the opposite side so i don’t want to do a lot of pruning right now until i get it out of the ground take a good look at it and study it before you know you got to pick the front but i think it’s you know pruned down to size and i’ll let it grow for the summer and when i get it out of the ground we’ll make some more decisions i’ll finish up by pruning this walnut back pruning the spruce back i think there’s one two three of them there’s another walnut behind there that needs pruning back and i think that’s pretty well lit for the front garden well that is it i’ve finished pruning up the front pre-bonsai garden everything’s looking a lot smaller and more open up here so yeah i’ll uh clear all these cuttings away and then i’ll put wood chips down and that should be it for this year i’ve got the front garden all pruned up i was worried that i wouldn’t have any time to get to it this year but there it is it’s all pruned up and that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone

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