Should You Grow A Lemon Tree Bonsai, Part 1

Should You Grow A Lemon Tree Bonsai, Part 1

I’ve been growing a lemon tree from seed since April, inspired by this tree. It received it’s first major cut a couple days ago, taking the main trunk way back while leaving 2 low branches. Hoping for sunny days in the near future

Hi everyone nigel saunders here today i’m going to be working on my lemon bonsai i’m going to be trimming it up and repotting it i last repotted the lemon tree in june of 2017 so about four and a half years ago so it’s well overdue for repotting now i want to put it in a slightly larger pot to try and get a nice radial root spread going here’s the pot that i picked out for the lemon tree it’s a white glazed shallow oval pot and i think that’ll give the roots lots of room to grow out and expand the last time i worked on the tree i picked the new front and marked it here which i think will look quite nice it flows up nicely into the canopy up until now i’ve been keeping the lemon tree down in the basement where it’s been around 10 degrees celsius so i’m going to repot it today prune it up bring it up into the plant room and i’ll start warming it up and it should react like it’s spring and begin growing at the moment the lemon tree has very large leaves on it you can see the size of them compared to my hand normally they’re more like about this size up here smaller half this size at least when i repotted into the larger pot the oval pot it’s going to give those roots room to grow and i may get a lot of large leaves also it may explode in new growth and be very vigorous until the roots kind of fill out the new pot at the moment the lemon tree should be very vigorous it grew well all summer and then it’s been in the basement chilling but it had the grow light above it so it should be full of vigor all those starches will have turned to sugar over the winter and it’ll be ready to grow so i think it’s strong enough that i can defoliate the tree do my pruning to the upper branches and then do the repotting so i’m going to begin today by defoliating the lemon tree if i don’t defoliate the tree it’s hard to see the structure especially with these large leaves if they’re all small leaves maybe i could leave the leaves on but i think to get a good pruning i need to remove the leaves and then step back and have a look at the branch structure and then do any corrections that are necessary so here i go i’m going to start the defoliation getting rid of these giant leaves that smell beautiful there’s giant thorns on this tree too so you gotta be careful with your fingers because they are sharp i’m just leaving a little bit of the leaf stem on there or stock petiole and removing the leaves it just smells absolutely beautiful in the greenhouse that lemon fresh smell that’s fantastic these thorns are so sharp i think i’ve accidentally knocked my fingers on them a couple of times now you’d think i’d learn my lesson the first time but no i think that is it it is defoliated so now you can see the structure of the tree much more easily or much more clearly and now i can make better decisions on what i want to prune i’m going to rotate the tree around so you can see it from all angles so this is what i picked as the front last time i worked on the tree so it could change today so i’ll rotate it around so that’s the front coming around to the right hand side coming around to the back view coming around to the left hand side and then back to the front so now i’ve got to look at the tree rotate it and decide what i like is the front view well i do like that view as the front view it is really nice this view isn’t as interesting this view has a nice root base too this view everything’s kind of going away from you this view is okay i guess that was the former front view maybe no maybe that was the back it’s okay um yeah i definitely think what i picked as the front is still the best view somewhere around there if i pick this as the front view i’ve got this branches coming up and kind of interfering or crossing in front of the branch above it so i’ll have to prune this part of it off shorter i’m looking for a bud that comes out the back there is one way back here i think that’s my best choice to prune it back hard and develop a bud out the back of the tree here there’s another one that’s kind of coming down lower here but again it’s kind of growing straight towards the viewer it’s not as good as the choice back here so i’m going to take it back so here i go right back to here like that this other branch here it’s getting a little long i’ve got it flows nicely you can see you know where i’ve pruned it here and then it’s grown here i pruned it again it’s grown here so it changes direction and gets a bit of taper to it there’s a shoot here that’s kind of going upright i’ll prune the tip of it off there’s a bud coming out here this one could be shortened um i got one coming out the back i’ve got one coming out the front so i’ll take it back to there the part of the back has the same thing i have a branch coming here one to the left one to the right so i can take it off here shortening it back i think that’s all i could do i don’t like this area but maybe something else will develop in the future and i can prune this branch off and develop something out this direction we’ll see what happens this branch it could be pruned just a little shorter i’ll take the tip of it off then i’m going up the trunk line and it divides here divides again i’ve got some nice branches happening i’ve got two growing from one spot here so i don’t like that i’m going to clean up my stub here so i’ll get my branch pruners and i’ll come in and clean that up okay here i go i’ll come in here like that nice cut there’s a stub back here i could prune up also this one right here so i’ll do that one too and come in above here and take it off there like that another nice cut that’ll heal really nicely i’ve got i did a major pruning here and i’ve got a shoot coming out each side i don’t want those i uh i just want to develop the branches up here so i’m going to take both those off they don’t flow in at all with the design of the tree they’re kind of 90 degree branches no flowing movement to them so off they come like that now here i’ve got the major trunk line divides into two and i’ve got a shoot coming out the front which kind of divides this very early and i’ve got to decide if i want to keep that or not um it’s not bad i think i do want to keep it it looks pretty good in the front view i think there’s a branch here it comes up i’ve got some shoots here and it could be a bud here i think i want to develop something out this way so i’m going to take the tip off like that i’m going to follow this branch up now i’ve got it flows nice i’ve got a vertical one here which i don’t think i like um let me have a look no i do not like that so i’m going to take that one off again it just doesn’t flow in with the tree then this branch comes up and divides nicely into three so i’m going to take the middle one out and keep the two branches that are fanning outwards like that and then i could shorten now i’m gonna leave that i think that one’s okay this one’s been shortened so let’s follow this trunk line up now so i’m coming up the trunk line i’ve got a lot of branches growing from one spot here let me see which looks the best from the front well these two branches here kind of grow straight out towards the viewer so i don’t think any of those are good i think it would look better if i took both of them off and then just keep these two branches that kind of you know flow a little better so i’ll just try do i want to do that i probably do yes i do okay off they come they’re just not going in a good direction a lot of thorns on them too there nice cut there okay so that should be looking better now i can reduce the crown height here i’ve got a bud coming out the back or there was a leaf there coming out the back so i’m going to take that off here shortening that back this one i better take the tip off that one like that okay let’s follow this one up now so i’m coming up i divide from one there’s a branch off here branch off there my leader keeps going straight i’ve got kind of a branch hanging down which nothing developed off of it i’ll take the tip back here taking the tip off i’ll take the tip off this one there’s a bud that kind of goes a good direction here actually there’s one down here i’m gonna take the whole end of that branch off and then i’ve got a bit of a pruning stub here i can clean up like that and one here i got to get in there very carefully like that there’s where my lemon was growing before it started developing and then when i was watering in the dark i accidentally bumped it with the watering can really hard and i knocked the lemon off so that was too bad but i’m sure i’ll get more lemons on it someday i think i’ve got to shorten this one this branch looks too long i’m going to take the tip off at least maybe that’ll stimulate some more growth so i think that’s got all the branches in order let’s have another look at it from the front here’s a look at the lemon tree from the front i could see you know in the future if more branches develop further pruning to refine the uh overall basic structure but the structure that’s there right now isn’t too bad i think it’s a it’s a nice kind of flowing lemon tree i think it looks quite nice i’m going to dispose of these lemon clippings very carefully you can see the sharp thorns that are on the lemon tree they’re just wicked you don’t want to step on them especially in the summertime so i’ll i’ll decompose those in the compost bin where no one will step on them the next step for the lemon tree is to get it out of the pot and have a look at the roots all right i’ll take the front marker out put that aside i’m going to begin the repotting by taking all the moss off the surface of the soil so i’ll get that all removed so i was working on trying to get a more balanced radial root base on the tree it was very one-sided and it’s been like that ever since it was grown from a seed so i’ve been you know over all the years trying to balance the root system to try and get a nice radial root system that’s balanced evenly balanced all the way around the tree i don’t think i’m there yet but you know i’m always working towards that goal okay now i’m gonna see if the tree is loose in the pot or if i need to it is quite tight in here i’m going to have to go around the edges and just loosen it up before i even try getting it out i don’t think it no it doesn’t want to lift out well that might do it i’m going to try and get it out of the pot now let’s see if it wants to go there it goes just popped out like that wow that’s a lot of roots there’s a look at the roots so they’re quite tightly packed in at least at the edges of the pot hopefully they’re not so packed in that it’s hard to rake them out but i’ll begin i’ll get out the root rake and start raking out the roots so so far from what i see the roots are only tightly packed at the very edges of the pot that in the interior here there’s lots of room for root growth they’re not really tightly packed so that’s good means i’ll be able to rake them out and sort out the root structure a little more easily rather than having them like a solid brick of roots that’s really tough to work on [Music] this lemon tree is quite old it’s was grown from a seed by someone else and then it was given to my mom and then she gave it to me and i’ve been growing it as a bullseye for about 25 years now a long time i think i’ll get out my root hook i think that’s what i need to separate the roots here i’ve got my root hook so it just you can carefully go in and sort out the roots it doesn’t damage the roots it just allows you to get in there and pull now you do want to all these roots that kind of cross you want to keep your radial roots and all the ones that are crossing will it’ll either comb them out or rip them out one of the two but it’ll get them all kind of nice and radial eventually once i’ve finished and create a really nice root system for the lemon tree you can see it’s quite dry the soil i uh i didn’t water it because i knew i was going to repot it so i’ve left it a little on the dry side and it’s best when they’re chilled in the basement it’s best not to have the soil too wet otherwise you can get root rot even though you know the tree’s dormant but you don’t want them sitting in wet soil damp is just fine when they’re dormant you can see the roots look really healthy on it now once you know the temperature once this tree’s up in the plant room it’s going to really like the warm weather and all these roots are going to become active and the tree’s going to start growing at least that’s the plan so once i have all the surface roots kind of combed out then i’ll flip it over and i’ll start on the bottom we’re getting a cold night tonight minus 18 degrees celsius and then tomorrow night is even colder it’ll be minus 23 degrees celsius that’s pretty cold i’ve got a root that’s kind of crossing here i think i’m going to start working on the bottom i got so many long roots here that i got to sort them out so i’ll make sure the tree is off the edge of the table and then i can start i’ll probably have to cut away a lot of these roots that are kind of hanging off that we’re kind of circling around the pot and you know all these ones that are on the bottom here all right here i go so i’ll be taking a layer off the bottom that’s a little better now i’ll get i’ll just comb out a bit of the soil first and then i’ll dump that and we can work on a clean turntable now here’s a root that’s kind of growing strangely i might have to do a little trimming i think where does that come from yeah it grows from those roots i pruned goes down hits the bottom of the pot and then goes a strange direction so i will prune the weird direction part of it away like that [Music]

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