Working On My Aloe Bonsai

My Aloe Bonsai, The Bonsai Zone, Jan 2022

I remember when you first started this project and I wondered what style bonsai you where going to attempt. This is absolutely so cool. Might have to try this one myself.

Today i’m going to be working on my aloe bonsai my aloe bonsai started off as a single stem aloe and then over the years it’s gotten all these multi trunks and aerial roots and it’s just become well a monster it’s just grown tremendously the leaves have certainly reduced in size you can see they’re kind of miniaturizing because it has so many growing points and so many leaves that they’re actually miniaturizing like a bonsai here’s a shot that shows all the aerial roots in there that are growing down from the branches so today i want to give this tree some style it really has no style it just looks like a big bush so i’m going to try and expose all the features on the tree the aerial roots the trunks the branches try and give it a feeling of something larger than it really is down here at the base of the aloe you can see there’s new trunks forming so there’s one shoot that’s just this high so i think my first step is i want to remove these lower new developing shoots i want all my foliage to be up higher in the canopy i don’t think i want you know if i keep letting these shoots grow i’ll just get more and more trunks and it’ll just grow and spread out and become this huge clump style which really isn’t my intention i i want to i think i want to keep the trunks that i have and just stop any new ones forming so i can raise that green canopy up higher in the tree so here i go i’m going to start with this chute that’s right out front here and it has a pup growing off it also towards the inside so i’m just going to take it right off flush so here i go there so you can see you can see the pop that came off the inside there so these if i planted this it would probably root to be a good chance anyway so i’ll put the that over there so now you can see maybe the ariel roots a little better they’re getting quite tough and woody so i’m going to continue removing some of this lowest foliage there’s another shoot in here i don’t know if it’s a pup or a new trunk line it’s hard to say but anyway it’s too low so i’m going to cut that off too so that’s coming out because i that’s what makes this look like a bush is that i have all this foliage down low and it just kind of looks like a big sprawling bush i want to give it more of a tree-like form so there’s some more in here i’ve got some more branches or pups growing got to get rid of those from down low and those go off now back here i have a difficult decision i’ve got a pup growing off here and then an aerial route coming down another pup here and an aerial route coming off of it they would go down into the soil eventually if i let them grow but again do i want this foliage down low is the question or do i want to raise it up i think i want to raise it so let me have a look at the tree from the front again i’m stepping back looking at the aloe and i’m thinking here’s my plan is that i remove all the foliage from the lower third of the tree i keep my foliage in the middle third and the top third i try and reduce back if i can kind of aiming for a canopy height of about here i think that’s a good goal now there may be a lot of branches or trunks up here that i can’t reduce back i’m only going to reduce them back if i have a pup that’s coming off the branch lower down so a division i think i’m not 100 sure but i think if i prune you know the top off all the green off the top of one of these trunks it’ll just die back it won’t you know produce new pups or branches i could be wrong but from what i’ve seen i haven’t seen any anyone suggesting doing that so i’m not going to do it i’m just going to remove the lower third foliage try and reduce the top third down if i can and then i’ll work you know with what i have left over there are some trunk lines down here that i’m going to have to remove and i’ll show you those ones here’s a look at the base of the aloe and everything kind of sweeps upwards except i have this one branch that comes across horizontal and then starts sweeping up and i have another one behind that that is similar and it’s got some aerial roots that come off it which are really nice but it doesn’t flow in with the design of the tree so i’m going to remove those horizontal type branches it just doesn’t fit in with that kind of upright fanning kind of style all right here i go i’m going to come in at the base right back to here prune that off and the aerial roots that are coming off of it that are holding it in place which there’s quite a few ariel roots which is kind of nice to see all the aerial roots it’s a cool feature of the owl okay so that’s got that branch loose i’m just trying to get it out now between these ariel roots here i don’t want to break those ones oh i think there’s one more back here yeah there we go okay that branches out that clears up a lot of nice space and it also gives you a nice view of some of these aerial roots in here now there’s a pop down here i’ve got to remove it’s too low so right here and then here’s this other branch that’s kind of coming off on quite horizontal it’s not kind of flowing upwards i think that one’s got to come off too yeah so this one right here all right here i come i’m going to remove that one also so i’m looking for the basin i can always clean these cuts up later on that one just came right out had no aerial roots that’s good now there’s another pop coming in from here that i got to remove a low one i have enough vertical trunks on this okay let’s stand back and have a look at it now i still have some foliage down low here there’s a trunk there uh there’s one back in here i think yeah and one here so i’m going to prune out the ones that are in the lower third of the tree all right let’s find where they come from right here that’s that one out one off to the side here this one’s not a bad branch but it’s just i’ve got enough branches i just don’t need another trunk i’d rather work on the ones i have all right let them develop all these new ones okay and i have another i’ve got a green one in here that i can clip out now that one has a nice aerial root off of it i think i’m going to keep that one it’s got a really nice aerial route that comes down and wraps around another trunk it’d be a shame to get rid of that one and it’s fairly high the foliage if i remove these lower leaves on it which i’ll do right now and there’s one growing on the inside here i can remove yeah once i remove these it’ll be it’ll be above that one third height so that’s a good branch i can keep that one now there’s one in here that’s growing that i don’t need so i’m going to get rid of that one that one’s gone there’s another one out back here a young pup drawing get rid of that one just to bring my foliage up higher show off these trunks there’s another one out the back here i don’t need that one i’ll get rid of that one too another one here now this one does have some nice aerial roots coming off of it so again i think i’ll keep it i’ll just prune off the lower leaves and work on developing that one just a little higher so it kind of fits in with the design and then it brings me back to this one which had a nice aerial route but again i don’t think i need that one so it’s coming off too low on the tree this one it’s getting up to the acceptable height it does have an aerial root that’s kind of dried up i’m just trying to think does it need something there it’s not a bad branch i i think i’ll keep that one [Applause] yeah i will get rid of this one on the inside here there’s one growing there and then i’ll remove some of the lower leaves on it just so it looks a little taller than it is there’s a big lower leaf hanging down here i’ll just peel that one off it’s pretty loose clean up these these trunks a bit okay let’s go back to the front now which i think is the front yeah that is definitely the front and i’m looking at the front now and i’m not sure about this trunk line here it kind of sticks out there’s a look so i’m debating whether i should remove this one kind of everything else is kind of flatter and then this one sticks out towards the front and i don’t think i need it there’s no really nice aerial roots coming off of it it’s not the worst in the world i mean i could maybe just kind of redirect it a bit i don’t know it kind of hides all these nice aerial roots in the interior here too i think i’m going to remove it so here i go that’s gone so now you can see all these nice aerial roots there’s another pup in here i can remove and there’s one behind here i can remove getting rid of some of these lower pups there’s another one in here that could go but it’s i’ll keep that one okay that’s looking much much better down low here much better here’s a look at the aloe now so you can see it’s much improved you can see the base i have some leaves that are hanging down down the front i’m going to remove those that cleans the base up a lot so now i’ve got to work on reducing the height of my aloes they’re getting very very tall and i’d like you know a bit of movement so if they have pups kind of growing off the trunks somewhere down here i can prune them back to those pups again trying to take this top third off the tree no leaves in the bottom third and all my foliage will be eventually in that kind of a plane hopefully i’m going to begin pruning the top of the tree now on a trunk line like this it has some nice healthy leaves here so i could confidently cut the top off of it like this and that trunk line will survive if i were to prune it back to just you know the woody stem i wouldn’t feel confident i would probably think this trunk line if you prune it off with no leaves it would just wither up and die back now this does have a pop at the back actually i think it’s got two here yeah so i’m going to prune it right back to there so here i go big cut like that taking that whole top off that trunk line because i have pops or branches back here this one coming out the front you’ll notice i don’t have any pups growing off of it so i’m just going to prune the tip off like that and it’ll regrow from that tip i’m just hoping that it stimulates more pups to grow on that branch by pruning the tip off that’s all i’m hoping to achieve there now here’s another one coming up i don’t see any pups coming off of it so i’ll just prune the tip off like that let’s rotate around to here again no pups coming off this one so i’m going to take it back to here taking the top off here’s another one here i can take the top off and i think that’s got all the major trunk lines maybe this one in here i could get i wouldn’t call this one major but there so that’s got kind of the tips of all the branches pruned which hopefully will stimulate you know back biting or the the development of pops down lower now there’s a few leaves in here that are kind of yellowy looking that i’m going to pull out and that’s my next step is i’m going to remove any leaves that are growing in towards the center of the tree if you imagine looking down at the aloe plant i’m removing any leaves that are growing in towards the center of the plant i’m keeping all the leaves that are fanning outwards towards the outside perimeter but anything that’s growing inside kind of crossing all the other leaves and making it all jumble in there i’m removing all right here i go with that operation here’s one facing in towards the center pruning it out [Music] another one here one here another one here this may also stimulate pups to form if they’re getting sunlight down to the lower parts of the branches instead of being in the shade all the time it may not be as good for the aerial roots but definitely good for pups now this one trunk line at the back here let me just it has one two three three pups growing up so i can reduce the height of this one and i’ll leave a bit for die back but i’ll definitely take it off to here like that so i’m just you know doing a detailed look at it now to see if there’s any other pups i’ve missed that i can take branches back to there is this one that has a pump on the inside but i’d rather something form on the outside of this branch so i’m going to leave that as it is just studying the structure now looking to see if there’s any other places i can take branches back any leaves i can take off maybe this one that’s all fanning out when i say i can take this leaf off it’s too low leaving you know two or three leaves good leaves on each trunk line that is that’s looking very good i’m stepping back having a look at the aloe now so i i’ve achieved my goals i think i’ve removed the foliage from the lower part of the tree i’ve kind of kept my foliage in the middle and i’ve reduced my top back quite a bit it looks a little strange at the moment because all the growth on top is kind of flat looking because it was cut off once those new shoots start growing and i hopefully get more pups i think it’ll fill up really nicely again i’m kind of getting it ready to grow for the summer so that’s why i’m getting it pruned back now yeah it’s it’s come a long way i i think it’s quite interesting that lower trunk part there’s that lower trunk with all the aerial roots and kind of nice flare here really nice so yeah i think it’s interesting i guess it’s almost sort of a banyan style which is kind of strange for an aloe but you know we go with the flow the tree seems to want to grow this way so that’s the way i’m growing it yeah very interesting here’s a look at the top so what usually happens is where i’ve pruned off these growing tips it eventually starts growing out from the middle again because i haven’t cut it back to wood there’s still like little leaves starting to grow in the middle there they start extending out but i’m hoping you know this cutting back as i said i’m hoping it stimulates some pups to form down lower on the branches so i can kind of you know slowly start shaping the tree maybe it’ll be a banyan style with the umbrella canopy i don’t know it was originally going to be a single trunk and then i thought oh let’s it wants to grow in a clump style let’s go with the clump style so now maybe that clump style will form into a banyan style here’s a final look at the aloe it will be interesting following this plantar tree through the summer to see how it reacted to today’s pruning here’s a look at how much i took off today quite a pile of branches and leaves yeah that was a lot our city has three light displays going on this winter it had the planets at the island which i videoed and then it had those colored tubes at city hall and last night i went and videoed the lights at the shakespearean gardens so i’ll take you on that adventure now tonight is the last night of all the city’s interactive light shows so there’s one more show i want to show you down at the gardens so let’s head down there now i’m at the base of the royal oak tree and the place we’re going tonight to see the light show is just over here in the public gardens so let’s go have a look here we are at the garden entrance heading in to see the magical lit up landscape [Music] wow this is like avatar very cool here’s a look at the sundial it’s lit up like a globe tonight wow wow it really feels like avatar they even have music playing [Music] i feel like i’m walking on pandora [Music] this is really cool [Music] i’m at the base of the tower let’s have a look up [Music] [Music] my aloe has gone through another styling and shaping today i don’t know what it’ll turn into in the future but hopefully something cool that’s my goal is to create something kind of unique and quite interesting looking and that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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