I just received a beautiful, 5-year-old Jaboticaba tree today. It looks bushy. How long do I wait to prune it? I would appreciate some recommendations on books or resources for information and tips about growing bonsai. Are there rules to pruning ala roses? What is a great fertilizer? I'm an experienced gardener, but I've never tried this before and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.
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Always grow a newly purshased tree without any prunning, wiering, styling for at least a full growing season.
You dont prune for the sake of prunning. It is part of a design process. So step one is to identify what your vision for this tree is. That vision will determine which stepsto take after that. You have at least a year to find what the tree wants to be. Take your time, study the tree and buy a bonsai book.
If it were my tree, I would wire the trunk for some movement and plant it in a much bigger pot. Grow it for 3-5 years with a couple of root prunning sessions during that time and start my design planning after that. That is a very thin trunk. Possitive is that it easier to bend, negative is that it takes very long time to get into proportion.
Well, for Jabuticaba you can preety much create movement by prunning, selecting the ramifications you want... But it helps a lot taking sometime to reflect about what you want for it's future, tracing next steps, of course, sometimes it can deviate and require some changes on your plan, but it surely helps...
Here, where they are native from, you have to pay extra attention if you wire it, the wire can bite it easily if you don't, but yes, as leatherback said, it heals wounds exceptionally well, AND very importantly, they are kind of stubborn to wireing, and as they respond very well to prunning, most preffer to shape it by pruning it, wireing carefully only the trunk... It's rooting isn't that fast, so I think your tree shouldn't be on a small pot yet, I would put it on a bigger one, and let it get a wild crown for a bit to thicken the trunk, as it's a tropical tree, they love water, so it doesn't mind a mix with a bit more organic soil...