First post so hey everyone and looking forward to a new bonsai adventure. New to bonsai and looking for a few projects to get me started.
I have a stump which I believe is mock orange (Philadelphus) which has new shoots. I hope in a few years I will have thicker trunks and branches to shape a bonsai and perhaps carve the stump into a nice piece. As you can see from the pics I’m at a very early stage and priority is getting a strong plant to work on down the line. In this regard is there anything I should be doing further to the below to help make this into a bonsai?
So far, I’ve uprooted it chopped off a lot of the old dead roots and branches and put it in a large pot of general purpose compost and a bit of garden soil. I can see it has promising fibrous roots. I’ve also pruned off smaller shoots from around the stump hopefully channelling the energy to the 3 main ones visible in the photo.
I plan to just leave this in a sunny spot, look after it, prune it back every once in a while and wait a few years.
Any comments on what I have done/should be doing. I.e. is mock orange a reasonable bonsai project, should I wire the shoots my desired shape now? Should I cut back to just one shoot rather than 3? Or is this all just a matter of choice and these decisions are part of the journey?
I also have an elder currently wrestling with my beech hedge which I plan on digging up and potting shortly, the growth on this one is much more mature so may well post about this one too!!
You have a nice stump there. The main focus shuold be to get it well established in a pot.
I personally am not a fan of elder for bonsai. Hollow branches and soft wood that easily rots.. But if you like it, go for it. Keep in mind the leaves remain large. But I understand the urge if you are new, looking for material.
It's your tree, and you might do something completely different, but what I would do is put it in partial sun for a couple of years, fertilize with balanced fertilizer once a week, and let it grow.
Spend the next year or two seeing what grows where and think about a plan for the thicker branches. Multi trunk? Single trunk? There is really no need to make a decision soon. I would wait for a decision at least one year and probably longer.
The one thing I would do now is get some sealer to seal up the stump so it doesn't rot away.