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Advice on hard-prune for Privus -- Newbie 2 weeks 3 days ago #63325

  • clg
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Good day! I'd previously posted about this tree when I received it in the Newbie section. It's overwintered and I'm planning my hard-prune to help guide it into a more bonsai-like shape/condition. I've already removed an extraneous and unattractive 2nd trunk (in first photos). I feel the current height suits the pot size appropriately, but the tree is gangly-as. I was advised to give a hard prune, but the originally recommend prune...scares me to be honest lol. I've got a few photos of the tree below of what I've done and what I'm thinking as a long term plan. Red lines indicate where I'm thinking to prune to, and the purple lines are my thoughts for the final appearance. I don't know how realistic these thoughts are, though, or if this will be the best way to achieve it! Looking forward to your thoughts, TIA.

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Advice on hard-prune for Privus -- Newbie 2 weeks 3 days ago #63326

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Welcome!
I think it's excellent that you have a plan for it!
But two things at the same time I guess it's not possible; you either thicken the trunk (planting it in a grow box or outdoors in the ground) and letting it grow free, or you prune it lightly. Wasted time doing both.
The third (good) alternative is chopping it down *and* planting it in a grow box to start the thickening process and the structural branching process at once.
You know what the Japanese bonsai people say?
"You have to make it ugly to make it beautiful ".
PLEASE if you are going to chop it down and replanting it, do it by the very beginning of the Spring.

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Advice on hard-prune for Privus -- Newbie 2 weeks 2 days ago #63329

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I'm not sure what you mean by grow box (unless you just mean "big pot it can stay in for ages"), but I don't have a good option to grow it outside. We rent here and while we plan to stay long-term, landlords can uproot us (hah) at any stage. I'm most interested in just thickening the tree atm. I don't really trust it not to tip over in a stiff wind xD (it's in a sheltered position, but I worry)

If I prune it lightly and just kind of keep it this size ongoing (it's pretty close to the height I'd want anyway), will it still thicken over time, just more slowly? Or is a grow box/ground the only way to do that?

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Advice on hard-prune for Privus -- Newbie 2 weeks 2 days ago #63333

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clg wrote: I'm not sure what you mean by grow box..


www.bonsaiempire.com/forum/tools/13289-b...r-bonsai-in-training

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Advice on hard-prune for Privus -- Newbie 2 weeks 2 days ago #63338

  • Ivan Mann
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Like so many things, bonsai sometimes involves compromising between what has to happen and what can happen. If you don't have a large flat area to let it thicken up, you can't, so something else.

The more room the roots have, the thicker the trunk will grow. Put it in a pot somewhat larger than it is in now, let it stay outside in the sun and see how fast it thickens up.

Or, chop it down to short enough that the thickness matches the height and put it in a smaller pot.

Or, something else.

If you are in the northern hemisphere there isn't anything you should do right now except put it outside, so wait until spring before deciding.

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Advice on hard-prune for Privus -- Newbie 1 week 6 days ago #63375

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It's Spring here in Australia.

If I were just keep it pruned in this general shape, would "nothing" happen to the shape/thickness? Essentially a bit of a holding pattern while I make a better plan and try again next year?

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Advice on hard-prune for Privus -- Newbie 1 week 6 days ago #63379

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Not sure why you would hold till next year?

If you just want thickening, give it a larger shallow pot. Fertilize and water lots and give it plenty of sun. Then just let it run.

Do note: EVentually you have to cut it back. THe bigger the tree before cutting back, the bigger the cuts you have to make (and later conceil as privet do not really grow over cuts well)

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Advice on hard-prune for Privus -- Newbie 1 week 6 days ago #63383

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I wasn't sure if it would be safe to repot. When I asked for advice when I initally received the tree, I got the impression that it was best to let it settle for a while, as it looked like it was fresh repotted when I received it (June). Is 4 months long enough to repot??

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