Help with Crab Styling

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Help with Crab Styling

Postby wiggs » January 27th, 2018, 10:32 pm

Hi All,

Acquired this crab a few weeks back and pretty excited to give it some styling, just not sure exactly which way to go so looking for some direction/feedback.

Front views IMO

ImageImageImage

Back side
Image




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Re: Help with Crab Styling

Postby Raging Bull » January 28th, 2018, 7:56 am

Hi Wiggs,
That tree has a nice lower trunk on it. I would take off the top of the tree just above the bottom scar where the four small branches are. Two of those branches I would also remove, leaving the one that's growing in the opposite direction to the exsisting main trunk and one other. These remaining trunks could then be left with some wiring to style the tree and then see where it wants to go. I would also leave the bottom branches, except for what appears to be a sucker, as sacrifice branches to further thicken the trunk. You may be able to remove the sucker with some of the root attached and grow another tree from it. If you think the additional scar in that area would make it too ugly or give it reverse taper you could do something similar half-way between that area and the first bend, where there are several branches coming off the trunk. Whatever you do, you have a great starter to work with and there are several other options you could pursue. Which-ever way you go, please keep posting, I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in this tree's progression.
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Re: Help with Crab Styling

Postby shibui » January 28th, 2018, 5:45 pm

There are many possible trees in your crab apple. You will need to decide what you would like from it before making decisions or taking advice.

I cannot see all the movement in the trunk in a couple of 2d pictures. There is so much more to see in real life that decisions could change a lot but I have a couple of rough options for you to consider.

I think my first is what Raging Bull has already put into words. There won't be much left after this pruning but be assured that it will produce new buds and grow back very well.
It will probably be a smaller tree which will be OK if it has smaller fruit but may look a bit odd if this crab variety has large apples. Also remember that smaller bonsai can be harder to keep alive and develop properly. This virt just shows the cuts. Growing branches from what's left and any new buds is up to you but it is just a standard informal upright tree I think.
crab 1 cuts.jpg


If you'd like a slightly larger tree, there's another spot to cut up higher. This time I've also tilted the tree a bit to the left to make it a bit more upright. The larger size should give you more room to grow branches and display flowers and fruit in season. I've even managed to get some new branches and foliage on your new tree :D with my rather primitive virt skills :tounge:
Crab wiggs 2 virt.jpg


I also think there is a possible semicascade or maybe even a cascade in there if you wanted to go that far.
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Re: Help with Crab Styling

Postby wiggs » January 28th, 2018, 7:35 pm

Thanks guys appreciate both opinions both great options and open to both, hence why I posted as when I bought it I liked how many possibilities it had.

I’m in Sydney, give the current heat/humidity we are having thoughts on leaving it currently, whichever cut I go with, I’d like to hope I could get a cutting out of the main branch I cut? Worry I do the cut now the cutting may die in this heat?


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Re: Help with Crab Styling

Postby shibui » January 29th, 2018, 6:55 pm

I put in crab apple cuttings last week despite the heat but I do have better than average conditions for cuttings.
Cuttings now will root far quicker than winter ones but winter (dormant) cuttings are far easier to get roots on.
Every day that you don't cut this tree is another day it is not developing into a bonsai. you need to ask whether the possibility of a few rooted cuttings is worth deferring the cuts you need to make.

If you are determined to grow some cuttings I would try some now - there's plenty of nice strong shoots here to use and there will be plenty left to use for winter cuttings if the first lot fail. I usually use cuttings about 15-20 cm long (about 3-5 nodes).
I assume this is not grafted so even the suckers growing low down should be good. Also don't forget that roots will also strike when you get around to repotting this one.
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Re: Help with Crab Styling

Postby wiggs » January 29th, 2018, 7:24 pm

Yes good points thanks for the feedback appreciated


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Re: Help with Crab Styling

Postby wiggs » February 14th, 2018, 5:48 am

ImageImage

Finally had enough time to work on this over the weekend.

Note I have only left that second branch as safety due to the drastic cut back I made and styling and in case the styles branch doesn’t survive.


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