I almost killed this tree back in 2005 when I wasn't watering it enough. It's been a struggle to make it look good ever since!
These trees burst into growth when spring comes. The perfect time to work on them. This is after a major prune and a major wire. I really should be using much thicker wire. Note my favourite aerial root! I'll need to strap the root to the trunk of the tree because it's become quite thick and unsightly.
So all the wire has come off and you can see it didn't do a hell of a lot! I completely defoliated the tree in early February. This is so that there's enough time left in summer for new leaves to grow but only enough for them to grow small. So you're left with smaller leaves for the rest of the year, which is prettier. You can see that aerial root become thick quite quickly.
Again, a lot of growth as the warm weather arrives. I'm still not sure what to do with this tree. You can see that everything is growing straight upwards, which is what it's supposed to do. It's a constant battle to bend the branches downwards to look like a full sized tree.
My Chinese dude
MAJOR prune. Major wire. But I like where this is headed. The tree will bud this summer and I'm hoping to get a foliage pad on the left, at the top and on the right. I want that branch on the right to thicken up. We'll see where this goes next year... This is the front view.
Believe me, this major prune wasn't easy after watching the tree grow for so many years. This is the back view
5 months after the major prune it's looking pretty good. I got that foliage pad on the left I was after and also on the right. I still want that branch on the middle right to thicken. Not sure what will happen to that new branch that's growing low down on the right. The tree also had some wiring recently to shape it. The top was bent down towards you. I also did some pretty major work on that aerial root. I meticulously dug it and it's many sub-roots out from the soil, lifted it to give it some slack, then tied it along side the trunk. It worked a treat and is by far my most favourite thing about this tree. The next pic gives a close up
Autumn 2009 (April)
The tree now flows better rather than really looking anchored down by that aerial root. See how the root splits into sub-roots? I've dug away a lot of the moss, which had formed this thick matt, to expose the roots more.
Spring 2009 (October)
Lots of leaves!
Late Summer 2010 (February)
I've repotted the tree into a larger pot and I've done some pretty major wiring. The lowest branch, I'm wiring so that it comes around the back of the tree and fills out the other side. The tree is looking far more balanced now and not everything is growing straight up! I've also put those green rings around the aerial root to try and bring it nice and close to the trunk.