Cherry Tree: Trimming Scraggly into Neat and Plush [Bonsai]

in bonsai •  3 months ago  (edited)


Enjoy this brief overview of my quick work in trimming this tree in late Spring.

The young Cherry tree cutting is starting to look a bit wild with many long side limbs. With all of this vigorous May growth, the tree is now ready for a trim.


Side View

Lack of pruning can cause the tree and bonsai pot to tip over when the branches become side heavy.


Top View

With simple know-how, I think I can change this tree from scraggly and lanky into a neat and plush shape. By removing the long limbs, ironically, we will make the tree look like it is has fuller, healthier growth than it did before.

Freshly Pruned


One of the first things I did was prune back any branches becoming too tall. Anything taller than the central apex of the tree was shortened down to size.


Side limbs were shortened.

Since new branch divisions often grow back where the leaves form on the stem, I choose a pruning mark next to a leaf. Not only will this end leaf likely become a new branch, but the leaf direction determines the direction the new stem will grow.

Other leaves on the stem may also sometimes grow into branches. This is a great way to develop multiple thick branches on a bonsai tree with few branches.

Quick Tip: Cherry tree can be very profitable to grow. All of the branches cut off from the tree can be rooted to grow into new a new tree. Each one will have the same clonal DNA as the original tree. Same disease resistance, fruit flavor, and leaf coloring. Although, trees may take years to develop the fruit and the deep red leaves as the mother tree.


This side view really shows the new potential for this tree. Eventually this could become my chosen front for the tree.

In traditional Japanese tree design, the line of the branches moves from low, across the tree to a middle height, and then up over the center to the highest point. It matches the Taoist poetry of life symbolized by earth, person, and sky (or birth, life, and afterlife).

Notice how I pinched off many of the leaves in the center of the tree. They were masking too much of the tree, so now we can see the trunk and branches. Sunlight can now warm up and invigorate more living wood to develop buds. The Soda Pop Straw trunk has returned as a prominent feature of the tree.

Historical Details of this Tree

ID: 0024
Nickname: Soda Pop
Type: Cherry
Age: 3 years
Grown: cutting from branch
Last repotting: November 9, 2018.
Wired: never

Past articles featuring this tree:

Photos in this post are all #originalworks by @creativetruth, unless stated otherwise.

Find me on discord and chat with other tree growers, bonsai enthusiasts, and gardeners.



No memberships. Love trees. Make friends. Grow together.

#photography #pruning #bonsai-pruning #leaves #stem #trunk #branch #branches #design #development #cutting #propagation


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Photos are great. Your little cherry tree really is the center of attention poised against the rock wall.

The fruit loop colors definitely pop-out on those leaves.

The leaves on that day showed sequential color changes from pink, to orange, to yellow, to green along the longest branches.

The oldest leaves will turn back to yellow, orange, and red again.

Would be a fun tree to let it grow full size, so it always has the branch tips extending upward with new leaf colors.

Found a cherry tree (I think) in the neighborhood today with a huge trunk. The bark resembled horizontal silver and gray zebra stripes.

Labor of love. Beautiful tree...

Throwing this up for more rewards. I don't have enough vote power.. but it's too awesome to forget...

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