Bonsai is all about the long game, and a vast majority of the techniques we apply to trees are carried out with a vision that might not be fully realized until years, if not decades, down the road. Trees that aren’t thoughtfully maintained with such a long-term vision often regress and must occasionally be redesigned for the future, as is the case with the bonsai featured in this post.
This Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) was sold by Kouka-en to a customer nearly six years ago, and was subsequently poorly maintained. After recently personally re-acquiring this tree myself, I spent a few short hours removing the overgrown branching and wiring the softer growth into place. A few more years and this tree will be back in proper shape.
See the full explanation of this tree’s transformation in video form in our upcoming online Bonsai Intermediate Course, to be released with Bonsai Empire in April 2016!