Cotoneaster Cranberry

Hello all. I am looking for a little guidance on my ideas for this little cotoneaster. I got it from a local bonsai nursery, Tsugawa, where it had been in a hot greenhouse. the branches were (and to some extent still are) covered in moss. I am removing the moss, have reduced the branches (weak, unwanted) and wired the tree as shown. One of the reasons I bought the tree is the double trunk with the bridging branch.

Since wiring as shown I am not at all sure that I want to maintain this as one tree. Here are a couple of ideas of cuts and I could develop as two trees.

Before making that decision, I wanted to submit this for input from folks more experienced than I am. What do you think?

I’m not the most experienced but my gut says the whole mess on the left is detracting from the thickness of the main trunk, which ought to be the main focus - it’s rare to get such a nice huge trunk on a cotoneaster! Then again maybe someone more skilled could really get something exceptional out of the whole thing together.

Thanks Sal, that’s my gut reaction too. I was quite amazed by the appearance of the main trunk and the nebari. I am thinking of making the cut and then trying to develop the small portion as a root over rock. So much fun!

I separated the two trunks.


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Do you have ideas for what you’re looking to do with the branches at this point?

I believe for now I am going to let it regain it’s vigor. I have decrease the foliage and roots substantially and it was already stressed from it’s greenhouse heat conditions and being covered with moss. eventually I think I might try and develop three sets of pads and go with a triangular development style. I have a couple of other cotoneasters and know that sometimes branching is difficult to develop in a traditional way. I think letting it fill in a bit and waiting for it to regain strength and reveal it’s natural structure might lead me to best decisions about how to develop it.

The direction of the branches now suggest a weeping style, but that might be because the tree was struggling and the moss was dense and may have prevented side branching.

Also the one root standing out from the tree may have to go. I haven’t decided yet.

If anyone has suggestions that would be wonderful! I am still learning and letting my brain develop and so am wide open to comment, suggestion, and criticism! :wink:

Sounds like a good approach - when you see long shoots you’ll have a better idea of how the tree will respond to future work. And this will leave plenty of time to make plans for the future!

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I really ramped up on the number of trees I am working on this year. I figure that way I can spread out my impatience and let trees develop a little more instead of feeling like I constantly need to be working on a few! This art definitely teaches on patience.

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After the separation I am helping them learn to take new directions in their lives. :wink:

After separating them I wasn’t sure the smaller of the two was going to make it, but about a month ago there started to be lots of new growth. The larger tree immediately began to recover and you can see all kinds of new growth. I did the wiring today and will probably take it off at the end of spring next year.

Whaddya think?

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It’s great to see the larger tree growing. Is there new growth on the second tree?

Yeah, a bunch of small leaves. It’s super flexible so lots of possibilities.