Here’s a video of their current state: https://youtu.be/Nx5BvBfXWO8
Ideal goal and visualization - small Niwaki garden tree about 6’ tall (not a small bonsai, but also not a huge 15-25’+ Niwaki garden tree. Anywhere from 5-7’ would be ideal.
I have 4 baby JBPs, that are around 8-9yo now. When I received them (+2 years ago), they were about 12-16” tall, and pencil thick at most.
They seem healthy and vigorous (this year especially), and now about 1.25” thick at base.
I reduced last spring whorl candles into 2/bifurcation in May for the secondary branches and wired them horizontally (whorls had 6-12 candles each). The candles were already +6" long in May.
I also left a backup/insurance leader for all 4 of them (and also a few backup/insurance side-branches), because the current long leader’s internode is super long, leaving a large gap/space between its’ new upcoming whorl and the lower existing branches.
So, my current concern is the very large gap/space between the long leader’s newest whorl and the existing lower branches.
Should I keep it, or chop it off to replace it with my shorter backup/insurance leaders? Or just chop it shorter?
Will that long leader produce lower side-branches to fill in that very large space/gap?
Another concern is that my overall trunk curves, curve sizes, movements are maybe too small, unnoticeable and less-pronounced for a larger 6’ Niwaki garden tree (say, viewed from a distance). Perhaps I should make the movements and curves with much bigger radius and slants? Maybe even just clip&grow the leaders over a longer period of time to create larger radius curves and slants built with long, straight-sections of the trunk/leaders/internodes? (dunno if that made sense… maybe, visualize building/making a very large curve with a rigid, straight 12" ruler)
I noticed my 2 much older and bigger niwaki JBPs don’t have trunk-chops nor “kinks” (to make movements) and seem like they were just left to free-grow until desired size/height (very straight trunk sections/internodes), while the branches were trained horizontal during its’ free-growing. They do have a slight trunk-chop though; but only very high up, at the very top, before the crown, already 4-5’ above soil. I also noticed most garden niwaki I see at bonsai nurseries are like this too - no trunk-chops until the very very top and pretty straight trunk sections/internodes (almost like a formal upright… but still not perfectly/super straight from a distance/overall).
Anyways… are you supposed to just let the leader/trunk free-grow until desired tree-height (for garden tree/niwaki), or try to make trunk movements early-on like I am now? (while also training side-branches horizontal of course).