Chinese Elm Tree: Opening the Center, Thinning and Trimming Techniques [Bonsai]

in #bonsai6 months ago (edited)


It is always a pleasure to share trees from my bonsai collection here on the Hive blockchain.

Today I am going to give this tree a little trim, and share the results.

When finished, I hope it will have better style than the mop of uncut hair on my head.

Seriously, I can't wait for the lockdowns to end so I can get a decent haircut.

Historical Info About This Tree:

ID: 0005
Nickname: Peach
Type: Chinese Elm
Age: 7 years
Grown: cutting
Last repotting: early summer 2017
Wired: never

Top View


Look at how overgrown this tree has become. It has several branches sticking out in random directions. The shape of the branches are a formless mess.

Where is the tree? Where are the branches? All I can see is leaves and stems.

Back View


The trunk is visible, but almost none of the main branches can be seen behind the leaves.

Side View


This is the straggliest (wow, I thought I made up that word, but it's for real) I have ever allowed this tree to become.

Most of the old growth branches have become so thickened, I decided the tree needed some new slender branches to help lighten things up around all the heavier wood inside. That is why I allowed it to become so overgrown this time.

Things To Watch For


See those very tiny leaves? The smallest ones are the first leaves that emerge in Spring after the leaf buds opened up. They will remain small, and are often the first ones to turn yellow and fall off long before Autumn. They become starved and malnourished due to lack of sunlight and lack of energy from the tree. Look for these weak leaves attached to the base of all the stems.

In cleaning up the tree and thinning out some of the thick mess, I choose to pluck off these smallest leaves. By removing the ones growing closest to where the stem divides off the branch, it will allow more sunlight through. It also allows space for the viewer to see more of the shape of the branches. I prefer to see the way the wood changes shape, rather than have the tree fully concealed by leaves.

A Cleaner Leaf Formation


Here the same set of branches have been cleaned off by removing all of the unnecessary inner leaves. The next set of leaves will continue to feed the tree and support growth on the stem.

Back View, Trimmed


Lots of air pockets opened up in the center. The full shape of the inner tree is entirely visible now.

Side View, Trimmed


Aside from plucking off the small inner leaves and shortening (trimming) back the longest branches, some additional clean up work was done to create this design.

More on that below.

Top View, Trimmed


Any small branches found growing into improper directions were snipped off completely, leaving no trace of a stub of the former branch. This is called thinning.

This includes backward curving branches, intersecting branches, and branches heading downward.

Removing dead branch ends, and thinning off weak/improper branches, this type of pruning causes almost zero harm to the tree, and is often referred to as cleaning.

Every remaining branch stem has an evenly spaced amount of room to grow. All parts of the tree can have access to the same amount of sunlight. This type of pruning should stimulate more parts of the tree to remain healthy, active, and alive.

Front, Trimmed


The beginnings of little pads of leaves are starting to evolve. Separate cloud levels will eventually take shape from base, to middle left, to middle right, and up to the top. This is the ideal end design on a mature tree. After seven years, this tree still looks quite young.

Elm branches always show the ideal tapering shape from big to small at this time of year after trimming and thinning. In Winter most of the thin branches will either die back or become as thick as the medium sized ones.

Without any past wiring, it is fun to see how well the tree has taken shape simply by sculpting its design with strategic pruning.



Although more than half of the leaves were removed, very little wood material was removed. Knowing the strength of this tree, I think it will take another month before it rejuvenates itself, and possibly grows a second set of new stems.

In June the tree will be ready for full fertilizer treatment. It can focus on building up the current leaves to make them greener and stronger, rather than dividing up all that energy into twice as many unnecessary leaves. This tree should become empowered for another great year of developmental growth.

Past articles featuring this tree:

Bonus: New Logo

It was finally time, and I decided to revise my custom art logo, because of the inclusion of the steem symbol. I'm going to miss the old blue doohicky steeming above the T.

Where has the Steem gone? It seems to be vaporizing away into the Sun, never to return. See the allusion I made there?

I do not support the direction Steem went with centralization of power and taking people's wealth, and I am quite happy with the direction the community supported hardfork went with Hive. It is wonderful to be able to keep our past connections, past content contributions, and the hard work of our past earnings with better value and potential than before. I want to show support for this positive direction with a renewed signature logo.


Say goodbye to the brown sparrow. Brought back the bluebird as a permanent feature, as I tend to see blue jays more often where I live.

Added a little ground rose, which is my rendition of the Hive logo inverted on its side. I think it looks like the Super Mario Bros. fire flower, so it also symbolizes powering up my stake to help get to the next level. The flower will be a nice way to remind viewers that I often support and create gardening articles.

Next step will be to replace my @creativetruth blog backdrop to ditch the old logo completely.

Dolphin Achievement

Also, some congratulations are in order, as I recently became dolphin status on Hive.

Thank you @hivebuzz for creating this fun gamification acheivement badge!

Over 5000 in Hive earnings. From the beginning, I have invested zero funds from external exchanges to artificially boost my progress. Only earnings made here have I used to boost my growth. Most of my Hive was earned from years of faithfully posting original content articles of writing, gardening, bonsai, recipes, and songs to the Steem blockchain. Nearly all of my rewards from posts and curation I have powered up directly.

As a Dolphin I now have the ability to offer free account creation directly. I am willing to offer free accounts to friends, family, and individuals who I judge have demonstrated good intentions. Tell me the custom username you want, and I can deliver the password and keys instantly.

This is not meant to brag, but to instill encouragement to all smaller accounts, that they too can reach this level some day. Even the poorest person can find wealth if they believe in themselves, because others will believe in their success too. Only on Hive is this possible!

Acting on my belief in hard work, persistence, and trust earned through loyalty is what got me this far. Always post positive content (at least in my main blog, because I can get rather opinionated in curation comments to demonstrate authenticity) to better inspire encouragement and a sense of safety for potential new relationship interactions to occur. This is brand networking at its best.

Very glad to see how much I have achieved through being true to myself. Looking forward to achieving the next 5000 faster than ever.

#chinese-elm #pruning #bonsai-pruning #branch #trunk #branches #leaves #leaf #dolphin #achievement #level-up #hive-achievement #growth #logo



Congratulations @creativetruth! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You published more than 500 posts. Your next target is to reach 550 posts.

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Couldn't have planned the timing on this achievement any better.


True story 😉Keep up the good work @creativetruth! See you around soon with this motivation!

Congrats!! You deserve it.

Very nice bonsai tree you got there, and congratiulations on your achievement.

Congrats on dolphin hood and i love the new ignature logo