Multiple-trunks and Nebari Development

This Japanese Snowbell has appeared before on the blog. We’ll first look at the fall pruning before getting to the nebari. 


Styrax japonicus in fall, ready for a pruning.


After leaf removal. The lower branches were let run this year to thicken them up. The top was pruned once already, in mid-season.


Following pruning. Stronger pruning on top and leaving branches long on the bottom will slowly balance the tree, if done successively over years. We’ll have to repeat what we did this year to eventually get thicker lower branches than those above. 


And this is what I wished particularly to show, that multiple trunk styles tend to enable quicker and heavier nebari development. If these secondary trunks had arisen higher up, less nebari development would be seen. This isn’t a suggestion to make all your bonsai multiple-trunked bonsai, only to say they will often have more impressive, spreading nebari when mature. 

November 2021 Bulletin Board 

  • Though not bonsai related (not directly at any rate…), some of you have asked repeatedly when my tiny home book will be out. It’s now being edited, and will be out in 2022. For more photos of the home, and some inspired comments, try this Facebook post.


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  1. Stephen Liesen says:

    The idea of a much greater Nebari with extra trunks makes sense. In some cases I’ve removed the accessory trunks later and end up with a great Nebari. I often welcome start-up trunks around my bonsai for a year or two just for this reason. They can be removed before they get too big for scarring or to cause a dead vein in the tree. Like how you are growing the bottom of the tree out while keeping the top pruned back. It seems to work well for snowbell bonsai. I’m going to follow that regimen more with mine. Thanks again Mike.

  2. Stewart says:

    Great information for me as I’m just starting a ground grown field maple twin trunk

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