I personally don’t like growing in garden soil. I’ve had very good experience growing material in bonsai soil in colanders. When I got this dogwood last season, it was already mid summer, so it wasn’t the opportune time to repot. This spring, I decided to repot it into a colander with bonsai soil to help it along.
The tree had several big roots, with the fine roots far from the trunk. It is certainly in no condition to be put into a small bonsai pot, since the feeder roots are way too far out. The hope is that, with root pruning and growing in the airy colander, it’ll develop some fine root system closer to the trunk.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the trunk have pretty good movement. According to the roots, this is a good candidate for the front of the tree. Later on, when I actually repot it into a bonsai pot, I’ll decide on its orientation. The tree currently lacks tapering, so some trunk chopping will need to be done to induce tapering.
Since the roots are long and leggy, I put in more soil such that it can have more moist medium to develop its root system.
I then proceeded to trunk chop it. I believe I’ll chop it once more later on. I’m not liking the long straight trunk shooting to the left. Since this dogwood readily back buds, I’m hoping the trunk chop will induce some buds along the trunk, giving me more options for a new leader. Currently, none of the branches make a good leader. But I’m in no hurry, this is just fun to grow for the time being, it’ll probably be a few more years before I can style this one.