Taking “Leave it Alone” Too Far

Bonsai Iterate

A common challenge for bonsai practitioners is learning not to do too much to a tree. Over-working a bonsai will slow development or even kill it. I’ve learned this lesson over and over, and have started to become more patient in recent years. More than ever before, I find myself making the conscious decision to do nothing, leaving a tree to grow out even when I am eager to style or do some other operation. Today I am learning that it is also possible to take “leave-it-alone” too far.

Letting a tree grow out to build strength can be an effective strategy. As I am learning today, however, it is possible to leave-it-alone to a degree that will hinder development just as badly as over-working.

The Squamata Juniper, Juniperus squamata, shown above was being left alone to grow, but I should have been watching it more closely. It was…

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