Sweet Acacia Bonsai – Starting Bonsai from Seedlings

Often I work with seedlings because good quality stock can be very hard to find for uncommon species. Using a nursery grown tree may offer girth but on average I’ve found it can take around two to four years to fix the roots and grow a new trunk line. For trees that develop fairly quickly it is often a better bet to just start with something very young that can be set up correctly and improved upon each year.

One such hard to find species is Sweet Acacia. Sweet Acacia works well, bends easily, has super tiny leaves, and boasts prolific fragrant yellow blooms. Sweet bro!

I first divided the Sweet Acacia bonsai into two main batches since I’m totally new to this species. One batch I drastically root pruned when they were six months old to see how nice the nebari would turn out and how well they would respond.

Here are a few from the first root pruned batch that pushed over 6″ of growth in the last eight months. On one tree I carefully shaved off 30% of the trunk and on another a 2mm wide spiral was cut into the cambial layer. By disturbing the live vein the trees will form a really unusual and hopefully interesting trunk.

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The end result.

Sweet Acacia Bonsai Sweet Acacia Bonsai

Here are some trees from the second batch. These only had their roots arranged and pruned lightly when they were first wired last year. I defoliated before wiring to remove the thorns and make wiring easier.

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Sweet Acacia bonsai leafed out after wiring and defoliating.

Sweet Acacia Bonsai Sweet Acacia Bonsai

Sweet Acacia Bonsai

You can already see the marked difference in trunk size. This is why good roots, trunks, and taper are so valued. Developing bonsai correctly takes time and there are no shortcuts. In several years these may only add 1/2″ of girth. Whereas, if left to freely grow they could be several inches in girth by that time frame.

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