I got this Kunzea ambigua from the native nursery in Heathcote and lost any stying ideas when I looked at it at home. In the end, after cutting away what I didn’t feel I could use I decided to plant it at an acute angle and let it grow a bit. It delighted me with starry flowers in the spring but I could not get comfortable with the position of it. This was all complicated by the fact that twice I lost important new branchlets and the styling options kept changing.

Unlike my 12 year old kunzea, this one threw out shoots everywhere which increased options… if only I didn’t keep knocking off the important ones. The extended branch on the left wasn’t working but I left it grow.

As it grew madly in the humid summer I did a radical angle change – trying to bring that sense of correct styling to it. It was an improvement and I let it grow for awhile.

I finally did the second serious styling and it seems a bit more on track. The jins need to be refined, they are too heavy. At this stage, having just changed the angle, I don’t want to use the Dremel to work on them but that will come in the next month or so since kunzeas are not backward in growing roots. The stub on the right has a new shoot that could be a right branch [if I don’t knock it off yet again.] I will wait to see how that develops before I start refining the stub. Whether the rock stays or not depends on what the next repotting brings and how it works when I lower the soil level a bit.

It now has a better balance and with more growth and styling and a bit of carving, could become a nice tree. I still need to work on the area from the thick right stub to the partial jin but once more foliage develops and the top fills out the trunk faults will not be so apparent. I started out wrongly with it but I think this positioning is better and the tree can develop from here. I am hoping to see it covered with flowers in the spring and once it has developed a bit better I will put it in a bonsai pot.

Changing the angle of your planting can often help improve your styling – just listen to the tree and feel if the styling is working or not.