Fascinating time we live in. We have access to everything. Bonsai Trees, Techniques that we couldn't learn unless we somehow lucked out with an apprenticeship with one of the few masters in bonsai that could actually teach you the fundamentals. A lot of the Bonsai "artists/teachers" where just trying to make a quick buck and provided bad information. There is allot to understand about trees, managing to keep them thriving in a pot smaller than growing in the ground. To create a finished bonsai in a certain style there are techniques one can use.. Just by proper trimming the foliage will be kept tight and compact. By trimming it
gives the foliage it's miniature effect. Remember if your just starting out, a bonsai can be any miniature tree in a pot. That is the literal translation of the word. Now there are some trees where the leaves cannot be miniaturized or don't survive in a pot as easily as other trees. Right now I am developing my trees a collection of really special artwork. For instance this Poinciana Bonsai is on it's second year of growth. I only let the primary branches get 1"- 1 1/2" long keeping the internodes short will allow us to create a realistic mature looking Poinciana . This year the secondary branches are already splitting and I am sure by trimming the next set of branches back shorter reducing the internode length and causing the branches to ramify closer to the trunk and primary branches. the trees next flowering season we will get bloom and have a very mature foliage.
Progress in bonsai is like progress in life. We are no longer bound to strict rules which just limit the scope of our creativity. Working with different species and trying new styles makes the art progress. Bonsai is now world wide and I believe it's good to have a foundation in the fundamentals but not think of them as unbreakable rules. Follow your passion. Most Importantly enjoy yourself..