I live outside Richmond, Virginia. About six weeks ago, we had a forecast for an ice storm. There was a small Japanese Maple in my backyard that was located underneath some tall trees in my backyard, and it had lost some branches after snow- or ice-covered branches from surrounding trees have fallen upon it. Since I was concerned the maple could get wiped out by falling branches, and the idea of doing bonsai sounds appealing, I removed the tree from the backyard and have kept it in this really ugly "pot" inside my unheated garage.
OK, so the pot is actually a five-gallon bucket. I've drilled holes in the bottom for drainage purposes and have watered it three times so far since bringing it into my garage. My plan has been to let the tree go dormant this winter while I figure out what to do next. I've had the tree for about 7-8 years, having bought it from a nursery. At its highest point, it's about 19" tall with the "V" where its two main branches split off at about 12" of height. Its trunk is pretty skinny at about 1" at its widest.
So ... I am wondering if this tree has any potential for bonsai use. If so, do you have any suggestions on how to get started? Thanks in advance for any advice you can share.