I have a young liquidambar tree (or trees?) growing precariously in a foot wide patch of dirt between a cement slab and a fence on the side of my house. It is growing less than an inch from the cement and i would like to transplant it before it chokes and dies.
I'd like to make it into a bonsai my main concerns are:
How big of a container do i need initially? (do i need to wait and see the roots to tell?)
if it has a long taproot (or roots), where should i cut it?
how much of the foliage should i remove? (prune before digging up or after repotting?)
how severely can i prune the root ball?
My initial plan was to prune the root ball slightly each year, re potting in a smaller container each time until it can one day fit into a bonsai pot. Does this sound correct?
It has 3 shoots coming out of the ground, one slightly less than an inch thick, the 2nd is about 1/2 inch and the third has become a thin vine that crawls the ground looking for sunlight (area gets no direct sunlight but lots of shaded light). I cannot tell if it is one tree or 3 trees trying to survive adjacently. The tallest trunk is about 3 feet tall.
Sorry for asking so many questions its just rare for my 80 year old liquidambar to propagate itself like this and i have only one chance to save it.
Any advice would be appreciated.
see pictures to see how trunk comes out of dirt and elbows awkwardly upward.