What a difference a pot makes
Though Robert doesn’t mention it in his critique (below), introducing a shallow pot, rather than the tree’s clunky and rather unattractive pot (also below), instantly transforms the whole tree. Nothing outside the box, just a simple change that does wonders for a bonsai.
In Robert’s own words
Although the trunk is very interesting, it is quite difficult to turn this tree into a design that ideally portrays a large mature tree. The stump is too bulky, so it is not easy to train the other physical elements to fit it in a proportional manner.Imagine the stump as a hill, and trees are growing here and there creating a unique composition.
Think out of the box! Make a rather “surrealistic” design…
Thanks to Pemphis which we can expect new shoots to easily grow, especially on the gnarled knots; then train every single shoot as a tree following natural phenomena as shown on the simulated picture below. The only tree to add separately is the one on the left bottom; or you can do without it if you prefer.
There is more than one way to design any bonsai and my critiques and recommended solutions might not always fit your taste and personal preferences, but I always try to give my opinion based on artistic and horticultural principles.