Is this never going to end? Megalomania all over the place.
In 1996 Wolfgang Kaeflein gave me a huge trunk (Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus) with almost no branches. The trunk had this enromous cut and a little twig on top of it. I planted the tree into my growing field and let it grow tremendosly. Especially the very top was allowed to grow like a real tree to overcome the radical change in taper and to somewhat close th big hole.
Here the situation in spring of 2004
In the late nineties Mathias was my assistant. I remember well him saying several times 'this NEVER EVER going to be a beatiful bonsai'. At that time I was not prepared, but to today I would answer 'it is not supposed to become a bonsai but a tree. aAd it is not supposed to be just beautiful, because that would be kitsch. It is supposed to become GOOD.' Whatever that is!