27 July 2008
Above picture: The last major work that was done on this old Pine dates back to its first styling in *2004! All this time up to now, the tree was pampered to encourage back budding as close as possible to the trunk line. Well, as you can see, I got more than enough new foliage and buds to give the tree it second major styling in late fall this year! But there were some major decisions to be made right now as well!
In the first styling, 2 back branches were used to build up the lower left front section, so I could visualise and check my vision of the future bonsai. But now, because of all this incredible growth, I have so much more better-placed branches and foliage to replace them with, that they have become unnecessary. In the above picture, where I raise this frond branch, you can see just how much beautiful deadwood was hidden from view!
Above picture: Left side view of the tree, you can see just how much deadwood is blocked from view.
Above picture: Lifting up the heavier frond branch makes a big improvement. You can see the other branch that has to go, on the left of my fingertips.
Above picture: Here you can clearly see the difference it makes when I lift it up!
Above picture: This is the thick branch I need to remove first. Under need it, you can see the second one that needs to go.
Above picture: Judging were to cut that branch.
Above right: Heavy cutters were used to cut off that branch in one go.
Above picture: So, the first one is removed!
Above picture: Looks better already from the front.
Above picture: You can see clearly here, that when we now stand in front of the tree, there is almost a clear pathway under need the foliage, for the eye to wander off into the distance.
Above two pictures: Yes, that branch definitely has to go to!
Above two pictures: Right and backside view.
Above picture: Backside view.
Above picture: The yellow dots show how long this branch really is. Because of the constant cutting back into new growth and pinching back that I did in the seasons after it’s first styling, the 3 small branches, just above the red line, have grown enough to now be used as the new branch tips of the future first branch.
Above picture: Close up of those 3 small branches.
Above picture: The branch is cut leaving a small stump so that there is enough room for it to dry back naturally, without harming those all important small branches.
Above picture: The wounds are sealed with cut paste.
Above pictures show the removed branches.
Above pictures show, that by just removing those two branches the beautiful deadwood is more open. The open space that now is created, provides the necessary see trough, that creates dept and open space under need this future first branch.
Above picture: With the help of 2 wooden blocks, some branches were lifted, so that light and air can better reach the inner buds and smaller branches that I need for my second styling.
Above picture: These blocks created new height in the foliage and a new image!
Below picture: So that triggered me, to make a quick drawing of a possible design. Having done this, I realise that the foliage is too high in this new idea and that the tree image should be more compact. So this drawing helped me to decide to stick to the original plan I made when I started to style this tree.
Now the tree is left alone until I will start the second styling in early Winter. I can hardly wait for that time to arrive!
Hans van Meer.