The time finally came around last weekend that I was able to give my Cedar an initial styling so I headed to Bonsai Eejit’s garage for some valuable guidance during the process. Secondary branches were thinned out to aid wiring of the whole tree and every branch (almost!) was wired. This was my first time wiring an entire tree and it was a bit laborious at first but towards the end I was getting the hang of it (although a lot of practice is needed!). Again, I have very limited experience of styling raw material/trees so Eejit talked me through it and I learned quite a few things as he carried out the job. We finished at around 2:30am and I was pleased with the result.
I went with the shorter trunk option and quickly hacked off the taller one before doubts set in. A long thick jin was left but I plan to refine the deadwood next year. There were only four primary branches on the tree and they all came from the same place. Luckily they were pretty flexible as quite a bit of bending was necessary to move them into place.
AFTER (The next day!)
Its a skeleton image with a lot of foliage development needed over the next number of years but I’ve got a firm direction to go in now that the trunk and primary branches are set. More pics from different angles:
The left hand side of the tree
The back of the tree
The right hand side of the tree
I bought this Cedar (Himalayan/Lebanon?) three years ago when not long starting out in bonsai. It was sitting in the corner of a run down garden centre in very poor health but I got it for less than half price and was prepared to take a gamble with it. The features that caught my eye were the heavy lower trunk and its peculiar old bark . Reminded me strangely of an elephant trunk! Since then while nursing it back to health I’ve become aware that there are many flaws with this piece of material but it remains useful for me to practise a range of skills on while I develop it.
I’ve been looking at this all year, knowing that I was planning to give it a first styling in the autumn, but until very recently was unsure of the direction in which to take. I don’t think keeping the two trunks is an option as they are both pretty thick with not much give in them. So at the moment I’m planning on keeping the shorter of the two based on the following reasons:
1. Trying to make as compact and powerful a tree as possible.
2. There is more useable branching lower down on the short trunk that could be pulled down.
3. The taller trunk would take away from the unique, powerful lower half.
4. The movement of the lower trunk is to the right and using the shorter trunk would continue this movement smoothly.
For right now, all I did was carry out some ‘pre-styling’ by cleaning out old needles, removing unnecessary buds and thinning out the foliage to allow more light in and allow me to see where branches could be placed when wiring in future. The tall trunk will be removed and a jin left that will be carved along with the stub of the third trunk removed 2 years ago.
I plan to remove the crossing root at the next repot
Following on from the last post, here are more trees/material from the display bench in the garden.
A tall Japanese Larch bought as raw material four years ago and continuing to develop foliage pads. In a bonsai pot for the first time earlier this year and recovering from substantial root reduction. Wiring still on thicker branches – no evidence of biting into the bark despite being on for nearly a year is proof that the repotting took its toll on the health of the tree this year. There has been extension growth though so I’m not too worried. It’ll be protected over the winter.
The Fuji Cherry as detailed in an earlier post here.
This large Blue Atlas Cedar was repotted into this shallow mica training pot earlier this year and after dropping nearly all of its needles has recovered with a new flush and a little extension growth. I plan to continue to leave it alone, protecting it over the winter, until hopefully signs of vigour return and it could be styled next year.
A pink flowering shohin azaelea that was recently pruned. This is my favourite at the minute. Needs a bit of wiring and more foliage developed. I’d like to put it into a shallower pot of a different colour next year. Any suggestions?
This azaelea (or dwarf rhoddodendron?) was dug up this year from the garden. I cut this from the rootball of a much larger shrub. I thought it made a nice image in a shallow pot. Will start work on it next year.