I bought this ponderosa from Andy Smith in April, 2009 at a workshop hosted by the Iowa Bonsai Association. I knew instantly what I wanted to accomplish with this tree, but it was Andy’s technical skill and advice that allowed me to do it. Originally, the part of the trunk that bends sharply was straight, extending more or less vertically. I wanted this brought down so part of it was parallel to the soil. Andy made a small pie cut on the trunk. We wired and bound with raffia, and then bent it as you see. After 2 years, the wire and raffia were removed. The tree has stayed exactly as we put it. I had to repot the tree in 2010 as the soil was turning to mud. Two years later, I repotted again, using the shallow oval you see here. During this repotting, the roots and nebari were exposed. This ponderosa has always been hard to pot up. The roots, despite a lot of growing, remain trough-like, shaped like a “V” if you look at them from the end. There is no flat bottom for stability. I’ve used a guy wire to position the tree correctly. After the repotting, the candles didn’t open last year. This year, they opened, and as they extended, I cut away the old dead needles. I’m hoping to keep the needles relatively short. I know they’ll grow out some, but the tree looks better with shorter needles. I’m stopping fertilizer in order to encourage less growth. Any advice on how to do this will be appreciated.