Chris, There was a life line running up the front which you might see on the narrow strip of polished deadwood. The life line over time since collected kept pulling back till it eventually vanished.(see new posted picture with life line) No matter what was done nothing could keep it from retreating. The tree felt it no longer needed it and restyled itself. The existing life line is on the back side and is substantial, about 4 fingers wide. I am playing around with the idea of a rotation when it gets its new home this spring to expose a little more of it to the front. Will see, either way I am quite happy with it, it gives me a enormous amount of pleasure. I have finally broken out of the "rule" mind set so if people can only appreciate it with a life line running up the front .... I can live with that.
The foliage looks a little more "touseled" than I'm used to in shimpakus. Is it a particular cultivar, or does that come from not being rigorously pinched, the way fine "finished" shimpakus tend to be? I like this tree very much and look forward to seeing pictures in the years to come.
ps.--where or where does one get material like this? Wait! Don't tell THEM. Just whisper it to me.