Arctic Beech 2

grouper52

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Here's another Nothofagus. An 80+ year old woman walked slowly into Bonsai Northwest last year with a walker, and an attendant, to put her collection of 50+ years' worth of bonsai up for sale on consignment since she was entering an assisted living center and could no longer care for the trees. I happened by shortly thereafter, and was fortunate enough to get this small shohin from among her collection.

I felt a liitle bad altering the basic design (first photo) she had spent decades on, but it had to be done, and I hope she would appreciate the new direction I am taking it in.

All I've done is repot at a new slant, some wiring (although many of the branches are really a bit too short and stiff to reshape safely at my skill level), and one defoliation and trimming of the 6-10" whips it put out this spring. Here are a couple of progression photos. The last two are from what I think will be the new front, the last one a virt removing the huge low left branch.

Comments welcome.

grouper52
http://www.bonsainut.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1427&stc=1&d=1182658953
http://www.bonsainut.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1428&stc=1&d=1182658953
http://www.bonsainut.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1429&stc=1&d=1182658953
http://www.bonsainut.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1430&stc=1&d=1182658953
 

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Jay Wilson

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Grouper....I really like this tree. Great photo as well. It's a shame to lose that wonderful limb but I think you are right to take it off.

After the first sentence or two I was waiting for the punch line...but this tree's no joke.
Thanks for sharing.

Jay
 

Rick Moquin

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Will,

Any chance of posting pics of the last one at different angles? How well to they back bud on old wood? I see something but you may not like the result :)
 

rlist

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Hey Will. Not sure what Rick sees, but this is what I see based on 2D photos. Quick and dirty virt...
 

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grouper52

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Rick Moquin

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Somehow I missed the reply, not sure how, but did.

Essentially Will that is indeed what I saw, more or less. As you know because we both have a
penchant for Penjing, I fully understand your dilema, hence why I wanted different angles to offer you more perspectives.

The top of the tree is out of proportion aesthetically and hence shows little promise in the future. Having said that, the original owner had a Penjing style in mind, but were unable as you stated to pull it off. I am ignorant wrt the species or its growth habits, therefore can only offer basic recommendations.

There are 3 disctinct foliage pads developing there by the view you have provided. I order not to see a blob of foliage as you posted, which btw Will as you said is boring and I support your findings, you need to create distance between the pads. If you are shooting for the direction more or less of the vision of the original owner you need to grow a new leader. As Walter says we worry too much about the crown in the beginning and hence the rest of the tree becomes flawed with the process. The crown should be the daintiest part of the tree and the very last thing to be developed. In this particular case it is the most massive part of the tree with the exception of the trunk and therefore the visual impact is too great causing distraction and a feeling of unbalance.

I hope this has helped, if you have different angles please post so we can discuss a way ahead further.

BTW some trees look good in their summer attire, but look great in their winter nudity. Some look good in both seasons, I guees it is up to you which season you wish to admire this tree.

Just a quick virt from the provided angle.
 
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grouper52

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Well, that's a nice 3:1 rule tree! Is there any tree I ever post that you don't want to chop down to a stub? Don't know why I bother.
 

Rick Moquin

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Well, that's a nice 3:1 rule tree! Is there any tree I ever post that you don't want to chop down to a stub? Don't know why I bother.
Sorry Will, I don't know why I bother either:(

Edit: This tree was flawed as you know under you own admission. What I have offered is sound advice. I did state that not knowing the species I made a general recommendation based on what has been posted and the information you have provided.

Not all trees require chopping, your #3 is well on its way of becoming a good bonsai. Walter says you need to turn your tree into an ugly duckling before it can become a beautiful swan. Your tree in its present state is far from an ugly duckling. Now one has had the instestinal fortitude in doing so in its years of development. Although by chopping down now, the tree as you say would have a 3:1 ratio. That is not the finihed size of the tree nor will it be its final ratio.

We all want our trees in their final shapes but under development they need to be ugly. The recommendation although it may seem drastic, renders an aesthetically pleasing tree while it is developing.

Sorry if I offended you with my constructive criticism.
 
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rlist

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Rick- Though I don't have your penchant for penjing, I appreciate your articulation towards your design ideas.

Will - I believe you asked comments (and I inferred a request for suggestions), so that is what Rick and I did - gave your our comments and suggestions. You do not have to go down the road(s) suggested, nor do you have to place any validity into the direction of our suggestions. However, to give up and not post anything anymore; well, that is just plain silly!
 

Rick Moquin

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Rick- Though I don't have your penchant for penjing, I appreciate your articulation towards your design ideas.
Rich,

Penjing is almost has hard to pull off as a good literati. The reason why I mentioned it, it that both Will and I have a penchant for this side of the art and I presume it was this penchant that drew him to this tree in the first place. In Penjing design the foliage is kept rather sparse vice full. They create foliage clouds vice a full canopy etc...

On the other hand this tree can still be developed "full" on the advice provided. Regardless of which direction one is willing to take, separation needs to occur sooner than later IMO, because it is indeed my opinion that separation will need to occur a year or two from now, as can be seen the tree has began to crowd. So why not start now with judicial pruning.
 

grouper52

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Rich and Rick,

Perhaps I should clarify when I post, and ask for "reasonable" comments. Stubby little sumo virts seem to be what I get consistantly from you two. I don't find that sort of advice helpful, nor do I offer it to others.

As for the "proportions" of this tree that you believe are all wrong, Rick, on my way in to work I got out my calipers and a yardstick: from the original front, trunk at the base above the nebari flare is 1 5/8". Height from the ground is 10". Do the math: I'm not sure what part of 6:1 you don't get. Either you have no eye for this sort of thing, or you have some sort of conscious or unconscious agenda - or both, I suspect.

Rich, from our meeting and communications I consider you a nice guy, and a friend, so I'll cut you some slack, but I've never seen any of your trees posted anywhere, and your recent virts and advice to me leave me quite unimpressed with your vision. I hope your trees are more attractive than the way you want mine to look.

Rick, I have seen the only two (that I know of) rather mundane pre-bonsai you've posted in the last several years - not an impressive resume on which to base quite critical advice to others. I have also tried patiently to be on friendly terms with you despite your penchant for santimonious know-it-all posts and put downs. But I have to deal with character pathology all day long professionally (call it "passion" if you want), and I'm not interested in dealing with it in my hobby as well. I'm not going to bother with you anymore - you'll either be on my "Ignore" list, or perhaps I'll just quit this site or the whole internet bonsai community altogether. I love the hobby, but life's too short for this kind of crap, and life's certainly too short for Rick Moquin. Adios.

grouper52/Will Hiltz
 

Rick Moquin

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I'm not going to bother with you anymore - you'll either be on my "Ignore" list,
... so be it! You can only lead a horse to water...

Since we took the liberty of personal attacks, you could show me the common curtosy of spelling it correctly.

sanctimonious, not santimonius
 
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agraham

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courtesy


btw...Will,the suggestions were certainly reasonable even if they were not to your liking.We all have different styles,likes and dislikes.I don't think anyone was putting down your tree....just expressing opinions on where they would take it.Burning bridges with defensive responses only leads to less responses....or worse, responses meant to antagonize.Not that it's any of my business...of course.

andy
 

rlist

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You know Will, with the recent server issues I have had time to sit back and think about a response. 10,000 breaths to cool off and let things go. But then, I came back and re-read your statement and my original thoughts have come back.

This is pretty shytty of you. At no point did I attack, talk down, or disregard you or your trees. I have provided two virts for you, both with in the week, and yes, both trees were cut down. You must remember that we have two dimensional pictures to work with, and all I can do is make suggestions as to what I see or what I would do with that piece of stock. In both cases, you have come back to attack me, my efforts, my integrity and my values.

I find this most odd, following your PM to me last week noting the increased validity of my comments. So, either you were blowing smoke or you forgot. Either way, you are definitely a hypocrite. Keep sending comments as long as I don't comment on your tree... Ok.

So, here is the deal. You go back to the other site and play with Amanda and the other beginners. They can continue to tell you what wonderful trees you have - yet not have a clue what they are looking at, how to proceed, or even why it is a great tree. I shall provide input on your trees if and when I see fit, will not bother to take the time to make virts for you, and will cease inviting you to workshops or talking Jason into giving you deals because "you are a good guy".

Good luck with bonsai and whatever else you choose to do in life...
 

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