Been thinking about branch development...

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Pine branches usually grow as in pic 1 (at least pinus sylvestris where I live), yet on bonsai they usually look like pic 2. Why? I can't be a matter of light since the branches could still be spread out...
 

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irene_b

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Pine branches usually grow as in pic 1 (at least pinus sylvestris where I live), yet on bonsai they usually look like pic 2. Why? I can't be a matter of light since the branches could still be spread out...


When it comes to working branches, I try and let the tree dictate where it wants to go. I try not to fight the natural nature of the tree.
Irene
 

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Pine branches usually grow as in pic 1 (at least pinus sylvestris where I live), yet on bonsai they usually look like pic 2. Why? I can't be a matter of light since the branches could still be spread out...


I would guess it is a function of gravity. Assuming the branch in pic 1 is full size, the weight will cause it to drop down as in the pic. The branches in bonsai scale will never have the same pull, unless piled upon by snow - or wire.

Maybe someone else can chime in and discuss the internal characteristics of the wood over time - i.e. maybe it weakens and possibly contributes to the droop, or whatever may really be the case.

Nice drawings by the way (and the painting the other day). You should contact Jason at Oregon Bonsai and he can hire you to complete the OB logo that has been in the works for 18 months now...
 
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I would guess it is a function of gravity. Assuming the branch in pic 1 is full size, the weight will cause it to drop down as in the pic. The branches in bonsai scale will never have the same pull, unless piled upon by snow - or wire.

Maybe someone else can chime in and discuss the internal characteristics of the wood over time - i.e. maybe it weakens and possibly contributes to the droop, or whatever may really be the case.

I think I'm being misunderstood, so let me rephrase myself. What I meant was if there's any horticultural reason for styling the branches of bonsai as we do. On the other hand, if one views a pine in the distance I guess it could look the same way we style bonsai (at least I've seen pics of white pines that does).

Nice drawings by the way (and the painting the other day). You should contact Jason at Oregon Bonsai and he can hire you to complete the OB logo that has been in the works for 18 months now...

Since I don't know wich Jason you're talking about (JasonG?), have him pm me and we'll work something out!
 
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When it comes to working branches, I try and let the tree dictate where it wants to go. I try not to fight the natural nature of the tree.

This is a confusing statement as branches on a bonsai will never acquire sufficient foliage weight, snow weight, or environmental extremes to naturally bend the branches down from the vertical tendency. By letting the tree do what it wants, most bonsai would then be growing straight as an arrow and upward.

The natural nature of a tree is to grow straight up unless acted upon by an outside force, in bonsai that outside force would be the artist.



Will
 

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I think I'm being misunderstood, so let me rephrase myself. What I meant was if there's any horticultural reason for styling the branches of bonsai as we do. On the other hand, if one views a pine in the distance I guess it could look the same way we style bonsai (at least I've seen pics of white pines that does).
QUOTE]

Huh???
 

Vance Wood

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Horticultural reasons dictate the way a tree my grow naturally, those reasons my be better be understood as genetic forces as opposed to horticultural. A tree with tendencies toward weeping will have branches that hang down, though in general such trees are too extreme to be useful as bonsai I wished only to demonstrate a point. When we think in terms of horticultural reasons we usually refer to the way trees are treated or cultivated.

In bonsai it is not uncommon for a trees natural tendencies to be ignored for the sake of art. A needle Juniper is by nature a low growing shrub that does no exist naturally in many of the forms it is cultivated as a bonsai. The same can be said of a majority of Junipers cultivated as bonsai.

To the point of your pine question: It is possible to style the branches into forms that are contrary to how the tree my naturally want to grow. It is for this reason that techniques of pinching and pruning become so significant.

I might add at this point that it is a good thing that you not only notice these things, but that you take the time to analyze and sketch these differences, this practice will take you far in bonsai.
 

Vance Wood

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Yes, so it all aesthetics then?

In a word yes. However when it comes to branch placement horticulture enters into the equation as well. If branch placement is not properly considered it is possible for one branch to cause the death of another by stealing all of the sun light.
 
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In a word yes.

Thanks, that's what I wanted to know :).

However when it comes to branch placement horticulture enters into the equation as well. If branch placement is not properly considered it is possible for one branch to cause the death of another by stealing all of the sun light.

Yup, I knew that one.

Thanks Vance for the clarifications!
 
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