Big cedar chop and big plans

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Reaction score
298
Location
Massachusetts
Hello all...This is a large blue atlas cedar I have been training as a literati for about 2 years. Unfortunatley..the more that I was looking at it. The more I knew it would never be a good bonsai if kept the way it was... It looked like a landscape tree and did not have the scale of a bonsai. The branches were too thick, too far apart and all the buds were too large for the tree.

I ended up chopping the tree right after the first branch. Then I bent the trunk slightly to conform with the branch that would be wired up to form the entire top portion of the tree. The tree was about 3 1/2 feet. I think it's probably a little under 2 1/2 feet now. I used a 5.0 mm wire coupled with a 4.5 mm wire to get the bends I needed. Also, the tree was wrapped with a sort of black electrical tape to protect the bark. The tape was purchased at the nursery last year.

I will post more pics when I get the top pruned and wired... I will repot this tree next season into a bonsai pot, probably over sized...At that point, it would have been in this grow pot for about 3 years.

The red indicates where the chop was made. The blue is how it will be wired and position and with some new growth.

Do you agree with my vision for this tree??

Rob
 

Attachments

  • Copy of 1.jpg
    Copy of 1.jpg
    194.8 KB · Views: 240
  • pictures2 046.jpg
    pictures2 046.jpg
    180.2 KB · Views: 220
  • pictures2 047.jpg
    pictures2 047.jpg
    177.3 KB · Views: 197
  • Copy of pictures2 046.jpg
    Copy of pictures2 046.jpg
    181.7 KB · Views: 235

Mojosan

Mame
Messages
240
Reaction score
3
Location
Northern Idaho
USDA Zone
6
Rob, that chop might also create some other options if it buds back. Might even be able to reduce it further....
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,678
Reaction score
15,932
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
I think you have a really good design concept with this tree. I would urge caution though. Some conifers do not like being reduced down this much at one time; some will tolerate it. You might want to wait to see how, or if, the tree is growing again before stressing it further with more wire. It has the potential for a beautiful tree so it is worth waiting for and not turning into compost. I think I lost a beautiful Spruce this last year because I was too aggressive in pruning it. I still hope it will bud out but it does not look good.
 

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Reaction score
298
Location
Massachusetts
Hello Mojosan... Yes, I am actually banking on much budding. I will most likely, at some point, remove some of the large inner buds growing on the branches that are too close to the trunk. Then, I will let the mid and end buds on the branches ramify..

Hello Vance..good to hear from you.. I completely agree... This is one of the reasons that after the new top was wired up, I left it alone.. Also, the repot I had scheduled, will be put off until next year or the year after. I will say that this tree is incredibly healthy and an incredibly good grower. It was put in this large grow pot in good soil to get healthy after it's first root pruning 2 years ago. Thank you for your advice

Also, the Spruce that you are worried about... It is not that one that you got from a christmas tree farm that you have had for liek 20 years is it??? I really looked that tree and I think I may still have the pic somewhere in my files from when ou posted it about 3 years ago..

Rob
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,678
Reaction score
15,932
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
Hello Mojosan... Yes, I am actually banking on much budding. I will most likely, at some point, remove some of the large inner buds growing on the branches that are too close to the trunk. Then, I will let the mid and end buds on the branches ramify..

Hello Vance..good to hear from you.. I completely agree... This is one of the reasons that after the new top was wired up, I left it alone.. Also, the repot I had scheduled, will be put off until next year or the year after. I will say that this tree is incredibly healthy and an incredibly good grower. It was put in this large grow pot in good soil to get healthy after it's first root pruning 2 years ago. Thank you for your advice

Also, the Spruce that you are worried about... It is not that one that you got from a christmas tree farm that you have had for liek 20 years is it??? I really looked that tree and I think I may still have the pic somewhere in my files from when ou posted it about 3 years ago..

Rob

No thank God, this Spruce was a cultivar of Colorado Blue called, (I think) Wellingtonii. The Christmas Tree Farm Spruce is doing great.
 

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Reaction score
298
Location
Massachusetts
That's good new... I would love to see a current pic of the "christmas" spruce..

Rob
 

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Reaction score
298
Location
Massachusetts
Update

Just thought I would post an update on this tree...

After letting the tree rest for over 2 months, it started to grow very well. It took very well to being chopped. I let the main side branches elongate untouched and then picked a sub branch on each main branch and cut the branch back to that point and wired them in position. This was to acheieve future good taper. Also, it took some smoke and mirrors kind of wiring, but I got my vision achieved.

Next season it will come out of this grow pot after being in it for 3 years at that point and it will be put into a transition bonsai pot... I am thinking it will be about 5 years before it starts looking pretty good. I am just sorry I didn't have this plan 2 years ago. For now, the tree will be left to recover.

The first pic is the tree currently, pic 2 and 3 are the close ups of the top front and top back. The last pic is the virtual of what I hope the tree to look like in 5-7 years.

Rob
 

Attachments

  • pictures2 053.jpg
    pictures2 053.jpg
    182.6 KB · Views: 99
  • 45.jpg
    45.jpg
    177.7 KB · Views: 82
  • pictures2 056.jpg
    pictures2 056.jpg
    185.3 KB · Views: 85
  • Copy of Copy of pictures2 038.jpg
    Copy of Copy of pictures2 038.jpg
    181.4 KB · Views: 116

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,678
Reaction score
15,932
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
I think you have done a very good job with this tree. The Literati style is not the easiest form to achieve without it looking contrived because a good Literati is noted by its lack of elements making every element an opportunity to screw up--if you know what I mean.
 

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Reaction score
298
Location
Massachusetts
Hello Vance.. Thank you...I was hoping you would see the thread and reply...I know exactly what you mean... Many times I will hear people say, if something is not going right with their tree, they will say.. Well, I'll just make it a literati and I am thinking.. No, thats not how it works... The tree makes the decision, not you.. It is either a literati or it isn't... If the tree was not intended to be a literati,,,it will not be a good one...

Rob
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
20
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
OK Rob, I'll ask, are you trying to keep alien micro waves from the tree, or is this a method for backbudding possibly. Never worked with these so it is an honest question.
 

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Reaction score
298
Location
Massachusetts
lol.........ha ha... I am not sure I exactly understand the question....Can you explain...:)
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
12,402
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
I thought it was something on the trunk too, but on third look it appears the lower half is lit by sunlight, while the top is in shadow...???
 

mcpesq817

Omono
Messages
1,809
Reaction score
479
Location
VA
USDA Zone
7
I think the bottom is the natural silver-grey bark of the trunk, while the upper half has been wrapped in what looks like black tape/rubber.
 

Mojosan

Mame
Messages
240
Reaction score
3
Location
Northern Idaho
USDA Zone
6
Rob,

I am not trying to be critical here, but I have seen a number of trees that you have posted here over time - and looked at some that you have in progress (with verts). They all seem to be the same style. Peeked apexes and long thin branching. You seem to have a singular vision with regard to design.
Are all your trees similar?
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,571
Reaction score
19,788
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
Rob,

I am not trying to be critical here, but I have seen a number of trees that you have posted here over time - and looked at some that you have in progress (with verts). They all seem to be the same style. Peeked apexes and long thin branching. You seem to have a singular vision with regard to design.
Are all your trees similar?

????One might say cookie cutterish????
 
Messages
1,706
Reaction score
112
Location
Bremerton, WA
USDA Zone
8b
I think the bottom is the natural silver-grey bark of the trunk, while the upper half has been wrapped in what looks like black tape/rubber.

It is... it's very useful for protecting the bark on older material ;)

V
 
Messages
1,706
Reaction score
112
Location
Bremerton, WA
USDA Zone
8b
????One might say cookie cutterish????

I prefer a cookie cutter tree over a dumb looking one. Though for all of that, I'm still not sure why people say that term like it's a bad word. It speaks more to a level of artistic development than lack of imagination. Do something well before you try to do it differently is my motto. ;)

V
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
20
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
Even on looking again the bottom looks too silvery for what I picture for the bark, I now see the darker wrap at the top for wiring protection, big contrast makes the bottom lighter color.

Cookie cutter or not I wouldn't mind your trees on my benches don't let that get you down. For me you have good design abilities, we have seen you make some nice trees out of things others would have murdered. Besides there is only so much you can do with some things before you get too far out of the box.
 

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Reaction score
298
Location
Massachusetts
Well,, I gues I have a lot of replies to give....lol

First.... mcpesq817 is correct...That is black tape.. It is what seems to becoming more mainstream now.. It can be used with rafia or without and it is to protect the bark. It wourks very well. It is self adhesive and does not use any sticky substance... Also, the tree is a very light shade of greay with some roughness, almost cork like, in some areas..It has a very appealing bark. I believe the tree is about 40 years old.

Hello Mojosan... I am a big fan of tradition..most of the time, not necessarlly all the time though.. Also, almost everything I post came from nothing... Starting from gound zero basically...I do enjoy literati style trees very much.. Nice movement and a graceful trunk, simple apex's...and yes, since I am starting from the absolute beginning with most of my trees.. They are structured very traditionally..

Also, I am a big fan of a good apex..In order to get a truly good apex it takes many years... Short cuts do not work in the long run..over the years I have learned that the Japanese have it correct. Just wire a small, simple apex and let it grow and maintain it. The juniper below is an example.. When I purchased it about 5 years ago, it was somewhat pre style with an apex. However, the apex was the thin top of the trunk swung around and bent horizonatally. As the years went on, the apex was unstructured and not something that was going to be good or hold up in the future. This season, I formed a new apex, just one branch with some sub branching off it.

Do something well before you try to do it differently is my motto.
....
Excellent saying Miss Vic....



Also, here is a pic of the cedar as purchased.....As you can see, they were no lower branches, all the branches had no taper and all were almost as thick as the trunk itself. also it was far too tall. It looked like a landscape tree.. The chop was made after the first branch.. This tree would never have made a belivable bonsai and would always look like a landscape tree had I not done this work.

Rob
 

Attachments

  • pictures2 026.jpg
    pictures2 026.jpg
    51.2 KB · Views: 65
  • IMG_2282.jpg
    IMG_2282.jpg
    194.9 KB · Views: 65

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,678
Reaction score
15,932
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
Well,, I gues I have a lot of replies to give....lol

First.... mcpesq817 is correct...That is black tape.. It is what seems to becoming more mainstream now.. It can be used with rafia or without and it is to protect the bark. It wourks very well. It is self adhesive and does not use any sticky substance... Also, the tree is a very light shade of greay with some roughness, almost cork like, in some areas..It has a very appealing bark. I believe the tree is about 40 years old.

Hello Mojosan... I am a big fan of tradition..most of the time, not necessarlly all the time though.. Also, almost everything I post came from nothing... Starting from gound zero basically...I do enjoy literati style trees very much.. Nice movement and a graceful trunk, simple apex's...and yes, since I am starting from the absolute beginning with most of my trees.. They are structured very traditionally..

Also, I am a big fan of a good apex..In order to get a truly good apex it takes many years... Short cuts do not work in the long run..over the years I have learned that the Japanese have it correct. Just wire a small, simple apex and let it grow and maintain it. The juniper below is an example.. When I purchased it about 5 years ago, it was somewhat pre style with an apex. However, the apex was the thin top of the trunk swung around and bent horizonatally. As the years went on, the apex was unstructured and not something that was going to be good or hold up in the future. This season, I formed a new apex, just one branch with some sub branching off it.

....
Excellent saying Miss Vic....



Also, here is a pic of the cedar as purchased.....As you can see, they were no lower branches, all the branches had no taper and all were almost as thick as the trunk itself. also it was far too tall. It looked like a landscape tree.. The chop was made after the first branch.. This tree would never have made a belivable bonsai and would always look like a landscape tree had I not done this work.

Rob

Nice transformation and good eye to see it.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom