First Restyle

ghues

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Hi folks, No laughing OK........it was my first solo
Here are some photos of my restyling for an informal upright, mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) Yamadori.
I collected it in the spring of 2008. It grew well in 08/09 and I liked that it had some mature looking bark and smaller inner branches below and in between the larger dominant ones.

I began by taking a photo from the potential front and using the "light table" concept, I transferred the general image shape and branch locations onto a sheet of paper. Then I the examined the entire tree, looking at its flaws, its quirks, merit’s and for a final shape, draw out the future design and listed the things that I thought needed to be done.
I'll leave it for now and repot it into a more formal growing pot in the spring of 2011. Future plans may include the removal of some branches (maybe jin'd) and also I'm going to add some goats beard lichen (hanging from the banches and bole).

A little crude I must admit but I tired to follow some general guidelines (diameter to height ratio is about 8-1) and concepts that I’ve read about and advise on styling that I’ve received.
Photos; #1= before, #2 = current BACK, #3 = FRONT #4= left, #5= right
Cheers Graham
 

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noissee

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i like the taper of the trunk, but the branches just don't fit. Maybe it will come together after it ages, I dunno. But right now something is just out of place. If you don't have Bonsai techniques II by Naka, you should buy it or borrow it. With this trunk and the number of branches you have, this definitely has potential.
 

ghues

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Thanks Noissee,
I know but I worked with what I had. As you see from the before picture the outter branches were very long, overpowering and didn't give me many otpions. I've left more on than I had planned to, as I wanted the tree to respond as quickly as possible as I removed a lot of biomass off this guy.
Have you seen many mountain Hemlock? They can have a very untidy array of branches, with no unity and form.
I've attached a sketch of the plan....if it doesn't get there thats fine as I'll learn from it.
Cheers Graham
 

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noissee

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I admit, I haven't been around many Mt hemlock. I like the sketch though, and if you think you can get it there then it should look good.
 

mcpesq817

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Nice tree, and I really like your sketch. Do hemlocks bud back easily? It strikes me that getting from your tree currently to the design in your sketch is a matter of having shorter branches with fuller foliage pads.
 

ghues

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I'll just have to wait and see what happens. As you can see from the before shot, I removed a great amount of biomass so hopefully that will trigger it.......or maybe kill the tree?
G
 

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From what comes across in the photo, The trunk still has too many branches and they're pretty regularly spaced, too which kind imposes a rigid "formality" of sorts on that extremely informal and sinuous trunk.

The branches are spaced on both sides at regular intervals in almost a bar fashion. I'd think about which two of three might be removed to break up the even-ness of the branching...
 

ghues

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From what comes across in the photo, The trunk still has too many branches and they're pretty regularly spaced, too which kind imposes a rigid "formality" of sorts on that extremely informal and sinuous trunk.

The branches are spaced on both sides at regular intervals in almost a bar fashion. I'd think about which two of three might be removed to break up the even-ness of the branching...
Hi Rockm,
That was very deliberate on my part (leaving on more branches). As I removed so much foliage from the tree during this initial styling (all at once), I didn’t want to push the tree too far.
During future work I will remove a couple of the branches so that the spacing diminishes from bottom to top (second from top on the left, second from top on the right and 4th from top on the right). Looking at the tree more I can see a few other options for the front (slight changes of angle) which may help this…..but at this time with it in the large grow box I only took photos from the 4 sides.
Cheers
G
 
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Nice tree, and I really like your sketch. Do hemlocks bud back easily? It strikes me that getting from your tree currently to the design in your sketch is a matter of having shorter branches with fuller foliage pads.
No... they don't do it at all. The only place you will get growth is from areas where there is foliage. It's like a hinoki in that fashion. That's why you have to stay on top of them... But the nice thing about them is that they take movement really easily... so shortening branch lenghts with movement is a snap.

G....

How tall is your tree? :) I've got one that is likely about the size of yours that I'll be sorting out here in a few weeks myself (that's when I'll have time... :rolleyes:)

Looks like you had fun... nice start! :) how long did it take?
 

mcpesq817

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No... they don't do it at all. The only place you will get growth is from areas where there is foliage. It's like a hinoki in that fashion. That's why you have to stay on top of them... But the nice thing about them is that they take movement really easily... so shortening branch lenghts with movement is a snap.

G....

How tall is your tree? :) I've got one that is likely about the size of yours that I'll be sorting out here in a few weeks myself (that's when I'll have time... :rolleyes:)

Looks like you had fun... nice start! :) how long did it take?
Thanks for that info. It's a shame if they have similar limitations as hinokis do, but they are gorgeous trees.
 

ghues

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No... they don't do it at all. The only place you will get growth is from areas where there is foliage. It's like a hinoki in that fashion. That's why you have to stay on top of them... But the nice thing about them is that they take movement really easily... so shortening branch lenghts with movement is a snap.

G....

How tall is your tree? :) I've got one that is likely about the size of yours that I'll be sorting out here in a few weeks myself (that's when I'll have time... :rolleyes:)

Looks like you had fun... nice start! :) how long did it take?
Hi Ms. Vic,
I removed the top 8-10" so now it sits at just under 22" (54cm) - it has a caliper of 2 1/2" (6cm) as i wanted the 8-1 ratio, anything shorter I thought wouldn't be convincing:confused:. I didn't keep track of the time as I only worked on it after work and in between the "honey do" list of chores on the weekend.;) If I had to guess 6 hours:eek:
Being my first real solo...no club members around to help...I took my time and made it fun but looking at the sketch and really assessing each branch to determine which one to cut off....so it was also a little nerve racking at times....
Cheers G.
 
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Thanks for that info. It's a shame if they have similar limitations as hinokis do, but they are gorgeous trees.
Believe me when I tell you that particular shortcoming isn't much of an issue with these trees. With yamadori of this quailty, you don't concern yourself too much with what isn't and just thank the heavens that you have it. lol

Each one is a treasure, and it's not a stretch to get something wonderful to evolve from them. G was very cautious in his treatment of it, which is fine, but they can take more work than most people would imagine. They are survivors, as indicated by the fact that they live in areas of crushing wet snow (which is what has caused them to be so flexible). G's tree is likely about 100-150 years old at a minimum.

It's another reason not to feed them much either... they'll grow radically if given the chance, and blow their form in short order in the wrong hands.

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
 
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Hi Ms. Vic,
I removed the top 8-10" so now it sits at just under 22" (54cm) - it has a caliper of 2 1/2" (6cm) as i wanted the 8-1 ratio, anything shorter I thought wouldn't be convincing:confused:. I didn't keep track of the time as I only worked on it after work and in between the "honey do" list of chores on the weekend.;) If I had to guess 6 hours:eek:
Being my first real solo...no club members around to help...I took my time and made it fun but looking at the sketch and really assessing each branch to determine which one to cut off....so it was also a little nerve racking at times....
Cheers G.
Mine's a little shorter than yours then, but it's got some good lines, so I imagine if I stretched it out it would be about as tall... :D

Don't get caught up in ratio's too much with these babies... they don't really fit the mold, and frankly they shouldn't. It's their shear individuality that makes them so precious. I think you've got a good height, but remember, really old trees are much shorter to their girth, with little to no taper, and have glorious dead strikes and crowns. Create a venerable and ancient looking tree, and you'll be satisfied, ratio or no.... The ratios most people observe are more in line with trees which have little to no hope of having the same sense of age as your tree... and should be largely discarded because of it.

I'll look forward to seeing it develop... you should consider putting more movement in the branches, as it's both appropriate and beautiful on them. The oldest and lowest branches should have the most movement, with the movement easing as it gets out towards the tips. Plus as I mentioned, it would solve the problem of bringing foliage in closer to the trunk. But you haven't done anything that can't be enhanced in the future... so no worries. Give it time. ;)

Glad to see you struck out on your own... it has to happen at some point, and you are clearly more than up to the task. The courage to do a thing is the first step to realizing one's vision.

Kindest regards as ever,


Victrinia
 

ghues

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Mountain Hemlock

Hi Miss Vic,
Your kind words are very much appreciated. We are blessed in the PNW with such a great tree for bonsai. I plan of putting more movement in the branches next year after its over the shock from this years defoliation:eek:
I see that we have a difference of opinion of their nutritional requirements but maybe we can discuss that the next time you are up this way.
Here is another one that I've worked on and its not going to be a traditional design.....
Dec 08, "the plan", first restyle Dec08, Dec 09 and Jan 2010.
Cheers G
 

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