how to get this type of curvature in the trunk

LordEOfBeckley

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jk_lewis

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Wired or a trunk bender/clamp.
 

mcpesq817

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One other way to get a slow curve like this is to not rotate your trees. I have a few maple seedlings that I've been growing out for a while, and the ones I was too lazy to rotate ended up growing towards the sun putting in a bend like the one you posted.
 

rockm

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I don't think wire or a trunk bender was used, having seen the tree up close and personal for a number of years. Wire wasn't introduced in Japan until well after the turn of the century. This tree was established long before that. A clamp may have been used, but the tree's subtle movement doesn't look abrupt enough for that, although time may have smoothed the curve...There does appear to be a trunk chop up near where the first branches begin.

The photo doesn't relate the scale of this tree. It is pretty big, over three feet, perhaps approaching four feet...
 

mcpesq817

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Yeah, this is a biggun' :D I'm actually more a fan of it without leaves than with leaves.
 

LordEOfBeckley

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I don't think wire or a trunk bender was used, having seen the tree up close and personal for a number of years. Wire wasn't introduced in Japan until well after the turn of the century. This tree was established long before that. A clamp may have been used, but the tree's subtle movement doesn't look abrupt enough for that, although time may have smoothed the curve...There does appear to be a trunk chop up near where the first branches begin.

The photo doesn't relate the scale of this tree. It is pretty big, over three feet, perhaps approaching four feet...


Wow, that tall? Hopefully I visit DC some day to see it up close and personal.
 

jquast

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Yeah, this is a biggun' :D I'm actually more a fan of it without leaves than with leaves.

Does anyone have photos of this one without leaves? I've admired this tree for some time and have wanted to see how the branch placement looks.

Thanks,
Jeff
 

LordEOfBeckley

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So, this tree dates back to the 1880's... what is the care for it now (and other trees of this age and refinement)? I'm assuming that there would be no restyling of it. Is it just pinching back new growth and working on fine refinements?

I don't know of the dates that the photos were taken in relation to each other, but they are being displayed with different fronts.
 

rockm

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They are not being displayed with different fronts. The photos are from slightly different angles, or the opposite side as the tree is on a turn table, or the tree's angle was slightly altered at a repotting. This tree really has only one front.

The question of restyling and maintenance for the Japanese trees in the collection is a difficult one. They were given as gifts from a foreign nation. From what I understand, they are kept as close to the original designs as possible. As we all know, those designs can change because trees are living things. None of the Japanese gifts, that I know of, have been dramatically altered at least in the last 20 years that I've been going to the arb to see them.

That's also true of the gifts of trees in the Chinese pavilion.

I also know that the trees in the North American collection are also not dramatically altered from their beginnings, but some have been lightly redesigned because of trunks dieing, branch extension, die-back etc. John Naka's "Goshin" for instance, has had some issues with branching over the years--if you compare old photos with current images, you will see that. Guy Guidry's big bald cypress has had some winter die-back on branching in the last year or two.

FWIW, the head of the arb's bonsai operations title is "curator" which is an administrative title, not an artistic one. The bonsai collection is closely aligned with the National Bonsai Foundation which has panels of experts who advise the facility on upkeep, acquisitions and matters more "bonsai" than administrative.
 
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