Large Hornbeam gets a lot of wiring [Embedded Images]

Ang3lfir3

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Previously I worked on a small Korean Hornbeam of Daniel Robinson's at Elandan Gardens ... I mentioned that I was planning to do a much larger tree and which was in need of more wiring.... this is the story of that tree.... through a few images. For those of you familiar with Elandan you will have doubtlessly seen this tree in the collection where it has lived for a great many years. I fell in love with this tree (actually all the hornbeams) from the minute I set foot in the garden. They are such a spectacular species and this tree is certainly no exception. Much of the deadwood had weathered and changed over the years and excavating what was left behind was a wonderful distraction between hours of focusing intently on little tiny branches.

This tree took me about 16+ hours to wire over the course of about 3 days... I gave it a break for a few days during the work week and finished it just before heading to bed on Monday.

This was a tremendous amount of fun as always. I never tire from the transformations, of a twig, a branch then a tree.... makes me fall in love with bonsai all over again. I hope this helps show how important it is to do detailed wiring... this is the only way to get those amazing ancient crowns...

I hope you enjoy ... please feel free to comment ...


With the last bit of fall color:



After removing the leaves:


After many tedious hours of fine wiring:
 
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woodguy

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Nice work! The wiring has really increased the ancient look of this tree.
 

Stan Kengai

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Wow! You did a nice job trimming and wiring, and one can tell that you put a lot of time into this tree. The branches now look very old, but to me this causes a problem with this tree. Please allow me to explain. Clearly, the best attribute of this tree is the sculptural nature of the ancient trunk. This trunk has obviously been developed over a long period, and is very evocative and convincing. But, in my opinion, in styling the branches to "match" the ancient feel of the trunk, you have distracted the viewer from what should be the focal point of this tree. To my eye, the tree is now too busy and feels uneasy and over-done. I understand what you're trying to do here, going for an overall feeling of an ancient tree, but I think the tree had a better overall feel before trimming and wiring, with a simpler branch styling.

Contrast this tree with the previous carpinus you posted here. That tree had a simpler trunk, and training the branches in the "ancient" style gave it a convincing overall feeling. I guess what I'm saying is this:
simple trunk + simple branches = too plain
simple trunk + gnarly branches = great tree
gnarly trunk + simple branches = great tree
gnarly trunk + gnarly branches = too busy

Don't get me wrong. This is an awesome tree, and there aren't many enthusiast out there that wouldn't want to own a tree like this. I wish I had a tree worthy of argueing the finer points of styling over.

As I look at the final picture one last time, perhaps it's not the styling of the branches that makes this tree fell uneasy. Maybe a different pot (older-looking, simpler, darker) would make all the difference. The present pot seem to say "old man with a baby blanket".
 
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rockm

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I disagree about using simple branches on a gnarled tree. It is incongruous--old trees have old branches, not new straight shoots. Younger trees have the opposite.

I agree about the pot though--its shape is not substantial enough to support such a wonderful trunk and the color is too "Cheerful" for the overall image--
 

Stan Kengai

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rockm, I thought about my wording after posting and realized I over-simplified what I was saying by using the word "simple". What I mean by "simple" is branches that are not gnarled, but still have a lot of movement. Something like contra-relative curves or alternating curved and straight sections that are more ordered and have a somewhat regular pattern that is more predictable to the mind. This would still evoke age, but put the emphasis of the composition on the trunk.
 

rockm

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"Something like contra-relative curves or alternating curved and straight sections that are more ordered and have a somewhat regular pattern that is more predictable to the mind. This would still evoke age, but put the emphasis of the composition on the trunk. "

Even so, more ordered wouldn't fit the tree. Old trees --especially the oak this tree evokes--have chaotic branching that twists in all manner of ways.
 

Dav4

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Gnarly!! How long will you leave that wire on...and will you be the one removing it:p? Great job, and keep these pics coming, please. They really do inspire.
 

Ang3lfir3

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Gnarly!! How long will you leave that wire on...and will you be the one removing it:p? Great job, and keep these pics coming, please. They really do inspire.

Thank you.... and I'll do my best there are lots of trees in need a little wire :p

and Yes I will be the one taking the wire off.... I'm not to the level yet were other people take off wire for me :p (it's good for me).... I will prolly try to take it off in mid May... depends on how the tree is growing... if it comes out real slow I could wait till June or July... in which case I will defoliate and unwind the wire to make sure I don't miss any and because we are cheap...

@Stan I understand what might make you feel uncomfortable about the branching I have to say that what rockm is saying is absolutely spot on .... smoother slower curves on this tree similar to maybe a young (30-40yr old) japanese maple would look truly out of place. You do bring up an interesting point however... the age of each branch should be somewhat visible meaning that the tip and last bit of the branch should be juvenile looking with a simple curve and should head upward or at least horizontal this is important in giving the age to the tree. I hope that makes sense... I really appreciate you taking the time to explain your vision on the age of the branches it makes for lots of good discussion...

ohh and stan and rock are totally right... lol the pot is too bright for this tree..... (i like the baby blanket analogy) .... this tree has really reached maturity and it's age is showing... it might seem weird but this is the time when deciduous trees can really shine in unglazed pots.... I'm not sure that is the best thing for this tree but maybe a darker color or a nice cream.... maybe one of these?

pot2.jpgpots1.JPGpots3.jpgpots4.jpg
 
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JudyB

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I like the idea of the first pot, could you do a virt, that would be cool to see...
 

monza

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Love the tree, it looks so old and weathered thanks for posting. The wire is so well done it just blends in, very nice.
 

rockm

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Skip the cream colored pots. They're for tamer elms and maples... The Japanese cut cornered pot with the green would work, but I think a matte, thicker grey/green glaze that only partially covers a darker clay body would work very well with this tree.

This glaze would look good. The pot would too, but might be a bit cramped visually:
http://www.hhpots.com/Schale1015.html

This is something to think about too:
http://www.hhpots.com/Schale1024.html
 
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HotAction

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I agree, great work with that wire. That is what it takes to make great bonsai.

Dave
 
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What if we turned it.........................

Ok... So I love the work... I knew you all would be pleased... But I was just contemplating it a bit ago... and I realized I liked it better from about 5 degrees or so off center.... It resolves some things I wish were different in the structure... and gives it a bit more harmony for me.

Thoughts?



As a comparitive (so you don't have to flip back a page) I'm including the original final photo.



V
 
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hmmmmmmmmm..... just sat here for a few mins looking at them side by side... I think both have merit.... I like the resolution of the highest apex better in the turned photo... and also like the way the lower apexs are a little more defined... but there's just something about the original (probably because all the wiring was designed to completment that front), that I love.

Plus we'd have to remove that small low branch, which I actually like...

I guess no matter how you slice it, it's a great tree. Would still enjoy to see what others think of the structural difference between the two views.

V
 

JudyB

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In the turned version of the tree, I miss the way the diagonal line (left to right top to bottom) wraps around. It's still there, but not as visible. Although this is picking nits, this is an amazing tree no matter what the angle. Thanks for sharing such wonderful examples of great bonsai with us.
 

Dav4

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I prefer the original front...it highlights the old trunk with all it's uros and carving, and the apex seems more appropriate, too...probably due to the wiring:cool:.

Dave
 

Ang3lfir3

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it highlights the old trunk with all it's uros and carving,
speaking of which... there is a nice close up... this is after i scraped away everything mother nature had been working on



still needs a little more work I think....that knot needs more work around the dead area...
 
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Alex DeRuiter

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Good God...that tree is absolutely beautiful. You did an awesome job with the styling. Nice picture, too :D
 

james

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That tree rocks! You could put it on a dinner plate and it would still be the bomb. Congratulations!
 
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