Like or dislike this fir

october

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Hello all,
Just wanted to know how you feel about this tree... It is a collected douglas fir that I picked up at a huge discount at the nursery. I do not have pics of it in it's original form.. This is after the styling. There were a couple of other thick sagging long branches on it that I ended up cutting off. I left one section, that was healthy, and made a new tree out of it. I was recalling some of John Naka's trees where it was basically a trunk, then some form of triangular tree on the end.

There is a bend in the trunk that is rather sharp. However, it can be hidden by planting on a different angle. The shari was based on what I had to work with, there were natural jins on there..so I just carved small sharis below each jin. I was unsure about doing a spiral, like shari for fear of severing a vein.

Anyway.. Love it or hate it..let me know. I think that a large amount of new growth would make a world of difference with this tree. So before you say you hate it...lol...see the virt:)

The last pic is the virt with a lot of new growth.. What a difference..

Rob
 

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John Ruger

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It really makes a difference with the crown flattened out in the virt. Do you think it has too heavy of a lean above the hard break in the trunk?
 

Attila Soos

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Your final virt makes an interesting bonsai. I like the extended, wide foliage, to counter-balance the long trunk.
I also believe that with this tree, the overall presentation can make a big difference: the pot, the stand, and ultimately, the positioning of the tree in the space where it is exhibited, can make a big impact. That's because the dimensions and spacial configuration of this bonsai are unusual. Just putting it on a table with other trees, can greatly diminish the visual impact. But if the appropriate space is awarded, and accessories carefully selected, it will look great, provided that you can develop some nice and mature foliage pads.
 
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irene_b

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I like it!
Reminds me of Tall Sally.....
 

october

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Hello John... Are you referring to how much it slants to the side? If so, yes, However, when I did the virt, I noticed the lean was quite diminished by the foliage elongation. I had contemplated trying to bend it.. However, the tree is pretty set.. Not that it could not be bent, but with a small amount of cambium running up the already narrow upper trunk, it might be risky..

Hello Attila.. Thank you.. I did this virt today actually and was surprised myself, by the way some growth could transform this entire tree.... Although it has a literati quality, it just is not one. Well, not a good one anyway.. I also belive with new growth, the right pot and display, this could be a nice bonsai.

Maybe something like this..
 

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JasonG

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I like it, the only thing that I see as a mjor flaw is the last part of the trunk that run vertical. It would look a million times better if that section of the trunk line followed left like the rest of the tree. Maybe not as steep of a lean, but not straight up either. Somewhere in the middle. Standing the whole thing up a little also holds some merit.
 

tom tynan

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I like what you have done so far - one thing to say is that a fir this size will probably never take to a shallow oval - esp. if live anywhere where it gets unusually warm. Mixing some screened fir bark in your soil mix will also help hold a little more moisture. It is not a tree of many branches - so you have to make the most with what you have. The virtual suggests letting branch ends extend - well yes that will work - but getting the branches to split via new bud break will also help the tree fill out. The first low branch on the right should get much longer and wired with alot of movement. It could be a very elegant tree....good luck Tom
 
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Brian Van Fleet

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Not yet, but this is right up your alley...so will love it soon!
 

rockm

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I like the final image, BUT the long straight branches are not in character with the trunk. Straight branches are characteristic of immature trees. Put some movement and a LITTLE bit of heft in the apex branches and it would be better.
 

october

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Hello Jason.. I have contemplating bending the upper trunk back towards the base..for more balance, However, I have not decided yet.

Hi Tom.. Actually, I am very lucky.. this is a collected tree..I do not know from where.. There is practically no root ball.. I could not believe it when I pulled it out to put it in a good soil... I can't believe it is still alive on what is left... I did not do a full inspection.. but the root ball, even without being combed out is literally only about 2 inches all around and only 3-4 inches down. This tree could easilly fit in the pot in the virt...

Thanks Brian.. yup,, playing another waiting game with this one..lol

Hello rockm.. Yes, I do agree. I put movement in the anchoring branches only... Side branch 1, 2 and 3.. and also in the very upper portion of the trunk and apex. There were a few reasons for this.. There is so little room, because the spaces are so small andd that section so young, that I decided to wire the remaining branches on the next rewiring or even the next one.. Also, I would need to wait for the branch to elongate to put balanced movement throughout. Right now, the branches are very short and young.. So when I have a long enough branch I will wire the entire young new branch. to get it off to a great start

The apex, was curved back slightly towards the base of the tree, but I kept a kind of down/toward the view angle, to add some depth. It looked out of place and too young when it was brought completely straight up.. Also, there are a couple of young buds in there.. so, it will fill out I agree about the heft and am banking on the tree filling it out..

Thank you everyone for replying...I guss we will see what the tree wants to do.. Hopefully, it will want to live...lol....
 

JasonG

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This is a very bad drawing....but it will give you an idea of what I meant.

Keep the flow left..... there isn't enough tree to bring to the right to get the balance you are looking for. What is there would look awkward and contrived.

What Tom is talking about in with the pot isn't what your root ball will allow, but rather what will make the tree happy. If you had it in the pot you suggest you would need to water it 2-3 times a day in the summer to keep it healthy. Its about what the tree needs to maintain happiness :)

Good luck, and I like this tree....
 

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Attila Soos

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Keep the flow left..... there isn't enough tree to bring to the right to get the balance you are looking for. What is there would look awkward and contrived.

...
There is no right or wrong choice between what Jason suggests (to keep the top moving towards left), or October's choice to have the top grow straight up.

Both are valid stories. If the top moves to the right, this means that the forces that made the tree grow that way are still in effect. If the top grows straigth up, the assumption is that the tree has reached an ideal balance (such as: reaching an area where there is sufficient light), and it can now grow upwards, with no obstacles.

Jason suggests that you should keep the struggle on. This line of story is more dynamic and has more drama.
The second scenario is that the struggle is over, and the drama is diffused, followed by a period of peace.
It's up to your fancy, which story to prefer: the happy ending, or the never-ending story.

The only bad choice in my mind, would be to try to turn the top backwards, for the sake of "balance". Doing something just for the sake of balance is not a good idea, because it leads to unconvincing, artificial-looking results, with no substance behind it. Balance can always be achieved by shaping the branches in a certain way. You can do this regardless of what the direction of the trunk is. The concept of balance in nature has only meaning if it is considered under a specific set of environmental conditions, and never for the sake of "looking good". But you can always make a tree look good, while at the same time, it also makes sense.

Having said that, you could do a backward-windswept design, where the tree was growing towards the left where the light is, and then it was exposed to a windy area, which in turn made it sweep back towards the right. But you have to suggest the forces that made the tree change direction.

The power of suggestion is the most interesting part of creating art.
 
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october

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Hello Jason, I respect your virt, but only partially agree with it. I think that by swinging it back a bit, it adds a little character and a little balance to it. Also, I think we are under a miscommunication as far as the root ball or lack there of... There is barely any root ball at all. To the point where if I used a pot of the same size in the virt, the tree would have to grow into it, thats how little roots there are. It would actually have trouble staying in the pot in the virt because of the lack of root ball.

:)Also,, I already have to water 2, sometimes 3 times a day..so that will never be an issue.

Hello Attila.. I agree with you on all your points...Many times you see very old masterpieces brought into balance by the foliage and not where or how the branches or the trunk are formed.

I reason I chose to give it a slight backwards pull was because many of the John Naka sketches illustrate a simply designed tree that has movement towards one direction, but swings back to promote balance. whether or not it works on this tree, I have not even decided that for myself. I do know one thing.. This is almost like starting from scratch..I basically have to grow twice the amount of foliage compared to the current silhouette...

I think that every one sees something different and that is a good thing...hmmmm I wonder what opinions would have been if I showed the tree before I styled it...

Rob
 

Attila Soos

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I reason I chose to give it a slight backwards pull was because many of the John Naka sketches illustrate a simply designed tree that has movement towards one direction, but swings back to promote balance.
Yes, I know what you mean, those informal upright, or mildly slanting designs, where the tree is kind of "looking backward". It has a human figure quality to it.
The reason why it may not work as well in this case, is because the tree has a very drastic slant, and it would be hard to counter it with a backward move. It's like comparing it with a slow river, where the water can meander back and forth. But in the case of a raging white-water, rushing downhill, there is nothing that can stop that movement.
 

october

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hmmm Maybe a slight tilt towards the left as Jason suggested after all..You might be correct... Well, as far as this virt.. The virt shows a lot of new growth to sustain the extreme slant..I will look at the tree later on...

Rob
 

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A taller squarer pot with the bole well placed may bring the long section into keeping with itself.

I would possibly remove the nascent branch on the right and twist the crown down and forward whilst allowing a cascading flourish of a left branch.
 

october

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Hello Klytus.. Definitely worth considering a pot like that.. Although it is a cascade kind of pot. It could work with the thick, old base of this tree.
 
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