My First Cascade

mahler365

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Hey everyone, this shimpaku is my first cascade. I potted and styled this tree this morning. Before I got to it, it was sticking diagonally up. It is a shohin shimpaku in a small chinese pot. Not bad for a $9.00 tree! I'm young so I can do twigs like this. Andrew

 

TheSteve

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I have done a virt in my usual crappy way. Photo editing isn't for me. A cascade shouldn't look like a bent over fishing pole. It's actually best formed from an overly long branch but can be done with the trunk. Put a sharp bend in it where the slash is then pull the circled branch up in the direction indicated to start a new leader. The cascading leader should be like a multistage waterfall splashing from one pool to another alternating down the leader. put some bends in it and on the outside of each bend create a foliage pad. If you wire each shoot and give it some bends and twists you will have plenty of foliage to do what you need to.
 

360

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I would put at least a 45 degree lean and move it towards the front right corner. If you did that, the first branch would become your apex. Alternatively, you can straighten the first curve then bend it severely at your current apex. I would also move it into a much larger container but obviously your looking to really develop it slowly which is commendable. Your very patient which I have found out is a very important trait in this hobby. Anyway what ever your going to do with your bonsai, I hope you update us on its progress. I hope I don't sound condescending, I am also new to this just like you.
 

mahler365

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I think this picture is very deceiving, the tree comes up from the trunk and make a half circle before cascading. The picture basically shows an upsidedown U and I see what sparked some comments. I will post a picture later today from the top of this tree. Second, At first I was looking to plant into a larger pot, but this being a shohin cascade, I was talked out of it by a local expert. Andrew
 

Bonsai Nut

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Mahler, I agree with Steve's comments. A cascade design should have two lines at most. (One from the nebari to the apex, one from low on the trunk to the point of the descending branch). Many have only one line - straight from the nebari down the descending branch. It is important to understand that the descending branch needs to come from low on the trunk and immediately extend out and down. There should not be a gradual bend - the whole feeling you should get from a cascade is of a tree that started out growing on a cliff face, and that the environment was so hostile that the only part that survived was the primary branch hanging down the cliff face. I did a quick virt that looks horrible, but you will get the idea.



 

mahler365

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Thanks for the great advice. I think I will give that a try. It is one thing to critique a tree but to suggest how to fix it is what forums like this are the best for. Nobody is a bonsai expert, just a continuing student. Thanks, Andrew
 

TheSteve

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Great virt Greg. Kinda puts mine to shame. Someday I'll advance beyond the little paintbrush thing.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Thanks for the great advice. I think I will give that a try. It is one thing to critique a tree but to suggest how to fix it is what forums like this are the best for. Nobody is a bonsai expert, just a continuing student. Thanks, Andrew
No problemo! One final comment. The final virt that I drew is "new style" cascade. The point of the cascading branch comes down and then projects outwards. Classic full cascades normally come down and then turn inwards so that the tip of the cascading branch is aligned directly beneath the center of the pot, the center of the nebari and the apex of the tree. All four points are supposed to be aligned (apex, center of nebari, center of pot, tip of cascade). It is less common to see this style now, but it is something to be aware of - don't get stuck in having your cascade always projecting outwards.

Great virt Greg. Kinda puts mine to shame. Someday I'll advance beyond the little paintbrush thing.
Thanks Steve! I couldn't see your virt, even though you mentioned it in your post. Did you upload it?
 

greerhw

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You think that's good you outta hear my Iron Maiden quotes ;)
I would start a thread on politics, but my buddy Jason has a hair trigger and I don't want to start a flame war with my friends, so I will leave that one alone. Quote from a guy that has been around the block a few times. "The only good friend is one that will tell you the truth and not what you want to hear" Harry 2009.

Harry
 
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thailand-steve

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:) We're lucky we agree on where the cascade should start :) Anyone who quotes Rush can't be all bad :)
if you are going to quote Rush on a bonsai forum I would go with
' The trouble with the maples
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade'

sorry, a bit long i know
 

Redwood Ryan

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if you are going to quote Rush on a bonsai forum I would go with
' The trouble with the maples
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade'

sorry, a bit long i know

Woah there buddy, this is a 3 year old thread ;)
 
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