Nursery dwarf mugo - now what?

BonjourBonsai

Shohin
Messages
489
Reaction score
498
Location
Maryland, USA
USDA Zone
7a
Found a new kind of "training pot" that fits this nursery dwarf mugo perfectly. It's actually a plastic serving bowl from Target for $8. Looks pretty good I think. IMG_20210904_110403389.jpgIMG_20210904_110424548.jpgIMG_20210904_113258536_HDR.jpgIMG_20210904_113507002.jpgIMG_20210904_113544066.jpgIMG_20210904_114609405.jpgIMG_20210904_121129759_HDR.jpg.
Here's where I get stuck. What's my vision for the tree? Where do I take it? With so many branches, I become paralyzed. I know I've done enough this year and will not touch it for at least 2 years. I will have plenty of time to decide. But the artistic progress in bonsai is much more elusive to me than the horticultural.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210904_110357927.jpg
    IMG_20210904_110357927.jpg
    89.1 KB · Views: 10

Wires_Guy_wires

Masterpiece
Messages
4,739
Reaction score
7,589
Location
Netherlands
Those small holes are going to be a problem tomorrow when the mud drips down and plugs them. Make them bigger while you still can!

Design right now should be something to think about next year. Mugos don't like too much work in one year. Once you decide to go with a single trunk line, it'll bud all over the place after a year or two. No worries. But for now, I'd go for the larger holes and a good health in spring.
 

BonjourBonsai

Shohin
Messages
489
Reaction score
498
Location
Maryland, USA
USDA Zone
7a
Those small holes are going to be a problem tomorrow when the mud drips down and plugs them. Make them bigger while you still can!

Design right now should be something to think about next year. Mugos don't like too much work in one year. Once you decide to go with a single trunk line, it'll bud all over the place after a year or two. No worries. But for now, I'd go for the larger holes and a good health in spring.
Huh. Hadn't thought about that. Thanks for the heads up
 

Wires_Guy_wires

Masterpiece
Messages
4,739
Reaction score
7,589
Location
Netherlands
If you can't sit still, which is totally understandable because I can't, then I think it's pretty safe to remove obviously dead branches now. But again, there's no immediate need to.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
31,811
Reaction score
43,691
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
artistic progress

I believe you should know what you are going to attempt with a tree before leaving the nursery with it. Some of the following can/should be applied to 3-100 trees before selection. The earlier you begin your artistic process, the sooner you will make progress.

Step one for me, in any season it is purchased, is removal of one or two large branches that definitely won't be used in the design. The heaviest, straightest branch, with the most useless parts.
For me it's this green one.
Capture+_2021-09-05-09-03-15.png

They will never miss this branch, and it opens up the interior to light straight away. Also gives you the necessary view in to continue contemplation.

Then there are 3 things that you should begin putting "values" (xof10) on.

Buds....that yellow circled one seems 10/10.

Segments of taper....each next being a bit shorter and thinner than the previous, seems you can reasonably identify 2 next segments.

Movement.

This is the order of precedence they have for mugo pine as well.

This tree will probably give you about 6 different mixes of these values. 10/3/6, 8/6/4, 3/6/5, etc...

Contemplate each understanding that by next late spring, and for as long as you are slowly (years) cutting it back to this, the values may change, be observant to change plans accordingly. Reevaluate and select the "tree" with the best values.

For what is visible here, that yellow bud is a reasonable first branch, so I would aim to choose a second segment that moves away from it.

Each year, remove the next most useless branch, that is shading or otherwise impeding your "keeper parts", which you will be maintaining with a technique more geared towards refinement. Which is basically just thinning apical buds to 2 as soon as they extend to the point this is possible. This could be spring, fall, or anytime in between.

Note ....

They seem to go through this phase where, the low branches die, then with the interior more lit, buds like that yellow one will begin to grow.

This tree seems right in the middle of that process, which is kind of the worst stage to purchase a tree at. Which really only has to do addressing the fact that we are impatient.

It's easier to work faster with something that is smaller and still compact, or something that is already dead and clean, with more low buds already moving.

IMO, it's more Math than Art, so don't let it elude you.

Math+ Observation=Art

Sorce
 

BonjourBonsai

Shohin
Messages
489
Reaction score
498
Location
Maryland, USA
USDA Zone
7a
I believe you should know what you are going to attempt with a tree before leaving the nursery with it. Some of the following can/should be applied to 3-100 trees before selection. The earlier you begin your artistic process, the sooner you will make progress.

Step one for me, in any season it is purchased, is removal of one or two large branches that definitely won't be used in the design. The heaviest, straightest branch, with the most useless parts.
For me it's this green one.
View attachment 395966

They will never miss this branch, and it opens up the interior to light straight away. Also gives you the necessary view in to continue contemplation.

Then there are 3 things that you should begin putting "values" (xof10) on.

Buds....that yellow circled one seems 10/10.

Segments of taper....each next being a bit shorter and thinner than the previous, seems you can reasonably identify 2 next segments.

Movement.

This is the order of precedence they have for mugo pine as well.

This tree will probably give you about 6 different mixes of these values. 10/3/6, 8/6/4, 3/6/5, etc...

Contemplate each understanding that by next late spring, and for as long as you are slowly (years) cutting it back to this, the values may change, be observant to change plans accordingly. Reevaluate and select the "tree" with the best values.

For what is visible here, that yellow bud is a reasonable first branch, so I would aim to choose a second segment that moves away from it.

Each year, remove the next most useless branch, that is shading or otherwise impeding your "keeper parts", which you will be maintaining with a technique more geared towards refinement. Which is basically just thinning apical buds to 2 as soon as they extend to the point this is possible. This could be spring, fall, or anytime in between.

Note ....

They seem to go through this phase where, the low branches die, then with the interior more lit, buds like that yellow one will begin to grow.

This tree seems right in the middle of that process, which is kind of the worst stage to purchase a tree at. Which really only has to do addressing the fact that we are impatient.

It's easier to work faster with something that is smaller and still compact, or something that is already dead and clean, with more low buds already moving.

IMO, it's more Math than Art, so don't let it elude you.

Math+ Observation=Art

Sorce
@sorce, This must be how a tree thinks!

Thank you for taking the time to put your process into words. I constantly look for guideposts to solve problems. Design has been my problem. Now I have guideposts that can be adjusted to help the design.

I also realize that I need to slow down on design, meaning the design is not something you see at once rather it re-appears from the last step. It's a dance with a tree!

New philosophy!!!
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
31,811
Reaction score
43,691
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
@sorce, This must be how a tree thinks!

Thank you for taking the time to put your process into words. I constantly look for guideposts to solve problems. Design has been my problem. Now I have guideposts that can be adjusted to help the design.

I also realize that I need to slow down on design, meaning the design is not something you see at once rather it re-appears from the last step. It's a dance with a tree!

New philosophy!!!

Amen!

The hardest thing to see is that which is not yet present.

It's the philosophy that allows for actual enjoyment!

Sorce
 

Stella

Mame
Messages
150
Reaction score
129
Location
Pretoria, South Africa
USDA Zone
9b
I believe you should know what you are going to attempt with a tree before leaving the nursery with it. Some of the following can/should be applied to 3-100 trees before selection. The earlier you begin your artistic process, the sooner you will make progress.

Step one for me, in any season it is purchased, is removal of one or two large branches that definitely won't be used in the design. The heaviest, straightest branch, with the most useless parts.
For me it's this green one.
View attachment 395966

They will never miss this branch, and it opens up the interior to light straight away. Also gives you the necessary view in to continue contemplation.

Then there are 3 things that you should begin putting "values" (xof10) on.

Buds....that yellow circled one seems 10/10.

Segments of taper....each next being a bit shorter and thinner than the previous, seems you can reasonably identify 2 next segments.

Movement.

This is the order of precedence they have for mugo pine as well.

This tree will probably give you about 6 different mixes of these values. 10/3/6, 8/6/4, 3/6/5, etc...

Contemplate each understanding that by next late spring, and for as long as you are slowly (years) cutting it back to this, the values may change, be observant to change plans accordingly. Reevaluate and select the "tree" with the best values.

For what is visible here, that yellow bud is a reasonable first branch, so I would aim to choose a second segment that moves away from it.

Each year, remove the next most useless branch, that is shading or otherwise impeding your "keeper parts", which you will be maintaining with a technique more geared towards refinement. Which is basically just thinning apical buds to 2 as soon as they extend to the point this is possible. This could be spring, fall, or anytime in between.

Note ....

They seem to go through this phase where, the low branches die, then with the interior more lit, buds like that yellow one will begin to grow.

This tree seems right in the middle of that process, which is kind of the worst stage to purchase a tree at. Which really only has to do addressing the fact that we are impatient.

It's easier to work faster with something that is smaller and still compact, or something that is already dead and clean, with more low buds already moving.

IMO, it's more Math than Art, so don't let it elude you.

Math+ Observation=Art

Sorce
Thank you for all of this
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom