Please critique my tree.

Silentrunning

Shohin
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This is my first and only Literati tree. I know that Literati is a very hard style to do correctly but this tree didn’t lend itself to much else. I would appreciate suggestions and critiques on my work so far. I am very interested in how far you think I should continue to bend the trunk down. Also, how much more foliage should be removed? Should the sealer be removed from the cuts after a while or should I let it be? Thanks

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Hartinez

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Hey Silen. I’ll have a go if you don’t mind. What I’m seeing is a great trunk and absolutely the start of a literati long term. That first hard bend about 1/3 of the way up is stellar. That, in my opinion, is the highlight.

What makes the tree difficult to critique in its current form though, is its lack of refinement through wiring. Yes, quite a bit of foliage does need to be removed, but the smallest gauge wire needs to be applied and pads need distinguishing and established. In doing so, you will be able to take the flow of the foliage and move your eye back to that killer bend or use the foliage to compliment that bend some how. What may help that actually is a planting angle change. Rotating the trunk in the last picture 20 degrees or so counter clockwise, then wiring pads with direction back to that bend. Once wired and recovered and growing, you could down the road, Jin one or two of the branches that were initially wired. That way they are in the correct position and shape to fit the movement.
252246

If it were mine, I’d go through and establish the back and forth rule of branching and eliminate the crotch growth, and shorten each of them. That will tell you pretty quick what to remove. Now, with that said, If the tree is freshly repotted, or freshly bent, id wait a few weeks to let the tree rest.

It’s really been a light bulb moment for me over the last few years with 2 different junipers of mine. Wiring almost 100% of the tree, even the soft stuff, is crucial to establish initial styling. It takes a long ass time, but is so worth it.

You’ve got a killer shape for a very small scale literati, now you’ve got to take the next step!

Hope that helps! And good luck!
Danny Hart
 

Anthony

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Silent,

hang a plain sheet or similar behind the effort.
Image dead front on.
Hard to see.

I thought Hart [ Hartinez ] was Espanol - chuckle.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Silentrunning

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Hey Silen. I’ll have a go if you don’t mind. What I’m seeing is a great trunk and absolutely the start of a literati long term. That first hard bend about 1/3 of the way up is stellar. That, in my opinion, is the highlight.

What makes the tree difficult to critique in its current form though, is its lack of refinement through wiring. Yes, quite a bit of foliage does need to be removed, but the smallest gauge wire needs to be applied and pads need distinguishing and established. In doing so, you will be able to take the flow of the foliage and move your eye back to that killer bend or use the foliage to compliment that bend some how. What may help that actually is a planting angle change. Rotating the trunk in the last picture 20 degrees or so counter clockwise, then wiring pads with direction back to that bend. Once wired and recovered and growing, you could down the road, Jin one or two of the branches that were initially wired. That way they are in the correct position and shape to fit the movement.
View attachment 252246

If it were mine, I’d go through and establish the back and forth rule of branching and eliminate the crotch growth, and shorten each of them. That will tell you pretty quick what to remove. Now, with that said, If the tree is freshly repotted, or freshly bent, id wait a few weeks to let the tree rest.

It’s really been a light bulb moment for me over the last few years with 2 different junipers of mine. Wiring almost 100% of the tree, even the soft stuff, is crucial to establish initial styling. It takes a long ass time, but is so worth it.

You’ve got a killer shape for a very small scale literati, now you’ve got to take the next step!

Hope that helps! And good luck!
Danny Hart
Thank you for your input. I do like the angle you presented. I have not wired it yet because I just can’t decide how far to bring the trunk down. I am dropping it about 10 degrees each month to ensure I don’t break it. The trimming you show looks very good and to me seems to be in good proportion to the tree. Thanks again.
 

Adair M

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Let’s look at the material... what do we see?

Trunk: young, thin, with a bit of good movement down low a couple inches up from the nebari, but otherwise pretty straight except for a broad curve induced by a guy wire.

Foliage: long, stringy, coarse.

Size: reasonably short. 10, 12 inches tall?

The combination of all three factors listed above point to an unsatisfactory result, even if it were expertly styled. The foliage is just too coarse to make a nice tree at the scale determined by the trunk. Literati are supposed to depict old, ancient trees. The bark of that tree, the bumps, all scream “young tree”! The line of the trunk, one low sharp bend, the rest being straight with a rainbow arch isn’t very interesting.

I know I’m being very harsh, but literati, as you said, is difficult.

What can be done to improve all the faults I described? Only time, maybe a decade, can improve the bark on the trunk to make it look older. Wiring the trunk to induce more movement and character would definitely help. The foliage is a major flaw, and I’m not sure it’s possible to get it in scale with the size of the tree.

You can mess with it “as practice” until you acquire better material, but it will never really succeed as a “literati”.
 

Silentrunning

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@Adair M thank you for a very honest assessment. That is exactly what I was looking for. I realize the tree can’t even really be considered pre-bonsai yet but I will keep working on it for experience. With honest guidance such as yours, I may someday have a tree I can be proud of.
 

River's Edge

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One approach i suggest is referencing good examples of the style one wishes to create and learning the expected characteristics of that style.
Slender, taller scale, unexpected turns, small foliage mass.
Your tree has one unexpected turn, the other is poor. The tree has been compacted to a shorter scale. Here is a picture of one that caught my eye in a Show.IMG_8425.JPG
 
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Adair M

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The worst issue is the foliage is out of scale with the height of the tree. And that’s not something you will ever be able to fix, without grafting new foliage. And, that trunk is certainly not worth the trouble.

Given that, you can “mess with it” by wiring out all the foliage, and wire the trunk to put in some more movements. (That guy wire is ineffective).

You can use it as a practice canvas until you find better material.
 

Smoke

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Thank you for your input. I do like the angle you presented. I have not wired it yet because I just can’t decide how far to bring the trunk down. I am dropping it about 10 degrees each month to ensure I don’t break it.
Curious why you wish to continue bringing the trunk "down".

To me it needs to be extended more upright to have a literati feel. bending it down just makes a "squashed juniper" technique.
 

sorce

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Aye.

I feel like leaving the wire for a bit, but then unleashing it to allow it to unbend a little, will bring out the literati line better.

When it is about that line, and little else, nothing else matters.

Time will be your friend.

Sorce
 

Silentrunning

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Curious why you wish to continue bringing the trunk "down".

To me it needs to be extended more upright to have a literati feel. bending it down just makes a "squashed juniper" technique.
My hope was to get the trunk lower and then turn it back up so the top of the foliage would be even with the highest point of the trunk. I really have no reason for this. I just wanted to see if I could do it and hoped it would look interesting. Thanks for your comment.
 

TN_Jim

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ya know I don’t know jack, and I’ll jack up your tree, but I think it can be in the form.

that said I’ve been abusing some material knowing the harm it could inflict....I love this material or these trees that are gonna die or be close to a vision or opening a door window whatever -may not be, may learn more, may turnout.

After killing and messing up bunch of trees I’ve dusted off some fearful rubble and went back to chopping. If I were to treat this as such (not saying it deserves abuse)...



That’s a long winded disclaimer to say, if this were mine I would keep the positive essence of that lower bend, bend it back up at an angle, and snap it forward. Literally break it (1/3) forward (right), paste & pray. Break it higher than you want the break so a jin spike can be bent back after it heals. In 3 yrs put in smaller pot to control foliage......

does any of this make sense to anyone or did dead tree?
 

Potawatomi13

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Personally; grow bigger/taller tree. Avoid triangular or dome of foliage. Keep branching sparse. Avoid doing by "normal" rules of trationalist practitioners for most part. Personally cannot abide baro_Obranches but other than that one rule;).
 

Smoke

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