Post-op Wild-Root JBP

grouper52

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The First picture shows a JBP pretty much they way it looked when I bought it about 4 years ago from Bonsai Northwest. The only thing I had changed by the time of the picture was to remove a downward hanging branch on the lower left, for which I received bloody h*ll from my good friend Rick Moquin and others that frequented BonsaiSite at the time. :)

I loved the tree’s wild roots, even though few others did, but the stove pipe above the first branch proved impossible to work around - so two and a half years ago I decided to use the tree to test my mettle on Deborah Kershoff’s JBP-One-Season-Air-Layer technique. The air layer didn’t take (surprise, surprise), but when I removed it, the second photo shows what I was left with. I stuck that photo in a folder that I named “JBP-Ugly”. :)

This past season I hollowed out the heart wood up high on the left branch with a die grinder, and bent that baby down sharply into a cascade. It did fine.

I had surgery on my left hand two days ago. The pain and swelling and mobility were such today that I thought I’d go outside and perhaps do some light work on a tree. This guy caught my eye. I spent some time playing around with branch placement and such, and then I rotated the front 45 degrees and noticed the very complimentary angle. I didn’t do any heavy work or power tool work, but what I could do with one hand, some shears, my carving knives, and some too-thick wire scraps lying nearby on the ground, I did. Much work and refinement remains to be done, but the third photo shows the way forward for this previous ugly duckling.

Curious to know what you think now, Rick, of my having irreversibly ruined this bad boy? :D
 

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Rick Moquin

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I will get back to you. I don't know if I should considering my last recommendation got your nickers in such a frenzy that sharks wouldn't even come close to you and, subsequently cause an extended hiatus from the boards.:D:D:D

That is also why I normally refrain from commenting on your trees.;) We never know which way you will take it:) BTW not just my comments!
 

grouper52

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I will get back to you. I don't know if I should considering my last recommendation got your nickers in such a frenzy that sharks wouldn't even come close to you and, subsequently cause an extended hiatus from the boards.:D:D:D

That is also why I normally refrain from commenting on your trees.;) We never know which way you will take it:) BTW not just my comments!
Hey Rick!

I said, " ... my good friend Rick Moquin and others . . .". You know you can insult my trees any time you like. (And you often HAVE! :D ) And I don't think I ever left the forums in disgust over your comments, did I?

Three to five years of refinement, ramification, needle shortening, etc, and this should be a tree you absolutely HATE, don't you think? Besides, I can always blame today's styling decisions and their executions on the pIan killers, can't I? :D:D

Will
 
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Smoke

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Hey Rick!

I said, " ... my good friend Rick Moquin and others . . .". You know you can insult my trees any time you like. (And you often HAVE! :D ) And I don't think I ever left the forums in disgust over your comments, did I?

Three to five years of refinement, ramification, needle shortening, etc, and this should be a tree you absolutely HATE, don't you think? Besides, I can always blame today's styling decisions and their executions on the pIan killers, can't I? :D:D

Will
Speaking of plane killers...could you go into some details on how you achieved the patina on the pot! That patina my friend is awesome:eek:

Just yankin the ole chain.

I think the new position is just what the doctor ordered. It is much more powerful showing this squatty nature. How long to refine the canopy?
 
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Love it "Doc"...

It's beyond 100% improved... killing parts of trees is often a friend in bonsai, it frees us from the nagging urge to "just work with what's there". Subtraction is a wonderful thing.

hmmmm.... We may have to write something on that for the newsletter... good thing you took photos. This is a "happy accident"...

Can't wait to look at it tomorrow... and Smoke beat me to the punchline on the gorgeousness of the patina on that pot... dang... it must have taken years to culitvate that look. :D

V
 

grouper52

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Hey Smoke! Eat your heart out - ALL my pots attain that fine, fine patina sitting in the mud all winter up here. You California boys, with all your much over-rated sunshine, just have no idea of the joys of bonsai up here in the land of the eternal rains! :D:D

The canopy refinement will be an ongoing process, but I think it will look significantly better in a few years, as will the cascade. I hope. :)
 

Rick Moquin

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My dear friend Will,

I found the pics (some) we are referring to. It wasn't difficult I keep all my old virts (man some of them are butt ugly) this one is probably one of my better ones.

Pic 1 is what was offered at the time. I'm not sure about the yellow circle, but the left was less than favourable.

Pic 2 is what someone else had offered as a solution (without the lines), and it was a plausible one. I still have great difficulty in seeing things at a different planting angle (I do have an assortment of wedges now) it helps but it is still something I am struggling with.
 

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Rick Moquin

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... based on the chosen front at the time and working from 2D, I thought that this is what was possible.

Edit: Photos provided circa Mar 2007. When your hand mends perhaps you can offer different angles. No, I do not hate your tree Will it has come a long way and in a different direction. However, with it's new direction what do you have in mind for a pot?
 

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grouper52

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Hi Rick. It's quite an unexpected treat that you kept all those old photos to contemplate. Thank you for providing the missing historical links!

I'm glad you don't hate the tree as it is now, and I was just "playin' wit cha" anyway. We enjoy butting heads, you and I, and was hoping this might be another opportunity for such fun. :D

You know I enjoy either finding or creating difficult material in the hopes of doing something a bit out of the ordinary with it. That's sort of the creative challenge for me in this hobby. I really don't like bonsai that look a whole lot like traditional bonsai. Even before I met Dan, the apparent ruination of so many of my trees when they partially died in the horrible climate in Taos, NM forced me to start looking for creative and non-traditional ways of making more interesting designs with what was left.

Dan reinforced that. His emphasis on yamadori and power tools really freed me up further. He has often said that all he needs is an interesting trunk, and preferably good nebari and foliage that is - or can be brought - in close to the trunk. A bunch of my clunkers - like this one - were immensely improved once I learned Dan's simple method to "subdue them to the useful and the good" (as Tennyson said) by hollowing out the heart wood on the trunk or main branches to effect radical bends, and the simple strategy of turning many alterations into opportunities to create deadwood effects. Very freeing, and great fun.

It certainly is nice to be able to look at those old virts, to see where this tree was and where it might have gone. I really appreciate your posting them, and it inspires me to hang on to more of my old photos in the future. Thanks again.

Will
 

Rick Moquin

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Hi Rick. It's quite an unexpected treat that you kept all those old photos to contemplate. Thank you for providing the missing historical links!
Be careful what you post it might come back and bite cha' ;) No, in all seriousness it is my archive and also by going through them I can see my progress or lack thereof. One thing I have picked up of late is that I am getting extremely rusty with doing virts.

Even before I met Dan, the apparent ruination of so many of my trees when they partially died in the horrible climate in Taos, NM forced me to start looking for creative and non-traditional ways of making more interesting designs with what was left.
Yup, that was your epiphany indeed! I also picked up your beginnings with Dan. It was a night and day transformation :D

It certainly is nice to be able to look at those old virts, to see where this tree was and where it might have gone. I really appreciate your posting them, and it inspires me to hang on to more of my old photos in the future. Thanks again.

Will
You're welcome. What is great about archiving info is the unbelievable transformations a tree progresses through that we miss because we are too close to them. It's like gaining or loosing weight. You don't really notice it until you need to change pant size in either direction but, someone who hasn't seen you in a while will go wow, did you ever put on or taken off the pork.

Sometimes I think my trees haven't grown much etc... until I take out an old photo and see how they did indeed progress but, the daily interaction with our trees make it less noticeable.
 

Attila Soos

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I really like the new look, you managed to create something very interesting from a rather boring material.
Looking forward to see it a year from now.
 

capnk

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Grouper,
I think this tree has a lot of fun potential.
But, you need this tree to step up and offer you everything it has.
Get it out of the bonsai pot.
Put it in a large grow pot, box, or whatever you have.
Feed and water aggressively.
Trees should be moved to bonsai pots when they are "defined" and you want to slow down their growth and refine the branches.
I'll step down off the soap box now.
Good luck with the tree,
Chris
 

grouper52

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Thanks, Atilla. Turning unpromising material into something interesting is usually what inspires me in this hobby. :) Glad you appreciate it.

capnk, thanks for your input. I think we may have different visions for where this tree is headed. I'm curious to know where you would take it at this point, that a grow pot would be necessary or helpful. A virt may be in order. :D

To me, it IS becoming defined at this point. Refinement, rather than robust new growth, is more what I am after at this point, so I see no need for a grow pot, and I think the image in about three years should bear out that strategy. I'll post udates over the next few years. :)
 
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