Potential Shohin - Yamadori P. Contorta

ghues

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Hello, Here is my potential shohin shore pine (P. Contorta contorta) yamadori – “Little Oyster” (collected in the late summer of 2008), its just under 12” (30cm) tall from the soil layer, just over 12” wide and has a diameter (caliper) of just over 2” (5cm) at the base but I think that it gets bigger under the soil?!.
Sorry but I don’t have any before shots, initially the main branches took off horizontally from opposite angles/sides from the main upper platform branch...........I know that some of you may tell me that its too soon for its first styling ..... but it looks so healthy lol
As with most of my collected trees I fertilized it well last fall, again this growing season and this little guy has responded so well and even though it’s hard to see from the photos it has really back budded nicely so I thought I could give it an initial first styling.

I see a lot of potential fronts (even with the slightest change of angle from the attached photos) and I like it from a couple of favorite angles so the photos are from different sides A, B, C etc......
I just couldn’t see where to go so I followed my mentors (sensei?) advise and wired the whole thing up (all but the smallest of branches), then examined it from all angles and followed a basic design, yeah I know a simple "S" from some angles (however I did notice that the S shows up (is more dominant) a lot more in the photos than in person ....as in the upper part of the S ...it moves away or towards the viewer?!), then I tried to incorporate triangular shapes (whole tree, upper part) and from the various angles/sides even along the main branches and established potential foliage clouds/pads.
I’ll keep the lower two branches for a year or two (to maintain its health/vigor) and perhaps re-pot it in the spring of 2011.
Thoughts and comments most welcome.
 

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  • Little Oyster top view 066.JPG
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ghues

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Thanks Will..........but like I said, in person the upper part of the S.....is a lot more gentley sloped and moves away or toward the viewer........but I may change the angle slightly so its not as dominant in a photo.
G
 

cquinn

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It would look right as a slant with a reverse apex. It would be awsome actually. I would do that rather than the S.
 

ghues

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It would look right as a slant with a reverse apex. It would be awsome actually. I would do that rather than the S.
Could you explain in more detail "slant with a reverse apex". For when I tried at first to have the upper long branches more parrellel to the main trunk, it didn't have much movement and didnt appear to do anything!
Cheers G.
 

cquinn

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Could you explain in more detail "slant with a reverse apex". For when I tried at first to have the upper long branches more parrellel to the main trunk, it didn't have much movement and didnt appear to do anything!
Cheers G.

Stop the S shape about 3/4 of the way up basically and leave the apex back over the base instead of making another S bend with it. I don't know how to do a virtual or I would do one for you. Do you have Naka's book? If so, look at the section (drawings) on slant style. You'll see pics of trees slanted to the right, and then the apex's coming back to the left. Walter Pal has some Juni's and Pines styled this way so you may want to check out his website. It's also a good source for ideas.
 

cascade

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One option..:)

-dorothy
 

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Thanks Will..........but like I said, in person the upper part of the S.....is a lot more gentley sloped and moves away or toward the viewer........but I may change the angle slightly so its not as dominant in a photo.
G

Either way, it's a nice piece of material and having multiple fronts is a good problem to have. I look forward to seeing this progress.




Will
 

ianb

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I'm more drawn to side C, it seems to present a much more compact image minimizes the lazy S movement and creates a little tension. Of course this might look completely different in real life.
 

ghues

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Thanks all, I really do appreciate any and all feedback...
Ian, it not only looks different it feels different as the photos don't pick up the flow that you see in person.
Will it will take a few years but it should work out OK
Love the vert Dorothy thanks, I'm not sure I can pull it off exactly like that but I get the general idea.
Cquin, I know what you mean as I worked on the tree last night and changed the upper part (tope two branches and moved the lower branches giving them more movement which opened up the trunkline more.
Now back to the garage to see what I can do.
Cheers Graham
 

ghues

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Changes made

One option..:)

-dorothy

Hi Folks, based on Dorothys vert suggestion, I've tried to incorporate the basic shape and over time it should fill out to the general shape in the vert ? (some minor wiring still to do), and I'll look at the option of adjusting the angle during a repot in spring 2011.......................... IMHO I think it looks much better......Maybe?

Catfish......."nice catch"
Good thing for me its not a "catch and release"

Cheers Graham
 

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ericN

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definitely better and its getting there.

eric
 

Redwing

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Hi Folks, based on Dorothys vert suggestion, I've tried to incorporate the basic shape and over time it should fill out to the general shape in the vert ? (some minor wiring still to do), and I'll look at the option of adjusting the angle during a repot in spring 2011.......................... IMHO I think it looks much better......Maybe?

Catfish......."nice catch"
Good thing for me its not a "catch and release"

Cheers Graham

IMHO, those tight but round bends make this thing look as though it's styled like an import Chinese elm. I can't think of any story for how the tree might have come to look this way in nature.

-rw
 

Vance Wood

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IMHO, those tight but round bends make this thing look as though it's styled like an import Chinese elm. I can't think of any story for how the tree might have come to look this way in nature.

-rw

Trees buried under heavy and repeated avalanche for many years will do this. A large dead fall could cause this kind of configuration. I once had a Doug Fir yamadori that had a trunk like this.
 

ghues

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IMHO, those tight but round bends make this thing look as though it's styled like an import Chinese elm. I can't think of any story for how the tree might have come to look this way in nature.

-rw
Hey RW - and thanks Vance,
Then you need to come and visit the mountains of British Columbia where the mountain hemlock grows that way (and to some extent the shore pine do too). Some areas we visit (collect) get over 20'-30' of snow annually...... I think that they are exposed to this weight (compression) over many years and when younger and more flexible they bend various ways (tops get broken or snapped off) and as they mature the style is permanent. I've seen 100's if not 1000's like it. I have many in the transplant bed recovering that have the S.....but then again maybe its not an S... but the symbol of yin/yang?!
Also I think that when this tree fills out the upper curve will covered/hidden.
Cheers Graham
 
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Redwing

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Hey RW - and thanks Vance,
Then you need to come and visit the mountains of British Columbia where the mountain hemlock grows that way (and to some extent the shore pine do too). Some areas we visit (collect) get over 20'-30' of snow annually...... I think that they are exposed to this weight (compression) over many years and when younger and more flexible they bend various ways (tops get broken or snapped off) and as they mature the style is permanent. I've seen 100's if not 1000's like it. I have many in the transplant bed recovering that have the S.....but then again maybe its not an S... but the symbol of yin/yang?!
Also I think that when this tree fills out the upper curve will covered/hidden.
Cheers Graham

I've spent my share of time hiking in the North Cascades and in the BC Coastal Range, so I'm familiar with the j-curve hemlocks. This one doesn't have that feel to me at all, but that's cool. Fair enough answer.

-rw
 

Tachigi

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Hey RW - and thanks Vance,
Then you need to come and visit the mountains of British Columbia where the mountain hemlock grows that way (and to some extent the shore pine do too). Some areas we visit (collect) get over 20'-30' of snow annually...... I think that they are exposed to this weight (compression) over many years and when younger and more flexible they bend various ways (tops get broken or snapped off) and as they mature the style is permanent. I've seen 100's if not 1000's like it. I have many in the transplant bed recovering that have the S.....but then again maybe its not an S... but the symbol of yin/yang?!
Also I think that when this tree fills out the upper curve will covered/hidden.
Cheers Graham

Hey G,
I have to agree with Vance here....very reminiscent of a imported Chinese elm.

Now, you pose a good argument with your compression theory, but I think you don't believe it 100% yourself. Why would you put the last statement in
Also I think that when this tree fills out the upper curve will covered/hidden.
.

Statements like that tend to be an excuse for someone that doesn't know which way to go, thinking that their covering there 6 in case there decision is a bad one. One should never try to hide a design choice, you need to be committed to where you want it to go and know how to get it there...for better or worse.

Make a decision what you want the tree to look like...if its the S shape then that is Great...but don't try and hide your design decision. Dorthy's excellent virt hides nothing. If you really are unsure of exactly what to to do design wise, step back for a while. I have trees that have been ready to go for years. Yet I haven't touched them because I don't see the correct design solution for them. Maybe at this point thats the right thing to do...you need to get some tighter budding and work it back a bit. So maybe while you ponder its future look you could address the horticultural side.
 

ghues

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Thanks Tom and yes I hear you loud and clear.
At this point in my Bonsai journey I'm not to worried what the camera sees or doesn't see in the tree, as I don't use that as a true measure of whether the tree works for me or not........also even though it may go against the norm I’m not too concerned if I have a final design and know the exact route to get there...for this tree like many others will never be completely finished. I’ve got a start for now and it may see many transformations over the coming years.
As you know I’m relatively a newbie and am trying to learn from you and others through forums such as these. Using photos to get ideas, advice and to learn from is very rewarding for me but working on the trees has more worth for me at this juncture.
Also perhaps like you and others hear, I'm enjoying the journey more than the destination.
It will take time for me to appreciate and understand all the key design principles, horticultural techniques etc but that’s OK I’ll enjoy the ride. I don’t look for or like working with a set formula, paint by numbers per se (although they are a base to draw from) but rather, I’ll examine my trees characteristics, its own features (and those specific to that species), its natural habitat and draw upon my imagination to design a tree that is graceful and hopefully a more natural overall bonsai.

I will leave the tree for now (as many have told me that they don’t recommend working on it this early – time from collection), tend it, learn from it, watch it, sketch it, ponder on it and make decisions on its future style as I become more acquainted with this medium, hobby, obsession, …addiction.
One other point, about the “hiding of the S curve” and that is, that Dorothy’s vert. is a great piece and I like it, saw something in it that matched the structure of the tree. So I happily borrowed her design for the start of this trees journey. I also do believe in the snow compression theory and have some Mountain Hemlock trees that I’ll post in 2010 which show how pronounced it can be.
My thoughts on the foliage….was that perhaps further down the line if I feel that some of the trunk should be covered with some foliage masses and it felt right, looked right, fit the overall design of the tree….. I’d put it in…… for even though Dorothy’s virtual is great I may not want to follow it to the letter.
Cheers G.
 
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wlambeth

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Greetings from the future!

Can you post recent pictures of this little beauty?

Thanks
 

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