Potentilla fruticosa Shohin

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Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)
Height: 6 in

I posted this at KoB recently and I thought I'd post it here for input as well. I have been training this tree for a year and a half now and before I make the changes I see for this, I wanted other thoughts.


Will
 

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JasonG

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I saw this last night on the Kob forum..... the first thing I noticed and found distracting is the opposite directions of the apex's....to much seperation between the 2 for such a small plant. One could hallow and bend the left trunk to flow with the right trunk, true mother/daughter relationship or jin it and add to the image.

What are your thoughts on that left trunk Will?

Jason
 

Attila Soos

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Very nice little tree, god character also.

I agree with Jason, the only thing that I would suggest is that the smaller tree now does not follow the larger one, in visual movement. Instead, it goes the opposite direction.

So, I would just make sure that the visual movement of the small one goes to the right as well.
 
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I agree guys, the left trunk is bothersome, my thoughts were to angle the whole tree severly to the right, as I could not see a jin that works as the tree currently is angled.

Potentilla's are difficult to bend at that thickness, so that option is dead I'm afraid. I could retrain a lower shoot on the left trunk to mimic the movement of the right trunk or jin it very close to the main trunk...but I fear the right trunk would not work alone.

I am also still debating the high root on the right side of the right trunk.


Some decisions need to be made here, which is the reason I thought this would be a good shohin for discussion.

Possibilities yes, but also many possible outcomes...
 
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JTGJr25

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I might even take a more drastic approach and make some sort of jin out of the right trunk or severely shorten it, and have the left trunk as the main tree. It's just an idea but I really like the movement of the left trunk as opposed to the right.

Tom
 

Attila Soos

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All you need to do is to bend the top few inches of the foliage towards the larger tree, and train a few foliage pads with movement towards the right. Really easy.

Don't need to worry about bending the lower part. The top part of the foliage is where the direction of the movement is decided. Same with the branches. The movement is where the end of the branch points to. As long as the apex and the end of the branches point to the right (not all, but the majority of them), you re-establish harmony between the large and small trees. You can create that movement with just a few wires.
 
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I didn't see the left trunk as a competing tree at all. I think this is a nice little piece of material, but I would simply wire the branches on that side to make that one a branch instead of a trunk, and remove the small bit that moves up and to the right. Then work the canopy of the right side to correspond.
 
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Thanks for the thoughts guys, all are apprectiated. Here are a couple clearer shots...front, back, back, front, I get so confused.....
 

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Shallow oval pot perhaps in a brownish purple? I need to balance this species love of moisture with aesthetics.



Will
 

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Hey Will;

I saw that you wrote that you don't think you can bend that left trunk, but I would really try to do so. I think you will never be happy as long as there is such a wide angle (almost 90 degrees) between the left and the right. Some people are even suggesting jinning it, but I think you could fix it - even if you had to split the trunk slightly and wrap it in order to get it to bend. You don't want that large angle at the junction of the two trunks, even if you were to bend the upper section to the right.

Additionally, I am not a big fan of the single large exposed root. To me it reduces the scale of the tree and makes it look like a landscape plant, and it visually detracts from the movement of the right trunk. Let me work on a virtual and I'll post my ideas shortly.
 
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Thanks Bnut, I look forward to it.

My experience with this species is that bending hardened branches or trunks is akin to barberry, a slightly pressure and "snap" I find that movement and posistion must be created while the branches are young and still flexible, even then on this species, some dieback accurs.

I have to admit that I have not tried spliting yet. Anyone else have experience with this species?


Will
 

davetree

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I have split potentilla by sawing them right in two in early spring as the leaves are just emerging. No problem.
 

BonsaiRic

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Great tree Will!

BonsaiNut said
Additionally, I am not a big fan of the single large exposed root. To me it reduces the scale of the tree and makes it look like a landscape plant, and it visually detracts from the movement of the right trunk. Let me work on a virtual and I'll post my ideas shortly.

I agree with BNut about the root but I read an article at ABS by David Johnson called Potentilla: Exposed Root that may shed some caution on removing the root. The article said that Potentilla had very specific life lines or "veins" that correspond from a root to a branch and cutting a root could kill a branch or a large section of a branch.

Would cutting the large root have a negative effect on your crown design if die-back happened?

Is there a technique to wean the section of crown from the root before removal?
Anyone have experience or thoughts?
 
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The out of place roots' live vein is indeed connected to important foliage, hence it is still there. However, I am hoping that more backbudding will open up options for me.
 

Bonsai Nut

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So here's a quick virt envisioning these 3 steps:

(1) Reducing the angle between the two trunks
(2) Removing the root (if possible - though as a semi-cascade it would not be as noticeable)
(3) Changing planting angle into semi-cascade, bringing more roots to surface in the process

The foliage isn't exactly where I'd want it, but it gives a general idea of what I think when I see this tree. It looks very different but I really didn't do much.



Because the design is still a little messy, here's an outline of the sight lines that I am envisioning for the trunk and the foilage.

 

Attila Soos

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This looks like a great plan, very impressive-looking virtual.

If the roots can be trained to adapt to the new design, it looks very doable, and a great improvement.
 

Rick Moquin

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Absolutely great virt BNut!

Sometimes we concentrate on a problem area and we forget to look at the tree. This is by far IMO the only way to go with this tree if the roots will cooperate. I was looking at a solution from the back side of the tree vice the proposed front (Will's originals), the backside seemed to offer more possibilities.
 
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Certainly an interesting possibility for this tree. It is also an exellent virt, thank you.

I don't know if I have that much trunk/rootage under the soil to pull off such a tilt and expose such on the left, but the concept is sound.
 

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Bonsai Nut

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I don't know if I have that much trunk/rootage under the soil to pull off such a tilt and expose such on the left, but the concept is sound.

I have often seen trees where it looks like the whole root ball is pulled up (soil intact) so the tree can be tilted into a cascade. The root ball is covered generously in moss to maintain moisture, and then as the roots mature further down into the soil, the moss is gradually reduced. Who knows? :) Every tree is a mystery :) Glad you enjoyed the virt.
 

Dale Cochoy

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OK, I'll take a shot....
First, I agree with Chris in keeping the second trunk and working/wiring foliage over..
I also agree, from experience, about removing roots on these killing live tree/branches directly above clear to the top of the tree( ditto with Arborvitea).

When I first looked at this thread today I immediately thought the back view shown was a better choice for the front ( Ala Ricks opinion) . It's hard to tell in the photo but the rootage looks nicer there and I think a slight 'roll' of the top would hide those smaller roots (a dead one too it appears) and MIGHT help hide that long dropping root a bit IF the top branching still looks pretty good after a slight roll towards the EXISTING front to show a better front from the now-rear.
Also when I first looked I thought "two-line semi-cascade" as in BNuts virtual, but, it is still just virtual and I feel you'd kill it getting it in that pot, or similar pot, by tilting that much. Just lay a straight edge on the picture and tilt the tree enough to match the virtual and the entire rootbase is uncovered and WON'T look like the virt rootbase which pretty much looks like it does BEFORE tilted!:confused:

The solution...to me...Tilt the tree as in the virt. Keep smaller trunk. Use back as front to improve rootage and roll slightly to hid the longer root/smaller roots an ....most important. Put it in a scoop pot to eliminate the problem of exposing the rootbase.
Here are a couple shots I found quickly to show what I mean.

Dale
 

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