Sapling division: Cjr BC forest

Cajunrider

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Seeking advice for a BC forest. Below is my initial grouping thought. Do I need more trees? 8 seem enough fir me but I have a few more if needed.
Front
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Left
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Right
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Cajunrider

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I’d go with an odd number, but one might die and leave you there, anyway. 😂
I can add one or take one away. Given the size of the pot, 9 may be better than 7.
 

Cajunrider

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May be I can recreate this forest in my training pot for a couple years before moving them to an oval pot.
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Cajunrider

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The 9 trees and the training pot. Wish me luck! Any last advice is appreciated. I will start at 10 am Eastern time.
PS: The air layer will be cut off in 5 weeks.
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Cajunrider

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The 2 yr old root base is massive.
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Apex37

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I think people were saying go with an odd number because all Japanese traditional bonsai plantings are in odd numbers.

Either way, really excited to see this planting finished!
 

Kanorin

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My main advice (the thing that I struggled with and still do struggle with) is leaving some areas of negative space in the composition. I've put together a few forests and the next day I often wish I had pushed a few trees closer together to leave a bit more room for negative space.
Here's an example of a forest by Kimura (Bonsai Today issue 100: initial placement, then after 3 years of maturing). Look at how close together many of those trunks are and then how much negative space is left in the pot because of it. Those negative spaces in the center, on the left, and a few smaller gaps among the trees, are a big part of this composition's appeal.
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Cajunrider

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I think you could take off a bit more roots to flatten out the base on this one. It looks like you have 3 layers of roots which can definitely remove the lowest set.
I am planning for quite a bit more root reduction for fitting. The bottom layers will be removed to prepare for a shallower permanent pot.
 

Cajunrider

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My main advice (the thing that I struggled with and still do struggle with) is leaving some areas of negative space in the composition. I've put together a few forests and the next day I often wish I had pushed a few trees closer together to leave a bit more room for negative space.
Here's an example of a forest by Kimura (Bonsai Today issue 100: initial placement, then after 3 years of maturing). Look at how close together many of those trunks are and then how much negative space is left in the pot because of it. Those negative spaces in the center, on the left, and a few smaller gaps among the trees, are a big part of this composition's appeal.
View attachment 427954
Excellent reminder. That is why I am bare rooting these trees so they can be placed close together as needed.
 

Cajunrider

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What do you think? Tell me ASAP. I will be trimming roots soon to fit.
Extra negative space will be there when it is moved to permanent oval pot.
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