Scots Pine Progress

grouper52

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This is about a thirty year old Scots pine of some sort with beautiful bark, grafted about three inches up to species stock I think. It was bought as a "seedling" at age 12, and then styled and shaped for twenty years. It then went on sale at Bonsai Northwest, where I got it.

I loved the bark, and certain other things about the tree appealed to a great deal as well, but it presented several problems, seen fairly well perhaps in the first photo. This variety of Scots pine apparently doesn't back bud onto old wood at all, and it had grown out into foliage pads on fairly straight long branches - not very attractive to me. The needles were also much longer than I found attractive. It also had a very unsightly reverse taper bulge at the graft, hidden only partially by the lower right branch which actually comes off a bit to left of center and then sweeps right to hide the bulge.

Th first two seasons I had it I started applying techniques to induce back budding - to no significant avail. I was able to start reducing the needle length successfully though. I also tried bending several branches back towards the trunk to lessen the pom-pom look, with no setback in their growth.

Then last late winter I began more serious training, creating several jins, and a large partly dug out saba miki to remove the reverse taper graft bulge - this will be developed further over time. I then also began using guys to bring large branches into better configurations, as well as wrapped wire to place every last small branchlet into better positions, and removed a bit more excess foliage.

Many wrapped wires remain and will probably be removed this winter, or sooner. The last photo also shows many areas where the foliage is too dense despite the recent removal of all this year's new growth. Some areas are destined for jinning, the foliage left on for now to help set the recent wiring, and this should thin some of those areas as well. Further refinement of the jins and saba miki will be done. Rotation slightly counterclockwise when repotted this late winter will offer a better front. If anyone thinks the wild root needs to be removed, they don't know me very well. :)

Another few seasons and the image should be much farther along, a bit less like a bonsai and a bit more like an old Ponderosa from the high desert hills of Wyoming, but I think it is starting to show some promise well enough at this point that I thought I would post it for folks' enjoyment.
 

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Walter Pall

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grouper,

cool tree. Very good development. Starts to look like a real ancient tree. Next thing is a good pot. Or a flat rock.
 

grouper52

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Thanks Walter. I'm glad you like it, and can appreciate where I'm going with it.

I have thought of a rock slab, and might pursue that. It's a very robust tree as far as I can tell, and probably will do quite fine with much shallower soil than it's in now.
 

treebeard55

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... a bit less like a bonsai and a bit more like an old Ponderosa from the high desert hills of Wyoming ...

Grouper,

There's the goal. I once heard Jerry Meislik say, "The best bonsai make you think 'tree' before you think 'bonsai.'"

Nice tree, and good job so far! Thanks for posting this. :)
 

greerhw

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Very nice tree, one of the few Scots Pines I have seen that I really like, keep up the good work.

keep it green,
Harry
 

amkhalid

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great job grouper! I really like this tree, it is beautiful and you have improved it significantly.

Excellent photography too, thanks for posting.
 

grouper52

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Thanks, all. When the light gets right this evening I may shoot some pix of the other angles, not only because it gives a better idea of the tree, but because I'd like to know what others think of alternative fronts - it seems to have several.
 
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As great as the tree looks in the photo... it looks really great in person. I'm glad you showed this one off Will... It's pretty darn splendid.

You're going to have to show some of your literati that I am crazy for... :D

V
 

treebeard55

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As great as the tree looks in the photo... it looks really great in person. I'm glad you showed this one off Will... It's pretty darn splendid.

You're going to have to show some of your literati that I am crazy for... :D

V

Keep this up, Miss Vic, and I'll have to visit WA just to see all those great trees I keep reading about. I'll probably stop off in OKC to admire Harry's trees, too, and buy him that beer. :)
 

grouper52

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Here are views from Back, Right and Left. Any thoughts about alternative fronts?
 

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Walter Pall

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Back and right are good too. A naturalistic tree must look credible from all sides and usually will have several good possible fronts. Or what we used to call front in he traditional concept. This is a very good sign. It shows that you are doing the right thing. You will get a lot of resistance though. Be prepared.
 

grouper52

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Back and right are good too. A naturalistic tree must look credible from all sides and usually will have several good possible fronts. Or what we used to call front in he traditional concept. This is a very good sign. It shows that you are doing the right thing. You will get a lot of resistance though. Be prepared.

I'm prepared, Walter, but I'm hoping BNut's new rules will at least keep the discussion civil. I was done posting here until he decided to improve the atmosphere - now I'm posting a few things in celebration of the changes, and to get things back on a bonsai-related tack. Thanks again for the feedback, and for the vote of confidence.

Will
 
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Keep this up, Miss Vic, and I'll have to visit WA just to see all those great trees I keep reading about. I'll probably stop off in OKC to admire Harry's trees, too, and buy him that beer. :)


HA... you end up at Will's house and you'll get to feast your eyes on a lot of great trees... he's got more than the average bear... We were talking the other day about helping each other out with watering when one of us is out of town.... and then I thought about the scope of it, and I was daunted a bit...lol good thing I love being there. ;)

But yah... there are TONS of great trees around. It would be a vertiable tour just in all the places we could hit within a 30 mile radius of my house. :D

V
 

Yamadori

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now I'm posting a few things in celebration of the changes, and to get things back on a bonsai-related tack. Will

Great decision. Please keep posting your nice trees. Did Miss Vic say you have literati? Sounds like a new thread for us to enjoy. Thank you for sharing this tree in the spirit of getting the community back on track. I really respect that.
 

Dwight

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The back looks as good as the front. You seem to have an almost 360 degree tree there.
 

grouper52

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what kind of pot for a natural/360 tree?
I'm very attracted to plain, unglazed, round Tokoname pots these days, even when other pots would be more traditional - I'll probably go in that direction. Thanks for asking. A slab might also be nice. What would you do with it?
 

HotAction

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I'm not to the point in bonsai yet, that I have had to even select a pot for a tree. But, I was thinking a semi-deep round unglazed is the way to go.

-Dave
 

Just Duane

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One small suggetion for Will

Another great tree Will. If i may make one small suggestion? Pack that darn thing up & send it as quick as you can to Honolulu Hawaii please :)
 

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