Shimpaku, future options


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north-central Indiana, USA
Back in March our club obtained some field-grown shimpakus at a very reasonable price. I ended up (by choice) with one that had some interesting trunk movement, but also a potential problem: there were several places where two or more branches were emerging from the trunk at the same point. Reverse taper, enough to notice, was starting to develop already at two of those points.

I repotted the same day (we received the trees, dug the day before, in field soil.) Wherever two or more branches arose at the same spot, I removed all but one. By the time I finished that and chased back the longest shoots a little, I had taken off enough that I stopped pruning for this year.

Nothing more will be done for at least a year, possibly two, but it's not too early to consider design options. I plan to make this tree a bunjin, because the trunk movement is one of its best features, and bunjin style will highlight that. (Bearing in mind Susumu Nakamura's observation: "To make a bunjin is easy. To make a bunjin masterpiece is difficult." :eek:)

Here's a picture of the tree as it is now, and virts of five possible future options that I see. Right now I lean toward Option 4 myself. Comments and suggestions are welcome. One of you may see something I don't see yet.


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One more picture

I just discovered the system only allows 5 attachments to any post. Here's the virt of Option 5.


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I like the first virt but would want a jin on the left side.
Thanks for your thoughts, guys.

I first tried virt #1 with a small branch on the left at the first major bend, but it didn't work (at least as I had it.) A small jin there might work...

#1 would be the easiest and quickest, I think. My own second choice right now is #3, probably because I like some drama in my bonsai. But it (and #2) would require a change of planting angle.

Other comments?

Hard to believe it's been almost two years since my last post about this tree. I've done a lot of thinking about how to style this, and have played with more options in Photoshop. (Love that application!)

I styled this shimpaku this past Sunday afternoon, as my demonstration tree at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Fort Wayne.

The "before" picture was taken the day before the Festival.

As you see from the second picture, I ended up going in a totally different direction with this tree. The primary reason is that the first movement of the trunk is to the left; I decided that to have the trunk continue its movement to the right would not be plausible.

The upper small blue arrow points to where a graft is needed some time in the next couple of years. The lower blue arrow indicates the low branch I left for that purpose.

(And the shiny object just to the left of the lower trunk is an aluminum ID tag.)


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