Shimpaku

Fishtank307

Shohin
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I wanted to start a progression thread on this shimpaku I bought a couple of weeks ago (and show it off!) I was actually looking for a nice pot for another tree, when I found this twisty shimpaku. It was the dead stump that really caught my eye.

Side A
IMG_20180811_165200.jpg

Side B
IMG_20180811_165214.jpg

Side C
IMG_20180811_165219.jpg

Side D
IMG_20180811_165230.jpg

From above
IMG_20180811_165238.jpg

I should really clean up the deadwood!

In september I can finally take it the workshop. My goal is to create pads around and through the deadwood to really frame it. I haven't figured out what the best composition would be. There are two trunks and I'd like the live one up front, but then all the deadwood would be on the back of the tree.
If I pick side A as the front, the main trunk would show a pigeon breast... Side B would show both the live vain and the deadwood of the live trunk. I could then tilt it to the right, as if the dead tree was cascading from a cliff and died off. So many options!

But for now, I just need to keep it healthy!
 

Tieball

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That tree has a lot of character. Lots of possibilities as branches grow out. Personally, I’d enjoy working with the A or D view. The worn out and twisted deadwood is a great feature to tell a struggling story. Have fun with this one.
 

Vance Wood

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If the tree was mine I would remove the tree from its current pot and examine the base of the tree and see how the trunk interfaces with the soil surface before I decided on a pot. JMHO
 

Fishtank307

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If the tree was mine I would remove the tree from its current pot and examine the base of the tree and see how the trunk interfaces with the soil surface before I decided on a pot. JMHO
I'm a bit disappointed about the base to be honest... On the current front of the tree, the base isn't visible because of small surface roots that need to be pruned next repotting. And in the back there was some flare, but nothing worth showing off...

I haven't really thought about a pot yet. My plan was to repot next year, root prune, choose a better soil mix and just using the same pot again. What's your opinion about the base of a tree and what pot to choose?
 

Gsquared

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I wouldn't worry too much about the surface roots on shimpaku. For many reasons, mostly deadwood placement, they are never as harshly judged as other species. And shimpaku all tend to develop decent root bases over time with good repotting and root selection. As far as a pot goes, I'd keep my eye open for a square semi-cascade or possibly round. Here are some examples.
 

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defra

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I think @Vance Wood misread the first post
You were looking for a pot for another tree and bought this shimpaku instead right?

Nice work on the styling :)
I agree with gsquared on a semi cascade pot in the future maybe a lotus shaped one will be nice too
 

Fishtank307

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I wouldn't worry too much about the surface roots on shimpaku. For many reasons, mostly deadwood placement, they are never as harshly judged as other species. And shimpaku all tend to develop decent root bases over time with good repotting and root selection. As far as a pot goes, I'd keep my eye open for a square semi-cascade or possibly round. Here are some examples.
Wow, thanks for the virts man. Really appreciate it! I like the first one. Maybe with a slight curve, but definitely a simple design. Or a sleek lotus shape, as Defra suggested :)
 

Brian Van Fleet

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If it was mine, I would try to tighten up the top (bring the two blue arrows closer together) and get the apex moving more to the right. It looks like the whole tree cascades to the right and the top has sprung back up to create some balance. The styling would be more dramatic if it moved to the right, and when the whole thing gets tightened up.

I’d also try to keep it inside the yellow line. Since it’s itoigawa, it may take a couple years of fighting with juvenile foliage while you get it there, but it can be done. Some Itoigawa don’t like to back-bud well, so if you have good tufts of foliage in close to the trunk, take care of them and keep them heathy for use later.
524038AF-494F-4ACC-A2E9-489EF466146A.jpeg
 

Fishtank307

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If it was mine, I would try to tighten up the top (bring the two blue arrows closer together) and get the apex moving more to the right. It looks like the whole tree cascades to the right and the top has sprung back up to create some balance. The styling would be more dramatic if it moved to the right, and when the whole thing gets tightened up.

I’d also try to keep it inside the yellow line. Since it’s itoigawa, it may take a couple years of fighting with juvenile foliage while you get it there, but it can be done. Some Itoigawa don’t like to back-bud well, so if you have good tufts of foliage in close to the trunk, take care of them and keep them heathy for use later.
View attachment 212856
Thanks for the advice.
I think I can bend the apex a little more to create a more compact design.
I didn't want to trim too much of the foliage. My plan was to trim new shoots on the strong branches just before summer, and let the interior shoots get stronger. After a few years, I'll be able to create pads closer to the trunk, which is relatively thin...
 

Japonicus

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Nice work glad the tree survived the storm!
Have to agree with Brian on the yellow line silhouette
but you’re going to need to let the lower branches extend and keep the larger upper right
branch in check for a while if you see what I mean?
 

Fishtank307

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Nice work glad the tree survived the storm!
Have to agree with Brian on the yellow line silhouette
but you’re going to need to let the lower branches extend and keep the larger upper right
branch in check for a while if you see what I mean?
Thanks! The outline Brian drew is roughly what I'm aiming for! The larger branch near the apex is a bit thick, so it might be removed if I have enough foliage to fill in the gap.
I'm not sure if I want to let the lower branches extend any longer than this though. In my opinion, the tree should be a bit more compact. As for now, I'm going to prune any long shoots in order to promote some backbudding.
 

Japonicus

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Thanks! The outline Brian drew is roughly what I'm aiming for! The larger branch near the apex is a bit thick, so it might be removed if I have enough foliage to fill in the gap.
I'm not sure if I want to let the lower branches extend any longer than this though. In my opinion, the tree should be a bit more compact. As for now, I'm going to prune any long shoots in order to promote some backbudding.
You know, I didn’t even consider the branch above it as a replacement since the thicker branch
is so well placed. Looks like the replacement branch was just as thick.
What’s happening bud/shoot wise directly above that replacement branch may determine which route to go.

On the back of the thick branch between 1st and 2nd wire spiral appears to be a backwards facing
shoot. Would is be feasible to remove and spiral the wire in the opposite direction in Fall, and rotate
that branch enough to use that shoot and keep the branch? Of course not pruning back to there yet but some.
 

Fishtank307

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On the back of the thick branch between 1st and 2nd wire spiral appears to be a backwards facing
shoot. Would is be feasible to remove and spiral the wire in the opposite direction in Fall, and rotate
that branch enough to use that shoot and keep the branch? Of course not pruning back to there yet but some.
There are a couple of secondary branches on that thicker branch. But I'm not sure if it's even necessary to use those as recplacement, since there are a lot of smaller (primary) branches that could be used to fill in the gap. I'm probably not going to fully remove it yet, but in the long term I need to replace it with younger growth :)
Next fall I'm probably going to reduce the apex a bit more, bend it down (as Brian suggested) and in overall set the pads closer together.
The pads marked in orange could be used to replace the thick branch

IMG_20190711_1256352.jpg
Thanks for the input by the way! Always nice to rethink designs and hear other peoples opinions :)
 

Fishtank307

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I recently removed the wire. The primary branches are pretty much set.
Yesterday I wired it again and tried to make it more compact. I also added guy wires in two places to bring the apex down and more to the right, as @Brian Van Fleet suggested.
IMG_20190930_134140.jpg

I left some a little tuft at the top to fill in a gap in the back of the apex:
IMG_20190930_134140222.jpg

3.jpg
 

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