Thought I would provide a short explanation of why it is important to check out trees that do not initially stand out when collecting. Sometimes that low bit of foliage represents a tree that has been adversely affected. ( as in compacted to the ground by nature)
This tree was collected in 2014, had very little healthy foliage and was barely visible above ground. Heavy snow pack had kept it low to the ground, fighting for survival. I acquired the tree in the round plastic flower planter as seen in the first photo November 2020. Condition of foliage was healthy and strengthening after years of care post collection.
I am attaching three pictures that show the appearance after recovery from collection ( as acquired) , then after the initial repot to improve the planting angle to a more upright position, and then today the transition from structural wiring to move upper trunk segments to a further upright position for more design options.
During the first change the primary focus was to find the best front and angle for the portion of the trunk that is very difficult to change. My decision was to highlight the natural shari and jin in the front, using the apical jin to provide depth to the design by placing behind the foliage.
The second change was designed to make the less difficult bends that would improve the upright position and adjust the apical trunk portion to a suitable place to begin design. ( Three separate structural wires were used to reposition upper portions of the trunk. Brace and block assisted two of the structural wires to limit damage and contact with the trunk. Wires in contact with the trunk were cushioned with hose and placed in locations to limit damage to the old bark)
Once the tree has recovered over this summer I will be able to work on the structural wiring for branch positioning and initial design. In the meantime light wiring will take place to open the structure of the foliage, lower foliage tips and encourage some back budding. Regular fertilization is still the plan until the design is complete and suitable density has been obtained in the foliage. I am not concerned with controlling needle length at this point. In fact as you can see it is longer than normal at this point for Shore Pine. This is as a result of the focus on strong health during recovery and development.
My summary is that a valuable tree can easily go unnoticed if not checking out carefully what appears to be very little in terms of attracting attention. Shore Pine can often present with little foliage and close to the ground. Due to their flexible branches and contorted growing patterns, wind, snow pack and animals can often compact their appearance. This same flexibility is awesome for the potential it unlocks to change their design. Just not always overnight.
This tree is part way on the journey but within a year or two the final design should take shape. That will be the beginning of a new chapter leading to compaction, density and refinement. It is during this chapter that the needles will begin to shorten, the pads form and fill in. The process is slower for single flush pines but the wait is well worth it for this species.
For perspective on timing the first picture is November 2020, second picture December 2021, third picture after working on it today. February 2022. Hope some of the rambling makes sense and the tidbits are worthwhile.
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