Styling Decisions for a Honeysuckle

Tachigi

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Hi all, This honey suckle was collected 2 years ago. Its nebari is approximately 10 inches and height about 25. Where at a point in time here where spring is coming on fast and some decisions have to be made. I have a problem with this tree on the left side. It is devoid of a branch and as much as I have prayed and danced a jig to the bonsai gods no bud has popped in that strategic spot. One reason might be a life line that runs up that side with a fairly deep chasm that drops of on the other side from some necessary carving. So my question would be, if this were yours would you try and enhance the movement on that side by carving see picture, leave it be, or keep praying to the gods?
 

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zelk

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I don't see how not having a branch on the left is a problem.The branches it has now are pretty good, only place where I think one is necessary is above the second right branch, higher than the one on the left side. The tree looks nice, my opinion would be to not carve it. By the way, i like the way the bark twists like that up the trunk. :D





zelk
 
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Tachigi

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Hi Zelk,
I guess its me, the left side is bare for almost two thirds of the way up the trunk. To me its not negative space, but the space is negative if you catch my drift. Just kind of bland and visually out of balance. I thought by introducing some more dramatic movement that it might help in interest and balance. The spot that you mentioned above the second right branch actual does have some small branches that should be more prominent this time next year. I to like the twisting bark. It is what caught my eye as I was beating my way through the thicket to a pair of willow oak. Needless to say the willow oak waited till the next time. I was two tired at the end of the day after wrestling this from the ground.
 

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Tom
Don't let yourself fall into the trap of needing to force this tree into some other tree's "best scenario." You have a fantastic trunk here. Love it. The honeysuckle branches are hollow, and the older they get, the larger the void. They don't respond to bending unless at their very youngest, and I have never heard of anyone grafting one.

Trying to fit this tree into the mold that it needs a branch there because it does, is like doing the same with an old zinfandel trunk, or with ume. Love your trunk and love the flowers, and make it the best you can with what you have. Here you are going to have to follow Vance's insight and look at this tree as if it were yamadori. It may very well be, I don't know. But I love this tree and what it must look like in spring. Grow it for its beautiful trunk and flowers, and use what it gives you to make a beautiful bonsai.
 

Tachigi

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Trying to fit this tree into the mold that it needs a branch there because it does, is like doing the same with an old zinfandel trunk, or with ume. Love your trunk and love the flowers, and make it the best you can with what you have. Here you are going to have to follow Vance's insight and look at this tree as if it were yamadori. It may very well be, I don't know. But I love this tree and what it must look like in spring. Grow it for its beautiful trunk and flowers, and use what it gives you to make a beautiful bonsai.
Good advice Chris. It sometimes is a very thin line to walk to create a bonsai that conforms to what it is, a flowering vine, and to create a convincing picture of a mature tree that pleases the eye at the same time. It is yamadori by the way.
 

Behr

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Mr. Tom,

You are indeed a fortunate man to have such a wonderful piece of material to work with...Mr. Chris in my opinion has given you some extremely good thoughts on this tree...You have good taper, there is good movement in the 'grain', and an opportunity to develop an outstanding and memorable tree...Let it grow, develop the movement of the branches while they are young, and allow the tree to speak to you rather than you dictating what the tree should be...

If that is not possible for you, give the tree to your lovely and talented daughter...Perhaps she has not yet developed the restraints to the guidelines that often hinder us and possibly ruin some really great trees...This would definitely make a nice Valentine Day gift for her...Look to some of your other material to create a tree to enter into 'judged events'...Allow this one to become 'the peoples choice'...It certainly has the possibility to do so...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
 
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Mr. Tom,

You are indeed a fortunate man to have such a wonderful piece of material to work with...Mr. Chris in my opinion has given you some extremely good thoughts on this tree...You have good taper, there is good movement in the 'grain', and an opportunity to develop an outstanding and memorable tree...Let it grow, develop the movement of the branches while they are young, and allow the tree to speak to you rather than you dictating what the tree should be...

If that is not possible for you, give the tree to your lovely and talented daughter...Perhaps she has not yet developed the restraints to the guidelines that often hinder us and possibly ruin some really great trees...This would definitely make a nice Valentine Day gift for her...Look to some of your other material to create a tree to enter into 'judged events'...Allow this one to become 'the peoples choice'...It certainly has the possibility to do so...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
This tree has all the ingredients necessary to stop any show it's put in. All it needs is the proper care over the next two years. I would happily train it and put it in any judged event that lets me show its flowers.
 

Behr

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This tree has all the ingredients necessary to stop any show it's put in. All it needs is the proper care over the next two years. I would happily train it and put it in any judged event that lets me show its flowers.
I am in 100% agreement...To go even further, it is rare that a species cultivated for showing with flowers also has good appeal without them...This has that possibility...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
 
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I am in 100% agreement...To go even further, it is rare that a species cultivated for showing with flowers also has good appeal without them...This has that possibility...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
Behr, as usual, you are right on the money! I appreciate your eye and artistry. I am thinking 2-3 years at most then enter a photo in full flower to the JAL World Bonsai Contest. This tree has that much potential.

As an aside, Tom, how much do you want for that piece of junk with missing branches?;)
 

JasonG

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Hi Tom,

I echo what everyone has already said so I can't add too much here.... But if that left side bothers you that much how about carving and hollowing the length of the trunk on that side? I don't know if it is possible or how well the tree would respond to the torture but if done right it would add to the wild yamadori feel that you already have.

Wonderful tree.... Please show us pictures while it has flowers.

Jason
 

bonhe

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Hi Tom, any update on this tree? Thanks. Bonhe
 
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I hope Tom does jump in with some recent photos.

And going back to his original post. I recently had a similar issue with a Virginia Creeper, growth on one side nothing on the other. I added a branch to the side that didn't have one by an approach graft. I took one long branch, looped it around. Cut a narrow groove into the cambium, scraped off a matching area on the donor branch. Laid the branch in the groove, put graft putty over the site and wrapped it with vet wrap. That was about 6 weeks ago. I opened the wrapping yesterday and found that the graft has taken. Put the wrap back in place so it doesn't separate, wrapped it a little loosely so it has some room to grow in diameter and expand. In the photo attached you can see the looped branch to the right and the vet wrap where the branch was grafted. When next spring I'll cut the donor branch about half way through so the addition will start relying on the trunk for nourishment and let that go for about a month and then cut it completely loose. No reason this wouldn't work on a honeysuckle.

And my honeysuckle has bloomed recently and a photo of that is attached also.
 

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