Taxus Yamadori

Lee Brindley

Yamadori
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It has just occurred to me that while lurking on this forum for a while, I have never actually posted. So, I thought I would share with you a yamadori yew (Taxus baccata) that I collected early this year. Any feedback most welcome...

Here is the tree when collected from a coastal hillside early this year (with my son for scale).


Here is the tree today


and here are a couple of possible ideas for the future




Regards, Lee.
 

Bill S

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Lee, not sure where you are from, or what kind of forums you are used to, but many here are east coasters, who were ducking from a hurricane, which meant spending a good part of a day taking care of our trees so they didn't blow away etc.( reads pick them all up and bring them to a safe place), as well as make sure our homes were ready as could be for what was coming at us.

Add to that you posted on a week end, and gave it a day to get replies. Most of us use the week end time for tree and family care. Sorry you didn't get instant answers, maybe this is the wrong hobby if you need instant gratification.:rolleyes:
 
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Nice tree! Why not consider a windswept? It already has that kinda shape- besides, its sort of been trained for that already, if your coastlines are as windy as some of ours.

Lovin the tree:D
 

october

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Hello Lee.. This is a nice piece of material.. From what I can see.. That bottom branch is extremely thick. Which means that you could possible create a cascade from this material. If it is not going to be a cascade, such as your virts suggest.. you may run into some future problems.. That branch is going to get thicker and thicker as the years go.. The tree would most likley look out of proportion with this huge first branch that is nearly the same size as the trunk. Not to say that it cannot be pulled off, but it might be displeasing to you down the road. jinning it might be a good option.

You could consider the smaller branch above it as the main branch. It is already of a good proportionate size as relates to the trunk.

All in all, there are a couple/few possibilities with this nice material.

Rob
 
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Lee, BillS is correct, that most of those who usually post regularly where dealing with the hurricane I'm sure. We had a rather windy weekend as a result of this thing and I was nowhere near it...

My personal opinion, for what it is worth... and don't take it personal, but I don't care really much for either of your virts... reason being, is that I feel your tree conveys a very old weathered, and battered hillside look... Your virts do not. Your virts, are nice and I see where you are going with it, but if this was a nursery grown juniper that you were going to style, than I would say yes !!! I think the material you have is much better if you left it like it is right now, than if you styled it as you are proposing... sorry, I just don't see these designs, giving it justice.
This tree already has what most of us sadly have to try and manipulate, and don't even come close too... I think if one continues you to will end up with our same trees... Not trying to offend you, you have some awesome material, I think you just need to go back to the drawing board, so to speak.

Sorry, I didn't sugarcoat this... just trying to be honest, and sincerely help.
 
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Lee Brindley

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Thanks very much for the replies folks. I apologies if I came across as rude but felt like I was talking to myself when I saw almost a hundred views and no replies. Hey, I really dont mind if you think my styling ideas are crap. This is my first "proper" yamadori and I am pretty new to this hobby, so appreciate anybody else's input. I will be leaving the tree for another couple of years before its first styling, so plenty of time to plan and prepare.
I hope everybody's trees (and homes) are holding up during the hurricane.
ATB, Lee.
 

treebeard55

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Welcome to the Nut House, Lee.

I don't get the impression that anyone was trying to be rude, you included, FWTW. And it's well that you are ready to hear honest opinions, even if they don't agree with yours. Some of the best insights I've received have come when someone has looked me in the eye (literally or figuratively) and said, "Steve, I know you love that idea, but something else would do the tree better justice." Usually I kick, scream and pout for 5 minutes (just kidding!), then sit back and consider the new suggestion as objectively as I can. :)
 
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lee, your ideas aren't crap, I just don't think you are there yet...
I think you are correct that for now, getting it back in good health, is the most important thing... a couple of years building up good foilage, and by then you'll know what to do...
 

treebeard55

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Just worked up a quick-and-rough virt of what I think I would aim for, were I fortunate enough to have that tree in my back yard. (That thing is to die for!) I think October is right, that the present lowest large branch is too heavy to be in good proportion. I would jin it, and work with the branches above it... Even if my virt doesn't click for you, it may spark something in your own thinking. :)

And you and Stacy are right: best to give it a couple of years to recover from collection and adjust to its new environment, before you pick up your tools.
 

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Brian Underwood

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Great material! The tree is already in a mostly semi-cascade form, why fight it? It would be easiest to work with it's natural grace and preexisting structure rather than forcefully change it, though that may be what you do down the line as you learn the tree's positive and negative attributes. Try not to rush material like this, take your time and do it right. Maybe find a teacher who has lots of experience with Taxus... Good luck and keep us posted!
 

Lee Brindley

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Thanks for the replies folks.
Steve, thats another interesting idea in your virt - thanks for doing that.
Brian, I have spoken to Tony Tickle who lives not too far away and certainly seems to know his Yews, so looking forward to meeting him soon and showing him this tree. :)
 

Lee Brindley

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Earlier this year I took Tony Tickle up on his kind invitation to pay him a visit. I took my yew along and told Tony my latest styling ideas, which he thought were very good. He remarked at how healthy the tree was now looking and encouraged me to take it along to his anual work shop 'BURRS'.

Tony and myself with one of his yamadori Taxus.



So, earlier this month I attended BURRS along with artists including Hans Van Meer, Enrico Savini, Terry Foster, Will Baddley, Pavel Slovak and of course Tony himself.

Hans Van Meer takes a looks at my taxus



Hans comes up with a good design. Unfortunatly it would take many years for the branches on the left to build enough thickness to come into proportion with the right hand branches - but a very valid idea, none the less. He sketches his design.



I spend many hours wring the whole tree, and then while Hans is busy else where, I get Enrico Savini to take a look and help me to position the branches. Enrico has the same vision for the tree as I had since collecting it. We agree that the left hand branches should be jinned.



After an amazing weekend and BURRS, I am very happy with the tree's first styling.



Here is a short video by Erik Križovenský, one of the BURRS participants.
http://youtu.be/CisctJ4WRPM
 

Poink88

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That is a very nice tree and you are EXTREMELY LUCKY to have those internationally renowned bonsai artists help you. Count your blessings. :)

Your son is adorable.
 

Lee Brindley

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Thanks everybody for the replies.

Here is this season's first yamadori Taxus collection...

I am hoping to get a fair bit of collecting done this season, so decided to get a head-start with some Autumn collecting, rather than waiting 'til Spring. Luckily I had two friends to help me dig this Taxus. My friends had over looked the tree as it looked truly massive on the hill, with around a 6 foot spread. As I started to cut it back, I could see that the actual trunk was not too big at all. The main spread of foliage was coming from one branch, a good 4 feet long. The tree was stuck fast in the ground, but the three of us managed to lift it within an hour, while constantly being rained on. Once the tree was lifted, a rainbow appeared and I swear I must never had been so close to the end of a rainbow before in my life. It almost seemed to end right where the tree was lifted. And so the tree got an instant name, "Pot of Gold"! I have little experience of collecting in the Autumn, but the tree has lots of fiborous roots (they fill the box) and I have also mixed "Root Grow" into the soil. I have covered the tree with a frost proof fleece to see it through the Winter. Fingers crossed for this one!
Lee.



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