Which holly do you like best?

Which holly do you like the best?


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bonsai barry

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Here are four hollies that I'm working on. I've been working on them for about three years. All of them are in over-sized pots. Which one do you like best?
 

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Smoke

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If I were looking at this from the perspective of these four trees at a convention and they were all aroung 50.00 which would I choose. For me I am not really thrilled with any of them. If I had to choose one it would probably be the third one in the white pot. I feel that the single trunk has the most potential to become something better, as well as having branches in a good proportion. The other three all have differing flaws that will be hard to correct in this species.



Edit: as I look at 3 again I see that it too has a somewhat double trunk. It is just positioned for the photo in a more positive way. That will be key in the others also.
 

Vance Wood

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Three is by far the best tree style wise.
 

Vance Wood

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A double trunk is not bad as long as it is in a form that makes a pleasing bonsai shape which this one does. However a single trunk does not make a good bonsai only because it is single as in #2. #2 has an extreme reverse taper and looks more like a sheared bush than a bonsai. It is possible to take #3 and with a little wiring and pruning turn it into the instant bonsai, #2 will take many years to become showable.
 

jk_lewis

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All but the 4th one are pretty nice trees. In a few years. There may be another angle in which the 4th one would turn out to make a decent bonsai, but not as photographed. Number one is unusual -- though I think it will turn out that this used to be two separate plants -- and has the most promise. All need canopies thinned, the second one needs a top, and the third one needs some branches removed.
 

Bonsai Nut

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In my humble opinion it comes down to #1 and #3. As they stand, #3 is the best option. #1 would be better if you tilted the tree to the right... but it still would require more time and effort to be as strong a candidate as #3.
 
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I would happen to agree with the others as far a #3.
I think perhaps we should be asking why does this one work better than the others...
There is nothing wrong with having a double trunk, but where this one works and the others do not, is that the trunks are at various heights.
So, with #1 and #4, you will need to either wire up some leader branches and start working on some new tops of different heights, or reduce some of the foilage height.
I would suggest the first method...

As far as you single trunk... the reverse taper that was mentioned, I personally don't think is as big of a problem, seeing that there is an actual branch there, which at least would explain why a tree might bump out there. If this branch was removed, then I think it would be a bigger issue.
The style itself does need a rethink in my opinion, and it does resemble a hedge.
I personaly think it needs less width and perhaps an inch or two more of height, as well as some layering and a reduction of some foilage.
Usually tree don't grow in such a pefectly round shape, nor have such a good life that their foilage would be so consistant. Resolve some of this and I think you will be on your way!
:)
 
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bonsai barry

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Thank you all for your kind replies and suggestions. I really haven't worked on the shaping of the crowns except to encourage a few main branches to thicken up. Most of the foilage is just a season's worth of growth. I will post further photos when I have thinned and trimmed the trees up a bit. Thanks again for your input.
 

edprocoat

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From my perspective the first one is terible, you should be so embarrassed to even have in it your possession and try to call your self a bonsai entusiast at the same time! Shameful, get rid if this tree immediately, I will send you my address so you can send it to me, that way I can save you the scar on your reputation for owning this monstrousity!! :D

Personally I love the first tree, I see lots of potential in all of them, I like #3 next and then #4, my least favorite is #2, but it is till a very nice tree. It looks like you have put a lot of effort into them all. The trees look like something I would climb in as a child. My concept of bonsai is something that is interesting, mainly what appeals to me, it may be a strange twist, or monstrous roots that others may scoff at, chaos in trunks that form a view that causes me to compare to trees that I have seen in nature, or ones that remind me of something. I could see me as a child up in the Y branch of the right trunk of #1 whipping crabapples at mitch the bitch so he could not take over my tree fort. What you have there are some very natural looking trees, trees looking as if God and the weather took turns designing them.

ed
 

MattB

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3,1, 4 and then 2. They all look very natural and I think smaller pots will really bring that out. 1 and 3 both seem pretty similar in the double trunks to me, just photographed differently. I think either one of these trees could look great once they are cleaned up and refined a bit, with three being the closest to a 'finished' tree.

I have a hard time looking at 2 and not seeing the reverse taper, still has a neat look to it with the full canopy. This one will definately be a project to correct, but I like that it is a bit different than the rest.
 

Joedes3

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I agree with 3. But I wouldn't mind giving you my address so you could send me the other ones.
 

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