Author Topic: Flat-top Pines  (Read 6679 times)

noissee

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Flat-top Pines
« on: July 20, 2009, 10:09 PM »
Hi, I was browsing the Bald Cypress threads and I couldn't help but wonder where all the flat-top pines are? This is a VERY common style for a mature pine the the south eastern US, especially here in FL.

I was wondering if anybody has or has seen good flat-top style pine bonsai, and if you would like to share pictures.

I will post pictures of mine in about 6-10 years when I have them.  8)
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2009, 07:38 PM »
Interesting question.  My initial thought would be that it isn't an "accepted" style for pines.  Same for the cypress only a few years ago (and still to an extent through some parts of the world).  It isn't "natural" to most people by their experience.  That's simply not how they grow in most other areas.

But, with more thought, this could all be hooey.  The same argument used against could be used for.  It's all about the feeling of the composition.  Those that are familiar with pines in the south will recognize that this is how they grow in this part of the country.

Pines are typically seen in Japanese "pine style" and perhaps that is how we have been trained to see them as bonsai.  A strong and masculine Japanese Black Pine, or a feminine white pine, or a slender red pine bunjin certainly are images most of the bonsai world is familiar (comfortable?) with.

I say, why not create a great flat-top pine and make this an accepted alternative?
 

noissee

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 11:23 PM »
Believe me, I'm working on it. I'm also going to collect some pictures of some local pines to post. In my opinion, this is the most majestic pine style. It's a shame that people in other parts of the world are missing out on this great style.
 

meushi

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 01:26 AM »
If I am not totally mistaken, the flat-top is actually common in Penjing. I am unfortunately not that good when it comes to searching in Chinese compared to Japanese so I didn't find links to share yet.
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2009, 03:23 AM »
I thought I would share a few pictures of some local flat top pines. These are Pinus ellottii.

 I don't think these are quite what noissee is thinking about, but they are a fairly common sight around my area. I've got some pictures of the more mature wonderful trees in question, but I can't seem to find them at the moment. I'll post some when I do.

I've also a few native slash pines in pots-not very good trees. I'll try to get some not too unflattering pictures today.

Jay
 

rockm

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 09:27 AM »
Before you re-invent the wheel  :D, "flat top pines" would fall into the "literati" category. Images like the ones in the pics are pretty common in Japanese ukiyoe prints and in chinese scholar art.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009, 10:25 AM »
Rock,

You may have a point.  However, for a literati I would expect to see a gentle, graceful movement in the trunk.  The pictures that Jay provided don't necessarily scream literati to me at least.  Though, I did search for "Japanese ukiyoe tree" images and believe your point to be even stronger with those examples.

Hmm.  Then why aren't flat-top cypress accepted as literati?  Why the adoption (perhaps not widely, yet) of this new style?  Any why aren't literati bonsai more like the ukiyoe images?  Is it because of the long history and evolution of this style?  What are your thoughts?

Very interesting indeed.
 

noissee

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2009, 10:29 AM »
Jay, give those another 40 years or so and they will look like I have in mind. Being from central FL though, I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talkin about.

Rockm, I realize that this style would simply be seen as literati by most, and that's because it is. In the host of online pictures of literati however, I still don't recall seeing any mature flat-top styles.
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2009, 10:35 AM »
You are right Mark. At least for pics one and four. Like I said, I don't think these are quite the image noissee had in mind, but I woke up at 3am. and can't be held responsible for any posts made at that time ::) ;D

You know though, if you were to style a pine with an arrow straight trunk like these, and post it on a bonsai forum as a "literati", folks would tell you that the trunk needs curves -lots of them- to really be a "literati".

Hopefully, I'll find the pictures of trees that I would think of as "flattop" pines.... More like pic #3 except a hundred years older.

Jay

« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 10:38 AM by Jay Wilson »
 

Mike Page

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2009, 11:43 AM »
Here's a Scots Pine I've owned for many years.

Mike
 

noissee

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2009, 12:24 PM »
Mike, I like that tree, but in the style I'm talking about the branches would not be bent down like that. Instead, they would be reaching up diagonally. It is similar to the cypress style, but more pine-like, if that makes any sense. I've tried to draw one, and it ended up looking like a cypress, but you can get the idea. It's almost as if the tree has said, "I don't need to be any taller than this." And it works on making a big, flat solar panel on the top of it. Sometimes it will have nice little side pads, but they are few and short.

 

rockm

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2009, 01:13 PM »
"literati" covers alot of ground. It is more than just skinny crooked trees with two branches. Literati trees convey a rugged, yet refined image. That image can be achieved many ways.

Do a search on "Hasegawa Tohaku" to see his series of screens with pine trees, or Matsubayashi keigetsu for his renditions.

BC Flattop style could be classified in the literati style with little trouble, but it's not an artistically-driven style, per se. It's mostly species-specific.
 

rockm

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2009, 01:15 PM »
Oh, do those searches in "Google images" for best results.
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2009, 10:50 AM »
Cool links rockm,
I enjoyed the first one with the pines.....

Well, I tried to find the good pictures of trees that have what noissee is looking for but no luck so far.

Here are a couple from St. Pete Fl.   You get the idea, but things are just too cluttered to do the trees justice.

As far as the trees I'm growing....forget it- too embarrassing :-[

Jay
 

noissee

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Re: Flat-top Pines
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2009, 10:43 AM »
Don't worry guys, I'll have pictures tomorrow. There are 3 or 4 really great ones along I-10, and I've actually got to drive over there today, so I'll get some pics.