Author Topic: Satsuki Rebuild  (Read 4198 times)

MatsuBonsai

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Satsuki Rebuild
« on: July 28, 2011, 08:57 AM »
While at "Bonsai in the Bluegrass" I asked both Ryan Neil and Boon for their opinions on how to improve the tree. Both were kind enough to share their thoughts, which were very similar.

So, the tree is being rebuilt. More major branches have been removed in favor of smaller, more in-scale and elegant branches. Branches that originated from the bottom were removed, the pads refined and fanned. The apex will continue to be redeveloped, focusing on fewer branches and directing more to the right.

My apologies for the poor background. It was a long day finishing up the wiring. In all I've spent around 8-10 hours over the period of 1 week on cutting, wiring, bending, and trimming this tree.  I finished up June 26th, which is when these pictures were taken.

I'm expecting it to take around 3-4 years before I'm happy with the results and call it "finished".

Thoughts?
 

John Kirby

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 09:17 AM »
Nice work, plenty there to keep you busy. I spent a weekend just getting mine reduced and the flowers removed.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 10:04 AM »
I would certainly trust either of their judgements over mine.  That said, what's the reasoning behind leaving the first right branch?
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 10:08 AM »
Removing it wasn't discussed.  It's the main branch, adds character.  Removing it would add a HUGE scar (on an otherwise scarless trunk) visible at the base of the trunk for a VERY long time, and would likely cause die back down to the base.  

Plus, it's removal would change the flow of the tree back to the left requiring the apex to be moved to the left.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 10:55 AM by MatsuBonsai »
 

John Kirby

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 01:37 PM »
I also think the removal would kill a major water line up the tree, this  tree has been out of the ground and in a pot for a long time. Just a thought, John
 

bwaynef

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2011, 07:25 PM »
I just noticed that its growing out of the inside of a curve and possibly growing from the front of the trunk rather than a side. 

I'm not even certain it'd improve the tree/trunkline with it gone.  I'm just applying rules to see what they'd produce.

Thanks for the education.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 08:44 AM »
To be honest there are things that could probably be done to minimize the scar and help speed the process of healing (cut half, bridge graft, etc.).  My main concern is the drastic change from a relatively strong, almost masculine tree to a more feminine tree with the removal of the first branch. 

I know the possibility was discussed in another thread.  I think the base and nebari are too big and strong to support the idea of a feminine design, and that's what I see if the branch is removed.  I don't think it would improve the tree to remove the branch.

A few years ago I took a workshop and mentioned the same "branch from the inside" and "rules" discussion in designing an inexpensive pine.  The instructor said something to the effect of, "if you remove all the branches that break the rules there won't be anything left".  Sometimes you abide by the rules.  Sometimes you can hide defects.  Sometimes you just need to embrace them.

I snapped a few pictures with my phone this morning that should show the base better.  The branch isn't coming from the front.  It's not exactly in the crotch either.  A few more roots are needed in the front, which is why there's a mound of sphagnum moss and fertilizer cakes there.  If that doesn't work then it's time to graft.

 

John Kirby

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 10:17 AM »
It is a Satsuki, what more do I need to say? The tree was built to show off its flowers. if you choose to take off the lower branch, be really careful and take your time (as you have indicated) and understand that it really changes the dynamics of the tree. Conundrum....
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2011, 09:02 AM »
Well, the branch is staying on as long as I own the tree.

New growth has exploded everywhere as a result of the pruning.  I've been rubbing off sprouts from the trunk and anything coming from the bottom of branches or other unwanted spots.  Alternating fish and seaweed have helped quite a bit.  Another round of fresh cakes went on last night, too. 
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Satsuki Rebuild
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2011, 06:08 PM »
It is a Satsuki

you mean a flowery weed.  There is that axiom, you can have a good satsuki, or a good bonsai, but not both....

Personally, I love them, and have a bunch of them.

You are wise to keep the branch.  Design it with floral display in mind; its not a foliage or silhouette tree.