Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: John Kirby on August 23, 2009, 06:01 PM

Title: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: John Kirby on August 23, 2009, 06:01 PM
Got this from Don Blackmond last year. Is a nice taper tree, I have never really been sure about the large first "greeter" branch, but decidd this wasn't the time to do anything with it. When Akio was in town a few weeks ago, CK Carlson ran out of trees to work on , so he pulled this tree in and thinned it out (initial picture is after CK thinned it). I pulled it back out last week and wired it over the past couple of weekends (along with a few others...). Anyway, here it is wired, it is about 20" tall, and two potential front views. I know, the pot is not right, it is nice but not right, so pot suggestions are always welcome.

John
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: Jeff Lahr on August 23, 2009, 10:45 PM
I like that tree. The shari really emphasizes the taper in the trunk. The crown is nicely shaped, too.
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: MatsuBonsai on August 24, 2009, 06:28 PM
John,

I really like this one as well.  CK did a nice job on this one (you're wiring isn't bad either ;) ).  I checked with the my wife and she likes the original front with a larger rectangle pot (she's usually right about these things).  You guys should probably meet on one of these road trips.

What do you think about a low subtle rectangle with soft corners?
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: AlexV on August 24, 2009, 08:20 PM
Hi John,

I really like this tree, and I think the first wired view makes the best front.  As for pot, I would go a totally different way.  This tree feels like it is about to fall over.  It is probably just me, but lots of times when I look at bonsai I try to imagine sitting under the tree lounging.  When I do that with this tree, I feel like it is about to fall over on me.  So I am thinking an oval pot (it could be rectangle, but honestly this tree feels a little more delicate than that) that has the trunk planted on the far left end and extends under the hanging canopy for about 2/3 of the foliage.  If that made any sense at all.  I feel like a pot that came more to the right would lend the composition with a stronger sense of stability.  I will be excited to see what you decide on this one!

Alex
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: John Kirby on August 24, 2009, 11:31 PM
Definitely something larger, maybe deeper, I think something softer, and oval or cut corner rectangle. John
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: ChrisM on November 30, 2009, 06:58 PM
i agree with john, definatley something with some softer lines, my choice would be oval.
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 30, 2009, 08:12 PM
looks good
you need a different pot so you can send that one back to me....
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: John Kirby on November 30, 2009, 09:44 PM
Don, Don, Don,

If I lived in cool hinterlands of the far northern woods like you, I could probably get away with the beautiful pot it is in, however, in my down south hot summer location, I need just a little more depth.......

Just so everyone knows, I am a bit (more than a bit) of a perfectionist. I would probably have straightened out the smirk on the Mona Lisa..... I have been very fortunate to pick up a few trees from Don, I always enjoy the process of figuring out how to make them work in a way that suits me. You want a great tree at a good price, get ahold of Don, he has a bunch of Gems that aren't on his website- yet.

John
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: JRob on November 30, 2009, 11:23 PM
I agree. I have bought several trees from Don as well. A cascade JBP I purchased from him took second place in a judged shohin show this past spring. Judge was Tigra Urushibata. It was in a pot by Max Braverman (Pine Garden Pottery).

JRob
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: Don Blackmond on December 01, 2009, 08:34 AM
John I agree.  I have a long, narrow, dark reddish/brown tokoname pot that I wanted to put that tree into, but just never got around to it (I have dozens of trees and pots waiting to be mated, just not enough time).  That pot has the same width front to back but is half again as long, which would help balance the apex and long bottom right branch.  It also has indented corners, mostly straight sides and no hard lines.  That pot would be perfect...for my climate, but too shallow for your climate.

The pot your tree is in is one of my favorite styles.  As I recall, it is an older Yamaaki that I imported from Japan.  I had several of them, some old and some new.  That may have been one of the older ones.  Anyway, they are excellent pots, well made with proper balance and a great finish.  You can feel the quality when you hold them.

I like the way you have thinned out the tree and your initial wiring.  It is a fast grower so it will fill back in quickly if you don't keep on it.  Will you be pinching or using Boon's cutting technique?  I'd leave the branch you mentioned; but that's just me, and as I get older I tend to prefer features that make trees different from the rest.  That is a great tree, branch or no branch.
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: John Kirby on December 01, 2009, 12:12 PM
Don,
it is an older version (70's or 80's) Yamaaki, (Akio checked it out)  I have a few of this vintage I picked up in Japan a couple of years ago. I love the pot, will will just need a tree with less foliage to support for it. I am going to thin the tree in the spring when I see how the different areas respond to the removal of over 80% of the foliage that  I did. I would then epet to allow ti to growout and thin bak like Boon (and Marco and Mike and...) do and pinch the summer fall before showing.

I too have had several months now to look at the tree and will keep the long primary branch, may end up a little shorter for balance, but as you point out, it is very unique and eye pleasing.

John
Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: bwaynef on December 01, 2009, 12:56 PM
I checked with the my wife and she likes the original front with a larger rectangle pot (she's usually right about these things).

I really like this tree, and I think the first wired view makes the best front.

If you're undecided on that "greeter branch", the 2nd front seems to de-emphasize that branch.  And, in a break from what others have suggesting, it also is the front I'd choose, ...probably for the de-emphasization of the "greeter" branch.

Title: Re: Slant Shimpaku
Post by: bwaynef on December 03, 2009, 10:53 AM
Ok, after spending a little time pondering this tree I think I'm comfortable enough with how this tree impressed me to actually put it into words.

 
...I have never really been sure about the large first "greeter" branch, but decidd this wasn't the time to do anything with it.

As I mentioned earlier, I like the slightly rotated front better than the 1st and guessed at the reason, though at the time I wasn't exactly sure about it.  A little more study solidifies the notion (to me, this is all rambling around in my head so follow me if you will) that I don't care for the greeter branch.  I think part of it is the arrangement of some of the foliage that seems to make part of the actual branch thicker in some areas than it appears to be in the 2nd front (though that's not completely it).  That said, the tree would lose much of its character w/ that branch gone (and end up quite symmetrical).

The best solution from the 2d images (again this is in my head.  I've never claimed to be an expert) results from the slightly turned new front which de-emphasizes the "greeter" branch while not removing it's character from the composition.

Thanks for posting.