Author Topic: A quandary, what direction do I take it?  (Read 2539 times)

andy graham

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A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« on: July 16, 2013, 06:49 PM »
I decided today. that this tree  http://bonsaistudygroup.com/tropical-bonsai-discussion/weak-ficus-%27golden-gate%27/  had regained enough strength to work on it. I should have taken a picture before I started but it was a "spur of the moment" decision.

I've posted a few possible fronts, but my main question is ....

should I go for the Taiwanese style?  Min Hsuan Lo is one of my favorite bonsai artists. I'm not sure I have enough time left(even if I had the skill) to accomplish anything close to some of his ficus specimens. http://artofbonsai.org/galleries/hsuanlo.php .

Should I chase the branching and foliage back to a more "bonsai" style, upright tree form,  http://www.happybonsai.com/bonsai-pots-different-bonsai-styles/   , or

Should I chose a front and continue on to develop a spreading semi- banyan style?


Any and all opinions/suggestions would be appreciated.

thanks,

Andy





 

bwaynef

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 09:16 AM »
I'd vote for continued banyan styling.  Lo's trees (in that gallery at least) seem to have a single trunk, where yours already has aerial roots (substantially) formed.  I wonder if a mix between Lo's styling and banyan could be successfully pulled off.  Would that even make sense?  Does it need to?
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 02:35 PM »
Hi Andy. I too would go for the banyan style. In the 1 st and 4 th  photo, I don't care for the lowest hanging branch on the left. Can't see it in the 2 nd photo, so it may not be an issue. Also, the foliage masses seem to be to high above the branches. Are there tertiary, or so, branches there that I can't see, and could the internodes be shortened to place the foliage closer to the bigger branches? I would also cut the apex a few inches shorter, and thin out some of the foliage on the left side. All the above, one step at a time of course.  :-\  Just a few ideas, for better or worse.
 

andy graham

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 07:27 AM »
"Also, the foliage masses seem to be to high above the branches. Are there tertiary, or so, branches there that I can't see, and could the internodes be shortened to place the foliage closer to the bigger branches? I would also cut the apex a few inches shorter, and thin out some of the foliage on the left side."


Larry,

I stopped working on it so I could get these pictures and post on here. What you see is a tree and a styling "in progress". I'll post more as it progresses.

In the meantime, thanks Wayne and Larry for your comments.

Andy
 

andy graham

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 09:14 AM »
How about a spreading "live oak" style with aerial roots?

I'm still not sure where I'm going with this..but I'm too far into it to stop now.
 

bwaynef

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 10:27 AM »
I like it.  I'm not sure its an improvement, but its not a not-improvement.  (I'm so good with words, I know.)  One thing about live oaks is that the branches usually end up succumbing to the wait of their massivity (see what I did there?) before ambling along at (and sometimes slightly below) ground level.  I'm not sure this would translate well in a pot, but I do think the branches of your tree could extend/descend a lot further. 

Take a look at the Angel Oak for instance.  When I was there, I could step over branches (and had to) to get around certain parts of the tree.

 

andy graham

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 10:36 AM »
or......slanted, maybe with some deadwood at the top. Obviously, would be in a different style pot.
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 12:14 PM »
I like the slanted one.
 

andy graham

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2013, 05:10 PM »
I think I'm figuring out where I want to take this but, I'm wondering if from others' view points....whether the trunk is too "small" to support(visually) the large, spreading canopy.

 

andy graham

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2013, 08:53 AM »
updated...smaller pot
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 05:47 PM »
Good choice, Andy. The smaller pot makes the trunk  look bigger. Plus, it seems you have a slightly different frontal view.
 

andy graham

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2013, 06:40 AM »
A better picture and a wee bit more development.
 

leszekr

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Re: A quandary, what direction do I take it?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 10:11 PM »
Hi Andy, beautiful tree... I am only responding to your post now as I am a new member here and still discovering new areas of this website. I always liked those thick trunked Ficus grown in East Asia, I like gnarliness of the trunks and branches, the overall "fairy tale" look. Hence my opinion - I'd grow this tree with one thick trunk. I do not like bonsai grown in banyan style as from what I've seen the aerial roots always look out of proportion with the trunk. I have seen huge banyan in nature (Lahaina, Hawaii) and this thing was sprawling over 200 feet square and the secondary trunks did not crowd the original trunks. In your case the aerial roots already created a big straight secondary trunk and are on the way to fuse with the main trunk. Going back to your original post I liked the Pic. #3 as a front and my suggestion would be to let the trunks fuse. I'd add the surface roots on the right hand side where the straight aerial root/trunk meets the soil. I really like what you have done with this tree, I am glad you did not chop half of it off. Very nice tree, I am envious about the growing conditions for the Ficus you have where you live as I am in zone 4a :-[
Leszek