Author Topic: Kokonoe White Pine  (Read 21725 times)

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2011, 07:22 AM »
Al, look at the before pics, strong growth throughout, but these are apically dominant trees. I expect that the growth "will balance" over the next year or so with the top having been reduced to the best pair of buds. When you see the tree in person, you see that no part is "weak". Part of the rejuvenation (style wise) is to reduce old large branches and replace them with younger more compact ones- if you don't do this then the tree just continues to get taller and taller unless you employ the unsustainable wiring of loops and excessive bends in to your branches.. Wait a year, the foliage will become more dense so that the balance becomes apparent-  this is where the work continues for the next several years.

 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2011, 07:37 AM »
Owen, the concept of professionals is new to the general bonsai hobbyist in the US. I hope that we will see more and more good work as the numbers of trained professionals continues to increase. Japanese trained as well as US trained over time. The quality of trees can only continue to improve. Good luck.
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2011, 08:55 AM »
I agree.  If you look at Kokofu books from about 20 years ago, it gives me a great deal of hope.  Many accents were bigger than the main tree and the stands were huge!  The trees also resemble many current American trees  ;).  We can do nothing but improve.  I often show trees from American exhibitions and my sensei is impressed.  He drools over "American Shimpaku" and our pines.  We have a massive potential stock of native Yamadori to collect responsibly.  I look forward to learning from other artists from all over the world in the future.

Thanks,
Owen Reich
 

Chrisl

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2011, 10:52 AM »
John, both you and Owen answered my question perfectly.  I've often wondered about "is it mine if I have someone else work on it"...in fact it came up when I signed up for a workshop with Ryan O'neil at the upcoming Midwest show called "Bring Your Own Tree" workshop.  So Ryan will be helping me on my Bald Cypress, and maybe my maple as I'm not sure how much work can be done on the BC due to me hacking off all the old/wrongly grown/out of proportion branches.  Thanks to Don Blackman for teaching me how to work on these trees.  So I'll bring a 'backup' tree just in case...this is a rare chance for me to get a real pro's advice and hopefully a little work.  Ryan's work speaks for itself.

But getting back to your gorgeous pine John, I can understand your reasoning, and Akio did a fantastic job.  If it was mine, and if I could afford it ;), I would've hired him too as the tree is so old, with so much history, and a good chance of doing well in a show.  It's very interesting in these old trees to have so many famous professionals style over time.  It adds interest to the 'story' of the tree immensely.  And I'm sure you're right, a tree like this is an investment, and will outlive us.  Thanks for the perspective, I feel a bit like Owen, in that my view has now changed 180 degrees ;))  I had mixed feelings about it at first, and signing up for Ryan's workshop, but now I feel much more 'secure' in accepting help from others.....and perfect timing for me too. lol 

Thanks for a great conversation guys!  And I hope John's right, that we will embrace the consult of professionals, japanese, americans trained in Japan, and pros being taught right here by american  pros.  It's an exciting time to be in bonsai in America. 


 

tanlu

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2011, 11:35 PM »
Kokonoe acts a lot like zuisho, White pines bud back well, not sure why you see differences. Wait 30-40 years you will get good bark too.

Most, if not all, grafted JWP have an obvious mismatch in bark pattern at the graft union, which in my opinion, is an eye sore. I've always believed that the best JWP bonsai are either grown from seed, air layered, or yamadori. All my JWP are young seedlings or airlayered Zuisho, and they're already starting to develop flaky, cracked bark. I've noticed that many grafted cultivars tend to have smoother bark than the actual species. Besides, I don't plan on entering them in Kofuku competitions anytime soon so there's no rush. 

I'm also not opposed to grafting as a practice. Brent Waltson's JWP are all grafted, but very low where it eventually disappears in the nebari which I believe solves the the problem.
 

Chrisl

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2011, 12:55 AM »
I really like the idea that John's tree underwent:  Plant the graft for a ground layer...quite smart. 

And John, I am SO envious of you! ;)  I keep looking at the photos, just an awesome bonsai, both before, and after an incredible styling!  Please keep us updated...pics next spring?   
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2011, 08:18 AM »
Tanlu, I guess you didn't read my post. What I said was I don't understand why you see differences in budding back and that really good bark takes a long time to develop on pines. Your comment about the relative smoothness of bark on many grafted varieties is right on and they do tend to be different from the seedling JWP.  On the tree that is being discussed here, there is no graft visible above the soil, it is gone, because the tree was ground layered many years after grafting.

The mass marketed grafted JWP that we most commonly see in the US are generally obvious and frequently unattractive with both a major step down in trunk diameter above the graft and the bark mismatch. Why do we get the grafted ones? They survive importation pretty well and they are cheap (relatively) and importers can cash flow with them. However, with the long internodes frequently seen on Zuisho, a side effect of its growth habit, many of the branches are frequently grafted- often approach grafts or scions from the same tree. To get good trunk diameter and taper on field/container grown trees this is one of the costs. There is a good article on this in an old Bonsai Today (Some where in the 80-90 editions. I will look for it). Good luck growing your trees.
 

rockm

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2011, 02:08 PM »
I can only add my compliments on this tree. It is fantastic. I can also add that having someone else work on your trees (with you assisting or observing) can open up a wide world of possibilities that you may have never considered or have ignored.

I experienced something of a revelation when I took one of my bigger, older trees to a professional a couple of years ago. My design for it had stagnated. I couldn't really see it, until someone else pointed it out.

Other people have a way of seeing things you have overlooked, ignored or rationalized over the years in developing a tree alone. I can't tell you how many trees I've seen in exhibitions and in collections whose development stopped decades ago because the owner refused to actually see what the tree needed. Working alone with trees is working in a vacuum. Other knowlegeable people force air into dated and self-stunted designs.
 

tanlu

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2011, 03:07 PM »
John, I did read your post. I just assumed that "not sure why you see differences" meant the difference between grafted and non-grafted JWP, which we both seem to agree to be obvious. In my first post I was comparing Zuisho JWP to JWP seedlings based on my own experience growing them. I've never seen Kokonoe and was just wondering if it looks and reacts like Zuisho in back budding and vigor. Is Zuisho JWP's ability to propagate via cuttings their only difference?

« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 03:09 PM by tanlu »
 

PaulH

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2011, 04:27 PM »
I too, am not a fan of grafted white pines. This tree, however, is a whole different animal. Very fine! I'll look for it at the BIB shows.
Paul
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2011, 11:19 AM »
Paul, I contemplated not saying anything about the tree being grafted, letting people spend their time looking for a graft, but then thought better of it. Boon was quite animated when he talked about the transformation over the past several years that included removing the JBP roots from under the Kokonoe roots. Regardless, finding an old JWP like this in the US, especially one without an obvious (or even hidden at the root crown) graft was not something that I had anticipated.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2012, 09:37 AM »
Akio came in for a visit, here is the tree after being cleaned up and adjusted. A day full of work
 

mcpesq817

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2012, 03:04 PM »
This is one of my favorite JWPs that I've seen posted.  Really great tree and fantastic work.
 

Adair M

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2012, 08:46 PM »
John,

Is this tree still at Boon's?  If so, I am looking forward to seeing it when I go there for the Fall Intensive.

I can only imagine how stunning this tree must be in person...

 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2012, 09:15 PM »
Very, very nice. We're you there during the work?  Any words of wisdom from Akio?