Species Specific > White Pine Bonsai Discussion

Kokonoe White Pine

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What a transformation!  Incredible!

John, I'm curious, how often does this happen that one buys a tree, and has a 'pro' do the restyling?  A tree this old, I'd do the same.  But as I'm totally new to buying 70 yr old trees...ok I haven't yet lol...I'm just wondering the process of/thoughts behind having a pro do the styling?

Don Blackmond:
excellent work by Akio and great tree John.
I love the bark and symmetry.  Great scale too.
Five stars.

John Kirby:
Chris, I guess I don't understand what you are asking. The tree was styled many times over the years, it has been styled by professionals on most if not all of those times. Trees like this can be improved dramatically by someone who has experience working on similar trees. If I had attempted this work, it would have been at least a week and would have been too conservative. Akio took off branches that I would have left (incorrectly) for the long term health and development of this tree. In the US, there is an often held opinion that only the owner of a tree should work on it, that if one doesn't do all the work on a tree that it isn't "theirs" and should somehow be of lesser value. I have a large number of trees that I do all the wok on and nobody else works on them (yet), however, if possible,  high end trees can often benefit dramatically from the assistance of a professional. Unlike an Automobile, this tree should gain value over the next several years and getting tune ups from a professional can dramatically help.

In Japan the professionals typically don't own the very best trees, they are owned by their clients, some of whom leave their trees at the master's nursery, others have the professional travel to their home. I was very fortunate in that Akio, a professional who has had trees win at Kokufu and has had at least one tree in the top pair at Sakufu-ten, was vacationing in the US and willing to take some time and work on this tree. Trees like this are investments and deserve the very best that they can get. When I show this tree its history will accompany it, it has been styled by a number of fine folks- the late Mr. Kamiya, Boon and Tom Kelly, and Akio (plus those I can never know). When this tree moves on to its next home (they do tend to outlive us) itis my goal that it will be improved even more and will make a good return on my investment.

Hope this makes sense,

John Kirby:
Don, thanks. The bark, scale and fact that it was a twin trunk and not another moyogi (nothing against Moyogi, I have too many) made taking the step of acquiring this tree a little easier.

This tree is excellent, and I especially love the story behind it! I'm personally not a fan of grafted five needle pines, but the fact that this one has been naturally ground-layered makes it a much more unique and interesting tree (at least in my book). Does Kokonoe respond to pruning and candle pinching the same way as Zuisho? I find my Zuisho to be far more responsive in back budding than my five needle pine seedlings.


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