Author Topic: Kokonoe White Pine  (Read 22293 times)

John Kirby

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Kokonoe White Pine
« on: August 10, 2011, 09:59 PM »
Every once in a while you run into a tree with a story. This tree is about 3' or so tall, it is planted in a large grey pot (Tokoname) and is actually a significantly large tree. It is an imported Kokonoe JWP that was originally grafted on to JBP roots. The tree was potted quite deep and eventually it was "ground layered" (something that Zuisho and Kokonoe are known to do). Over the years the Kokonoe roots have taken over and the JBP roots have eventually been removed, so it is now essentially on its own roots and no graft is visible (it was buried and then removed). This tree is somewhere between 60 and 70 years old, it was shown in the Taikan-ten show  (Show book number 20 it is on page 107) about 10 years ago. After the show Mr. Kamiya let Boon know that it was available and it was subsequently imported to the US and has been in California since then. The tree was offered up for sale this year and I was able to acquire it, it was quite strong (well cared for) and suitable for a late summer styling. Fortunately, Akio Kondo (who had originally worked to get Boon an apprenticeship in Japan) was visiting Boon and agreed to take on restyling this tree.

The tree took three days of work, and is shown as it was as acquired, after 1 day of work, after two days of work, with Akio adjusting from the side and the finished restyling. It is expected that this tree will pop back strongly from this work and after a subsequent styling will be able to be shown in 2014 or 15.

Thanks for reading. John
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 10:00 PM by John Kirby »
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 10:00 PM »
And the action pictures.....
 

Dave Murphy

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 07:27 AM »
Beautiful tree, John...truly world class.  Will this tree stay at Boons, or come home?
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 07:38 AM »
Dave, thanks. The tree will stay at Boon's at least until it has been further developed and shown at the BIB show. Lot's of work has yet to be done, we will see how it progresses. John
 

mcpesq817

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 09:34 AM »
Wow John, this is an absolutely fantastic tree.  If this was the only tree in my collection, I would be a very happy man :)
 

Chrisl

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 10:00 AM »
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

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 10:56 AM »
excellent work by Akio and great tree John.
I love the bark and symmetry.  Great scale too.
Five stars.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 11:14 AM »
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
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 11:21 AM by John Kirby »
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 11:24 AM »
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.
 

tanlu

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 01:51 PM »
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.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2011, 04:12 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.
 

Yenling83

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2011, 06:14 PM »
John Congrats on this Tree!  Glad to hear you are the owner.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 10:43 PM »
Jeremiah, thanks. Was a good few days. Hope allis good with you.
 

akeppler

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 12:30 AM »
NIce tree John. The top looks as though it is from a different tree. The color is so strong and green while the bottom is old and weak looking. It seems that the bottom branches were developed with what the tree had to offer and the top was pruned back really hard. Will this tree develop strong new growth on those old branches?

I will be looking forward to seeing this at BIB at some time.

Al
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Kokonoe White Pine
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 07:14 AM »
Great restyle.  The main apex was redone especially well.  When the lower branches regain vigor after subsequent balancing it will be especially noteworthy.  As a future professional myself, the statements earlier are dead on.  Investing in quality material and enlisting a pro can allow you to have top quality trees given a great future and/or setting an old tree back on track.  Here in Japan, many high-end hobbyists are super busy or don't have the space or proper light at home to keep their trees there.  I once felt that trees should be owned and worked on by the same person to call it "theirs", but have done a 180 on this opinion.  The best trees have multiple generations of owners.  Americans' pioneering spirit and culture of self-reliance is admirable, but will hinder bonsai progression in the States to some extent.  A pro can walk up to a tree and objectively weigh the positives and negatives of a tree without emotional attachment.  A second set of trained eyes can also spot potential future problems yet to occur and "fix" them before they devalue the tree aesthetically.  Patronage of skilled professionals will only help America progress to a higher level of refinement.   ;D