Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => White Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Owen Reich on January 20, 2014, 07:28 PM

Title: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Owen Reich on January 20, 2014, 07:28 PM
This white pine has all the right "bones" but areas of the tree best reigned in periodically were left to grow unchecked.  The second largest trunk extending forward and right presented the greatest challenge.  Next was the left side which at the start of work was creating an equilateral triangle-like silhouette.  This area needed to be compacted and dropped, but without creating a large gap between that and the central trunk's upper canopy.  The directionality of the tree to the right was obvious with the strong second trunk, but there needed to be some reinforcement as the two trunks leaning left have a lot of power.  Each pad on this with pine serves a purpose.  What you can't see is the fact that this tree has a lot of physical depth front-to-back.  I removed a few large branches in the back right to separate the the farthest right trunk that lays on the soil.  This allowed me to lower all the branches on that "somewhat separate" trunk to give the tree some interesting character and room to fix the apex of the second strongest trunk.  It's still too strong, but you can't just cut off branches and say it "it will look better in 3 years".  This is also true for the top of the tallest trunk. 
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Woodguy on January 20, 2014, 07:38 PM
That is quite a tree! Thank you for sharing it.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 20, 2014, 08:10 PM
that's a beauty.  gorgeous bark.  One thing that draws my eye is the uniformity of the bottom of the lower foliage pads.  they are extremely flat.  My eyes would like to see some variation.  Regardless, it is pretty fantastic.  You are lucky.  And you did good work.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: John Kirby on January 20, 2014, 10:30 PM
 :'(Fujikawa-san has a great tree! And you have made it look very nice, good job!
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Sorce on January 20, 2014, 10:43 PM
I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for these types of explanations about work performed. It really helps to know what and why, to understand in the end why it works. Very well done, and thank you for that.

Great tree. Very powerful. The first picture, the right trunk looks like a branch stepped on into the ground. The second picture, you can see the 100 years of snow driving that trunk into the earth. It's amazing what tight pads can do to add age.

I see what Don is saying about the flat pads on the right, made me think about the pot, I'd love to see it in something different, any plans?

February....! I think so!  

Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: John Kirby on January 20, 2014, 11:05 PM
Don, don 't see many of these in the US. You see many ? I like the fact that the pads are varied in size, pretty cool structure to the rewire.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Herman on January 21, 2014, 03:09 AM
Hi Owen,

awesome work on the tree! how long did it take you to wire this tree out and form the pads? I like the way the pads are so extremely flat, it gives the impression that one is standing a hundred feet away from a very large, ancient tree. how often do you get to work on white pines?

Best regards
Herman
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 21, 2014, 07:47 AM
Don, don 't see many of these in the US. You see many ? I like the fact that the pads are varied in size, pretty cool structure to the rewire.

No I don't.  Certainly not that nice, or old, or with that character.  I've seen a couple nice ones on the east coast.  I love the trunks on this tree.  The bones, as Owen refers to them.  Really beautiful.  He's really lucky to work on it, although I'd hate to repot it....

John, do you still have your big Japanese White Pine raft- 10 trunk. As I recall it was imported in late 50's or mid 60's, and is a seedling on it's own roots. I'd love to see a current photo of that one.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Judy on January 21, 2014, 07:57 AM
Quite a job, what a great tree.  I love the differentiation in the layers on the right side. So much to look at, it really pulls my eye and interest to the right.  
Question, does the true apex look slightly different than the rest of the tree a bit?  For some reason to me, it looks like it should be a little flatter or something.  Like the wiring stopped after the first layer on that part... Not a criticism, just an observation. Could be the photo.
Is this a non graft?  So amazing the bark.  

I too would love to see that raft again John.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: coh on January 21, 2014, 12:02 PM
I'll possibly catch grief for this, but I find the original photo to be much more interesting than the second photo.

Please don't take this as a knock on Owen's skills (which I admire very much), but the tree now looks over-styled. Perhaps I just like trees that are a little less "bonsaied" (for lack of a better term). Ideally I think something between the two photos would look best.

Just wondering if I'm the only one who feels this way...

Chris
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 21, 2014, 12:28 PM
very impressive  ;D
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: akeppler on January 21, 2014, 02:56 PM
I'll possibly catch grief for this, but I find the original photo to be much more interesting than the second photo.

Please don't take this as a knock on Owen's skills (which I admire very much), but the tree now looks over-styled. Perhaps I just like trees that are a little less "bonsaied" (for lack of a better term). Ideally I think something between the two photos would look best.

Just wondering if I'm the only one who feels this way...

Chris
no....your not.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Owen Reich on January 21, 2014, 03:31 PM
Yay!  Multiple comments of varied opinions.  This makes my day  ;D.  To clarify a few things, the lowest center pads were quite sparse as you can see in the "before" photo.  So, spreading them out to appear full and catch rays was the idea. 

I would have styled it in a different manner if it were my tree.  The goal here was to represent the styling choices of my teacher and I did so successfully. Also bear in mind that this was a restyle to make the tree look nice to sell it and that the static lines will soften as new flushes extend form the now greatly compacted form. 

If I had my druthers, I would have bridged the gap between the "before" look and something with structural solutions applied to the first and second most dominant trunks.  The layers would be more loose and some of the longer branches I kept to fill out the pads removed.  As John K said, this tree was styled for my teacher and isn't mine. 

The apex was completely wired to compact it and better match the rest of the tree.  I made it look that way so it didn't feel like a rigid line.  The main apex isn't full where I want it to be but now, the next three flushes of growth can be repositioned to achieve something better. 

Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Owen Reich on January 21, 2014, 03:35 PM
Oh, and the "after" photo is taken on a warped turn-table (weight of tree) so the right side is a bit lower than it should be.  The true front is about 5 degrees more to the left of the one shown so I could fit in the photo.

It is a white pine on its own roots.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: bwaynef on January 21, 2014, 04:25 PM
Would there ever be any merit to the consideration of removing the lower middle pad?  The one that's blocking so much of the lowest parts of several of the trunks?
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: coh on January 21, 2014, 05:51 PM
Yay!  Multiple comments of varied opinions.  This makes my day  ;D.  To clarify a few things, the lowest center pads were quite sparse as you can see in the "before" photo.  So, spreading them out to appear full and catch rays was the idea. 

I would have styled it in a different manner if it were my tree.  The goal here was to represent the styling choices of my teacher and I did so successfully. Also bear in mind that this was a restyle to make the tree look nice to sell it and that the static lines will soften as new flushes extend form the now greatly compacted form. 

If I had my druthers, I would have bridged the gap between the "before" look and something with structural solutions applied to the first and second most dominant trunks.  The layers would be more loose and some of the longer branches I kept to fill out the pads removed.  As John K said, this tree was styled for my teacher and isn't mine. 

The apex was completely wired to compact it and better match the rest of the tree.  I made it look that way so it didn't feel like a rigid line.  The main apex isn't full where I want it to be but now, the next three flushes of growth can be repositioned to achieve something better. 


Glad to know I'm not completely off my rocker (on this one at least)! Thanks for the additional info/explanation.

Chris
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: John Kirby on January 21, 2014, 05:59 PM
Don, it is here, look at page 3 of root connected white pine.

The first picture makes the tree look very immature, the second picture gives me the feeling of a tree in abstract. I like stylized trees, but if you want a more 'naturalistic' tree, come back in a year or two, remove the wire and then put key wire on to place specific branches where you want them.

Some people like Winslow Homer, some like Jackson Pollock or the cubists, trees are the same way.  
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Dan W. on January 21, 2014, 09:17 PM
Here's the link to John's: http://bonsaistudygroup.com/white-pine-discussion/root-connected-jwp/15/ (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/white-pine-discussion/root-connected-jwp/15/)
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Don Dunn on January 22, 2014, 02:44 AM
Owen
First I admire your great skill and knowledge of Bonsai. I'm an old fart but I wish I had your knowledge about Bonsai.  When I see this tree it makes me think of some of the old Japanese painting of country with Mount Fugi in the bake ground. I like the way you have let the branches pass in front of the trunk and I also like the flat bottoms on the pads.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Owen Reich on January 22, 2014, 10:41 AM
I did not see the Fuji-san allusion with the "top half" of the tree with "actual tree" protruding to the right, but that is a nice interpretation. 

Attached is a 500 year old pine photo from an old temple in Ohara-shi made to look like Mt. Fuji.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Owen Reich on January 22, 2014, 10:45 AM
And the base.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: John Kirby on January 22, 2014, 12:31 PM
Owen, thanks, brings back good memories of the temples and big old trees that are well cared for on the grounds and surrounding area. And look at that, the foliage is cloud like........
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Owen Reich on January 23, 2014, 02:22 AM
Would there ever be any merit to the consideration of removing the lower middle pad?  The one that's blocking so much of the lowest parts of several of the trunks?

You could, part of the feeling of maturity would be lost and the branch would be very hard to "put back" if wanted in the future.  Another parameter of selling bonsai in Japan is leaving options when possible for clients to change the style if desired later.   
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: bwaynef on January 23, 2014, 10:17 AM
Would there ever be any merit to the consideration of removing the lower middle pad?  The one that's blocking so much of the lowest parts of several of the trunks?

You could, part of the feeling of maturity would be lost and the branch would be very hard to "put back" if wanted in the future.  Another parameter of selling bonsai in Japan is leaving options when possible for clients to change the style if desired later.   

Thanks for responding.  I wavered before posting whether there'd be any merit in it, and I have since I posted as well.  A big part of me would like to see the trunks, but the more I look at that pad, the more it seems to make sense where it is.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 24, 2014, 08:21 AM
I like stylized trees, but if you want a more 'naturalistic' tree, come back in a year or two, remove the wire and then put key wire on to place specific branches where you want them.

I'd love to see it a year from now.  Hopefully, we can....   
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: John Kirby on January 24, 2014, 12:22 PM
Wayne,
I think in person the trunks would be more visible, as you move across the tree. It is interesting, we in the west always want to take off the low branches (me too), have to hold back some time sand let the tree do what it needs to do. John
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: bwaynef on January 24, 2014, 02:13 PM
Once I figured out what "time sand" was, I think you're right.  Taking the slower approach to lopping off important branches is usually wise, ...especially when you haven't spent much time around the tree.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: John Kirby on January 24, 2014, 04:35 PM
Autocorrect............
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Josh on January 24, 2014, 05:27 PM
Sweet tree Owen, better after your work.  I don't anyone would kick it off their benches.
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Gaffer on March 01, 2014, 07:32 PM
This is for Owen
 Does a shore pine or lodgepole pine fall under the same care practise as a jwp, or is it closer to a jbp.
Thanks Owen
Title: Re: White Pine with all the right bones
Post by: Owen Reich on March 01, 2014, 08:00 PM
I would treat a lodgepole like a white pine personally.  I have a few of both.  I treat them like other mountain trees.  Some of the people from the Rockies and West Coast may be able to answer this question better in terms of candle work (if any).  Most lodgepole I'm interested in are potential bunjin trees.  I have not yet seen one that had dense pads or needed to stack shoots to keep a full appearance like the Japanese white pine I posted.