Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

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Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:28 pm

This plant was purchased from Bjorvala Bonsai Studio. It's my most cherished bonsai and although it still needs quite a bit of development, I think it has a great beginning. I need to repot it this coming spring. Virtuals, comments are welcome. Finished height will be about 32 inches from the top of the pot. The small trunk on the left will be staying and allowed to thicken to match the rest. I think it was a root graft and Bjorn thought it looked balanced with it. After looking at it many many times, I agree with him. I think the composition would be unbalanced without it.

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

front





side





rear





side















Last edited by Sam Ogranaja on Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:13 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I adjusted the angle of the front photo (first picture) so it was actually horizontal.)

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:52 pm

My major problem with the trunk you mentioned aside from its straightness (which is correctable) is that it gives you six trunks. To me, even numbers are boring. Otherwise it is a very nice composition.

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:54 pm

Thanks Jim, I appreciate it.

Have a great weekend!!!!
Sam

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:22 pm

Hi Sam,
This tree looks massive. I think adding another trunk (like Jim suggests), perhaps three more, will "even" out this clump. How did you acquire this tree; did you go to the Bjorvala nursery or buy it online? Great material!
Todd

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:28 am

Thanks Todd.

Bjorn was here in Raleigh last March. We went to breakfast and had a great conversation and after he left I emailed him telling him what I was looking for. He sent me pictures of this tree and it was exactly what I had envisioned. Bjorn's father Tom, brought the tree to the Carolina Bonsai Expo in Asheville for me. They were awesome to deal with and in my opinion, they sold me this tree for a STEAL. When I met with Tom, I kept thinking "Let's get it in my car before you change your mind". It needs work but that's exactly what I asked them for; just bones that I could build off of.

I actually don't care about the number of trunks at all. To me, it really does look balanced. The next tree I buy, I'll definitely contact them first and would highly recommend them to anyone.

Have a great weekend!!!!
Sam

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Ryan on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:32 am

Not sure if I missed it or not, but which picture is your proposed front? Or is it the first picture? I kind of like the 6th picture as a front, as it gives it a very full kind of feel and you can't tell how many trees are there. Beautiful tree regardless.

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  MartinSweeney on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:40 am

Sam,

Congrats on a great tree! I hope to see it back in Asheville when it's ready.

What are your thoughts on the roots? I find the large root on the right front in the first picture to be out of character with the rest of the base. Does it appear that way to you in real life?

Is this a regular green leaf palmatum?

Regards,
Martin


Last edited by MartinSweeney on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:42 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarity)

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:27 am

Sam,

I am loving this clump. It looks very natural and that is a virtue especially with clump style bonsai. One criticism that I would make is that the trunks are more or less of the same thickness. But that defect can be fixed (I will let you do your homework to find out - watch Ryan Neil's criticism of the Midwest Show last year).


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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 am

Ryan wrote:Not sure if I missed it or not, but which picture is your proposed front? Or is it the first picture? I kind of like the 6th picture as a front, as it gives it a very full kind of feel and you can't tell how many trees are there. Beautiful tree regardless.

Hey Ryan,

The front is the first picture.

Thank you for the kind words!!!!
Sam

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:16 am

MartinSweeney wrote:Sam,

Congrats on a great tree! I hope to see it back in Asheville when it's ready.

What are your thoughts on the roots? I find the large root on the right front in the first picture to be out of character with the rest of the base. Does it appear that way to you in real life?

Is this a regular green leaf palmatum?

Regards,
Martin

Thanks Martin. I'll definitely show it there as soon as it can reach that level of maturity and ramification. My goal is for this tree to look at its best during the winter time.

That large root is just as large in person as it is in the pictures. It definitely needs work. I'm not sure what's underneath the soil line to cut back to, but I'll find out in the spring during repotting. I'll post some update shots. I may need to shorten dramatically and do some more root grafts. Bjorn already did about 15 on this tree.

You're right, just a regular green maple. Red outline when the leaves first emerge.

Have a great weekend!!!!


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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:21 am

aman wrote:Sam,

I am loving this clump. It looks very natural and that is a virtue especially with clump style bonsai. One criticism that I would make is that the trunks are more or less of the same thickness. But that defect can be fixed (I will let you do your homework to find out - watch Ryan Neil's criticism of the Midwest Show last year).


Thanks Aman. I've seen those videos (Ryan's critique) before but I didn't catch that little tidbit you're talking about until I saw your comment. I had definitely planned on doing that in the future. It's a very appropriate criticism. Some of the trunks need to thicken up (namely the main trunk and the little guy on the left) while the others need to slow down.

Ryan's critique is amazing, isn't it?

Thanks again for taking the time to comment!!!
Sam

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  AdamDunham on Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:47 pm

Hey Sam,

What an awesome clump you have there! Given the size of the tree, i'm sure it gives quite a feeling of strength. The fact that you got a steal on it makes it that much better. I agree with Martin on the root moving to the right in the front. To me, it needs to be shortened. I'm sure you will play with some more root grafts as well. Just a quick cut and copy of how the tree would look with the root shortened, as you probably have already looked at. Also, I noticed the wood at the top left of the arrangement distancing 2 trunks. It's hard to tell from the photo, but are the trunks healing around the piece of wood? Thanks for sharing, I bet that is going to be a blast to work on.


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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:58 pm

Thanks for that quick workup Adam. The rubber that is between the wood and the trunk is actually doing a great job of protecting the trunk. I pushed it away from both trunks and there is no damage from the piece of wood.

Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate it.

Have a great week!!!!
Sam

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:05 pm

To me, it really does look balanced.

Yes! That's part of the "problem" -- though I suppose not a major one to western eyes. In bonsai, true "balance" is not what we're looking for. Balance is static -- not dynamic. Five is a much better number for a group composition.

The standard recommendation for a group planting is three, five, seven, or nine (after nine, it doesn't matter that much).

But I won't belabor the point. It's a nice group.

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:23 am

Thanks for the compliment on the group Jim.

You know, I respect your opinion and I wouldn't mind using this bonsai as a learning opportunity. If you're willing to "belabor" the point.

What do you mean we're not looking for true balance?

I hope you make it through this winter storm with no issues.
Sam

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:52 am

I have to say that this material makes me think sumo broom. I'm sure I've developed a reputation as a contrarian if anyone has been paying attention, but I can't imagine this not looking like Marge Simpson in leaf. Great material and good direction, but I think you should look for a smaller tree. Maybe that is not contrarian and is the party line, to go sumo, but why not compact the image when you have so many options
I think Jim is getting at movement rather than stability or balance and you do have a lot of options.

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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:45 pm

Movement vs. stability = Balance vs. unbalance (or, better, symmetry) = dynamic vs. passive



vs.



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Re: Large Clump Japanese Maple - lots of large pictures

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