The Naked Dragon

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The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:20 pm

Some of you may recognize this tree that was originally collected in the Lake District and styled by Kevin Willson and shown at the Ginkgo a few years ago. We named it “The Little Dragon” because as you may be able to see in the photos, the natural dead wood has the flame, two eyes, horns the wings and tail, though Mr. Kobayashi insisted that this name was not good enough for a tree of this quality and suggested a different name. “Kei Sho So Dai” that the translator told me means something along the lines of “small object, big presence”.



I purchased it from Kevin and it came down to its new home in southern Spain. For the first couple of years I kept everything crossed and what I paid for it a secret from my wife (bank statements mysteriously disappeared during this time), because I was terrified it might die due to the climate change. However, luckily for me, it is the healthiest and strongest tree in my garden though my latest collected cork oak is giving it a run for its money. It got to Spain, took its fur coat off, put on some shades and poured itself a daiquiri! It literally buds from April right through to October and fills the pot with roots in a year.

Growth is so dense that I have to clear it every three years or so.

The last major change I made was splitting the single live vein into two as shown in the photo (the second live vein is on the left but barely visible in the photo). This was an operation akin to working with nitroglycerine as beads of sweat poured off me, and another two years of wobbly legs every morning as I went down to check if it was still alive. I do think it improved the overall quality though.



Last year I basically limited myself to clipping it like a hedge and growth was now so thick that it needed a major overhaul to eliminate some of the branches that I felt were no longer required for the design and a few that had thickened up too much and that were threatening to thicken the trunk line. The crown had also become a little wide and I needed to make the overall design a little more compact. I have removed minimal foliage from the less vigorous lower branch as having removed so much foliage from the top this will add vigour to it and it didn't really need much thinning out anyway.

The tree is so vigorous that even with re-potting due this year, it will be ready to show in at the most 2 years.

The advantage in this state is that the dead wood can be seen in all its glory. I have yet to see a yew of this size (about 30cm) with this much detail and so much drama in the dead wood. The tree was estimated to be approximately 1,000 years old (carbon dating) and it grew over this stone, with the roots actually having cracked it at one time!











Here are examples of some of the branches I removed:







I am thinking of changing the pot at some time in the future to perhaps a cloud style one similar to the one on my quercus ilex.



Does anybody have any other suggestions?









mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  DangerousBry on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:11 am

This tree is stunning!!!

I think a pot as suggested will look great!!... You need someone to do a virtual.

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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:25 am

Thanks!
I had one of those mad, goose bump, catapleptic moments when I saw it in Kev's garden for the first time.

I'm a technophobe (it took me an hour to work out how to upload these photos even with the tutorial!) so virtuals are well beyond me.

mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  sunip on Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:47 am

Hello,
Did my best for now.
Sunip Wink

sunip
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  my nellie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:11 pm

This is such a coincidence... I have read lately on the internet a conversation of some bonsai enthusiasts telling one another "I hate it that I cannot go down to Kevin's and look at the Dragon any more". So, I am pleased to meet here the new owner of the age-old jewel!
I understand that Little Dragon is a well known bonsai.
Nevertheless may I ask (being an ignorant) what species is this? Is it taxus?

Thank you!

my nellie
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pot for taxus

Post  abcd on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:18 pm

The pot off your quercus ilex is a pot for deciduous tree, TAXUS need a more stocky pot , oval form, i think , will be better.

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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  Brett Simon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:32 pm

I agree with abcd. The pot needs weight, i would keep the same shape pot you have but get one with "windows" in it, this will compliment the dead wood.

Brett

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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  my nellie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:53 pm

abcd wrote:... ...TAXUS need a more stocky pot... ...
So, I have my question answered. Thank you!

my nellie
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:14 pm

Hi Sunip,

Thanks for the virtual. I think this style pot will work if I get it with a similar depth and width to the current pot which will give it the weight that your virtual currently lacks.

Nellie, that must be and old internet conversation as I have had this tree for quite a few years now!

mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  my nellie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:43 pm

Yes, of course!
It's just the coincidence that I happened to read that conversation now.

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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  Stone Monkey on Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:00 pm

Hi

A very important tree and wonderful work by Kevin. The styling of this tree can be seen in one of Kevin's video he did many years ago.

Personally I think the strong rectangular pot that it is currently in is the better option than the one in the virtual

Regards

Andy

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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  sunip on Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:57 pm

[quote="mambo"]Hi Sunip,
Thanks for the virtual. I think this style pot will work if I get it with a similar depth and width to the current pot which will give it the weight that your virtual currently lacks.
Hello,
It would look like this?
Sunip Wink

sunip
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  Lee Brindley on Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:46 pm

Now thats what I'm talkin 'bout! Very Happy Great little tree and nice post. Thanks for sharing. Very Happy

Lee Brindley
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:58 pm

Thanks Sunip.

It doesn't look too bad at all. A little to the right and it might work. This style pot was the suggestion of Mr. Kobayashi. If anybody has a better suggestion I'm open to it.

mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  Brett Simon on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:03 am

I was thinking something like this.



This pot has the windows i was talking about.

Brett


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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:38 am

Hi Brett,

That could work too. I actually like the pot it is in as I've always felt its simple lines contrasted well with the movement in the dead wood. I am considering the change because of Mr. Kobayashi's comments.

mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  sunip on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:25 pm

Hello
The pot in Bretts virtual disturbs the movement of the tree to much i feel.
Also those rocks and the lines of the pot do not harmonize.
Personally i like the pot it is in but i can imagine it could be more magic,
maybe Kobayashi was thinking in this lines of getting even more interest in the whole?
Here another idea, something inbetween what do you think?
Sunip Wink

sunip
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:51 pm

Sunip,

You are getting me really confused now! Laughing

mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  sunip on Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:21 pm

mambo wrote:Sunip,
You are getting me really confused now! Laughing

Hello,
Me or Kobayashi?
Sunip Wink

sunip
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:29 pm

He he....

mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  rogueshoots on Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:01 am

whatever you paid, it was worth it

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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:39 pm

Perhaps this could work. Could you do the honours Sunip?


mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  sunip on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:33 pm

Hello Mambo.
Nice Pot.
Personally i would prefer a bit darker for a yew.
Sunip Wink

sunip
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  mambo on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:37 pm

Hi Sunip,

You are the man!

I agree with you about the colour. I would have one made in similar colours to the pot it is currently in. But this one works best of the ones we've tried I think. What is your opinion?


mambo
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Re: The Naked Dragon

Post  sunip on Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:36 am

Hello Mambo,
I did not manage to get exactly the color but it gives an idea i think.
Those dark (not the lighter ones) red Yamaaki or Shibakatsu colors or the color of the pot the tree is in on the moment, is what comes to my mind.

her an excample, (a bit like a mokko shape), from an older Gyozan. (took this from the site of David Benavente)
[/url[url=https://servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=439&u=16274585]
Just what comes to my humble mind, ( i am not an expert like Kobayashi who can choose out of his outstanding collection)
see what other feel about it.
Sunip Wink

sunip
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Re: The Naked Dragon

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