Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

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Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  Max on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:15 pm

This tree to me is a bonsai...
Its a Quercus cerris or Turkey oak and its been styled for 6 years now. Still its not finished as I have to say since some people will again think its the best I can. Feel free to criticize it as hard as you can without seeing any good about it. I am sorry for being a little cynical after one of my last threads... Its certainly one of my biggest trees or "shrubs". To give you an idea how big it is: The pot is 68 cm x 54 x 13. Peter Krebs is the potter. The base is 24 cm. The height is exactly 100 cm from the pot's top to the tree's top.

Best wishes
Max







a few years ago

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  EpicusMaximus on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:36 pm

I like your tree. I'm new to this whole thing, but if you like it, and it makes you happy, what does it matter what others think?

If bonsai is art, then it's also subjective. With my puny 2 inch trunks I dream of having a tree like yours.

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  mambo on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:39 pm

Hi Max.

It looks as if the tree was once buried a couple of inches deeper than it currently is, so it didn't develop bark of the same lovely quality as the rest of the tree. I would look at possibly air layering the base at the point where the old bark starts. This would also resolve the slight reverse taper in that area.

The branches need to come down, as currently they point upwards and this is not typical of old oaks. They also need to be allowed to grow on without pruning so that they can thicken up to be in balance with the trunk. This from my own experience with a quercus ilex will take several years. Hanging weights on them helps quicken the thickening process. I also spray the foliage of selected branches I want to thicken with cannabis fertilizers.

The trunk movement is nice but could be improved by tilting slightly to the left.

Finally you need a back branch. I have a moyogi English Oak and tried grafting a branch trhough the trunk. This didn't work, finally I punctured the trunk at the point I wanted the branch then pushed a scalpel blade just above the wound. The following year it budded exactly at the point I had punctured. Of course this is about 10 years work all in, but you are young and have the time!

This could one day be a very nice classic moyogi...



Last edited by mambo on Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:21 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  drgonzo on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:46 pm

Max wrote: Feel free to criticize it as hard as you can without seeing any good about it.

Wow.

-Jay

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  leatherback on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:31 pm

Max wrote:This tree to me is a bonsai...
Its a Quercus cerris or Turkey oak and its been styled for 6 years now. Still its not finished as I have to say since some people will again think its the best I can. Feel free to criticize it as hard as you can without seeing any good about it.

Hi Max, I do like the bark. For the rest.. It clearly is not finished yet.

As you seem a little frustrated with the forum and negative comments, maybe you could show a few of the more finnished trees? As a professional making money of styling trees for clients, I am sure you have a wide array of spectacular trees. Why not show these (too)?

Looking forward to it!

J.

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  marcus watts on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:00 pm

hi Max,

the best way to take critique in a positive way is to first be able to self criticize the material and the work you have done so far. done correctly it helps you to see the faults, then when they are pointed out by others you do not get upset.

i found it hard in the early days on here to hear the bad points about my trees - but in all honesty the endless posts of "oh how lovely" don't actually help you improve your work do they? ....one well thought out observation of how a tree can be improved can be of far more help.

i look at trees now like this: 1) what is the best unique feature?, 2) what part is the most pleasing?, 3) what parts ruin or detract from the first two points?, can they be fixed?, 4) what is the tree lacking & can it be grown or added? 5) Finally the most important question---- Can the tree become the image i imaging within a reasonable time period or am i just kidding myself and wasting time?....

for me it would be 1)bark, 2) taper/trunk movement 3) trunk base - encourage bark plating and thickening here 4) it needs more branches 5) without more branches no, with them yes it could be really nice, especially when the base matches the trunk

cheers Marcus - hope you see this as useful and constructive as that is how it is meant


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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  Max on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:38 pm

This is my future plan for the tree. I will rotate it a few degrees ccw and lean it about 5° to the left.
There are no branches added in the virtual. They are just thickened.

after defoliation and trimming the branches


virtual

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  will baddeley on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:03 pm

This tree has huge potential. For a start I agree with Mambo with regards to airlayering at the original soil level area. I also feel it is a common mistake to think that an old tree just has drooping branches when in fact most old deciduous trees have a high proportion of ascending branches, but the important bit is the changes in direction of individual branches. I see your virt styling more as a Pine than an Oak? That is what I would do if I had your time to develop this tree. Oh to have the time.....

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  fiona on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:28 pm

marcus watts wrote: i look at trees now like this: 1) what is the best unique feature?, 2) what part is the most pleasing?, 3) what parts ruin or detract from the first two points?, can they be fixed?, 4) what is the tree lacking & can it be grown or added? 5) Finally the most important question---- Can the tree become the image i imaging within a reasonable time period or am i just kidding myself and wasting time?....
This is one of the most sensible things I've read on here for ages.

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  Phillip Elliott on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:59 am

kid your tree is nice, I see things in a non copying sort of way. Hollow out the whole front of the tree up to the flat scar up on the trunk. Take a sharp knife and cut the bark now so the scar tissue starts to grow. Take the number one branch and weight it down allmost to the ground and let it grow for a couple. Google Florida Live Oak and look at Graham Potter's carvings. Do your own thing man, break every rule that can be bent. Take critique with a smile. Who cares what people say, who cares what I say? Dont make the tree so young and healthy looking. Your in europe, walk through an ancient forest--it will all come young grasshopper

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  John Quinn on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:41 am

Max, I think you're going in the right direction wth your virtual. I would like to see the first branch on the left somewhat thicker. Try letting it grow freely for a couple of years if you agree.

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*smile*

Post  dorothy7774 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:16 am

Max wrote:This is my future plan for the tree. I will rotate it a few degrees ccw and lean it about 5° to the left.
There are no branches added in the virtual. They are just thickened.

after defoliation and trimming the branches


virtual

Max,

that's a big tree! He looks like a good friend. Marcus' evaluation list is a great tool. I wished I had it when I got into bonsai! I was more of the "instant" artist. Well, still feel like it when giving a demo on styling lol. Back to your tree, I like that you took your time to "fit" that tree into a background and make a good photograph. As a professional you want to have a nice portfolio with before and after pics of your work. Most clients are not bonsai taught and will embrace visual accomplishments.

Same goes for virtuals. That is a great opportunity to look into the possible future of a tree. I do lots of virtuals, but am trying not to stick too close to them. The tree will tell you what it wants to do. Very often we dictate the tree instead of listening to it.

Before I do anything to a tree, whether it is watering, trimming, pruning, defoliating, potting, wiring, cleaning etc., I make sure I know exactly what I am doing why and in which order. I recall that as a novice for example I was always trying to plant a tree into an exhibition pot ( I may still be considered a novice in certain circles, I am sure.. Very Happy ). After I chipped, scratched or broke some good pots (with the help of my lovely cats..) due to everyday's works I eventually appreciated the use of training pots. Some trees were large, so I used those old heavy Mika pots. Did a good job. I also learned that planting a tree too early into a tighter pot really worked against my goal of growing a nice base. Oh, and I grew everything in pine tree shape, even bougainvillea (yes, and how in the world am I going to change that poor bougie now,oh well).

I learned to see trees in nature. They are still the most inspiring forces to me. Sometimes when I am looking for a good solution of a problem with a bonsai, I drive around and look at the trees. It might just be that single branch that opens my mind. Or the hawk laughing at me and sitting on that piece of deadwood. I always make photographs to a. keep a memory of the hawk and to b. remind me how nature carves deadwood.

We don't really create a tree, or recreate a tree. It feels nice to be complimented for somerthing we do. But really, we are only bringing out what was already inside the tree. Like an artist and his sculpture..And without the tree, the plan would fail anyway.

Wishing you luck with your friend, Max. I am sure you will bring out the best of that tree. Keep an open mind towards a tree, and a tree will keep an open mind towards you ( This is my own copyrighted quote *smile* )
Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  Andre Beaurain on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:54 am

Max

I have my doubts that this is an Turkey Oak. Your leaves on your stunning tree is NOT that of a normal Turkey Oak.

In the Turkey Oak the leaves are much more lobed, and the lobed points are also more pointed, the entire leave is much narrower than other Oaks.

More likely to be either Quercus robur ( English Oak) Same leave

or Quercus pyrenaica....the grey bark, speaks of this oak. and the same leave as the English Oak.

Of course the acorn will settle this problem....what does it look like?

The Caucasian Oak also has the same leave...but this tree is very rare.

I agree with Will......whats wrong with ascending branches?

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:22 am

Awwh come on guys,

let's be practical.
If the tree is not being designed for sales, then it is X's tree and naturally one can do anything with it.

If it belongs to someone and one is just growing [ paid to ] it for that person, the owner has all the say.

If it is being grown for sales, than the idea is to please enough to get it sold.

Telling someone they are an artist and they can have their own way and then have to sell or maintain other folks' trees is like cutting your own throat.

I just wish everyone would forget these silly artsy f- artsy philosophies from the 50's, 60's and 70's. Art is a business, and follows the rules of business.
So unless you grow Bonsai for your own enjoyment, you have to obey some % of what is called, market forces.

That said, the tree - may need - thicker branches more in keeping with illusion of it's age and it - may need - more work on the roots, so some more care will be needed.
Then branchlet work will follow.
So it is a pre-bonsai and when down the road say 10 years it will be more than a collected trunk, but a stunner.

Obviously Max has ability ------ cheers cheers cheers

Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Its probably not good enough for bonsai...

Post  mambo on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:30 pm

will baddeley wrote:This tree has huge potential. For a start I agree with Mambo with regards to airlayering at the original soil level area. I also feel it is a common mistake to think that an old tree just has drooping branches when in fact most old deciduous trees have a high proportion of ascending branches, but the important bit is the changes in direction of individual branches. I see your virt styling more as a Pine than an Oak? That is what I would do if I had your time to develop this tree. Oh to have the time.....

Hi Will, You are quite right. I should have made it clearer in my post. Reading back I should have said that the tips or last third of the branches should come down to give an impression of age to match the bark.


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