White pine my first serious wiring

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White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Michael Cooper on Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:38 pm

I acquired this tree in 1988 from the widow of a chap that dabbled in bonsai,it already had some age.Due to domestic and work commitments I also only dabbled,probably not very well,managed to keep this alive but did little else to it.
Of late it has got very leggy with growth coming symmetrically out from each side of the sloping trunk. In fact all the old chaps trees were very very symmetrical when I got them,most of them I have managed to alter to look more natural
Now having studied the books and various videos and wishing to take bonsai a lot more seriously, now I have the time, I have taken the bull by the horns and had a go at it.
So it this half way right,getting there or really ruined it?
Scale - Itsukushima Shrine Bronze 4inches -10cm high

First pic as it was the 2nd and third pic after wiring from two different angles






Michael Cooper
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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:51 pm

I think you are doing fine, Michael, but I can't help thinking there's a smaller tree waiting to get out in that.  

As much as you can do based on a two-dimensional photo, here is roughly (and in a  badly drawn sort of way) what I mean.



The real thing would have more and (of course) impeccably placed foliage.

Just my two pence worth - do feel free to laugh out loud.  Very Happy 

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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Michael Cooper on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:49 pm

Gosh I never thought of going that drastic,all those years to chop most of it away.I shall have to give it some serious thought.Until now I have adopted a sort of Zen way of doing it- sit and stare at it for twenty five years before actually doing anything. I will have to think about this.Thank you for your thoughts and visual.
So many of my other trees my good lady Sue refers to as my sticks in pots so I was rather proud of this one being a bit more than that.. mm.....

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What if I did this?

Post  Michael Cooper on Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:55 pm

Fiona I can see now why you have 'Wee Trees and Me' as your obsession. What if I was to compromise and go back half way and make it appear more windswept?
You have really set me off on this now and if Kaizen hadn't sent me five times as much wire as I had ordered I would never even have got this done.
I suppose you might be a bit fed up with winds swept up there though,perhaps I should start thinking about Mangroves here on the Somerset Levels.


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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  -Daniel- on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:33 am

I like it .




Best regards , Daniel

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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Michael Cooper on Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:24 am

Thank you Daniel, all thoughts on this tree are appreciated.I am certainly looking at it differently after Fiona's comments and yours.

Michael Cooper
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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:05 pm

Nice material, given the age of the branches, to cut off a lot would be to risk making the tree look young again. Anything you cut off can't be replaced in less than 25 years. So go slow on the cutting.

Rather than chop off, my initial thought would be to pull the first branch (left branch) down lower, in an arc.

Similarly put a bit of an arc into the middle of the second branch (left-rear) where the branch is straight. Arch this down also, but finish a little higher off the ground than the first branch. That first section of your rear branch is just too straight.

I would keep the windswept theme, but I wouldn't over dramatize it, your tree has the feel more of a coastal or lower elevation tree where the winds are more variable. Enough wind from one direction (say winter storms) but enough respite from the wind to grow (say gentle summers) This way you can keep more of the branches that have taken so many years to grow.

Wire all the smaller branches and bring them down a bit and into foliage pads - like a hand held out horizontally flat, with the palm up and the fingers gently curving up. Except no straight lines, arc down, then up at the tips.

A lot of your secondary branches all seem to be the same age and same length. This needs to be disguised, wire them into different layers, this is part of forming pads. You may have to judiciously remove a few secondary branches to make visual spaces (negative spaces) between pads of foliage, but with creative wiring, you can keep better than 75% of these secondary branches.  

Beautiful material. Well grown. I would love working with this tree.

Please take the year or two to see what this tree can be keeping most of the foliage, you can always do the chops and pruning a couple years down the road if this proposal doesn't work out.

Leo Schordje
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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Michael Cooper on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:39 pm

Thank you so much Leo, the thought of chopping all those years of growth was worrying me. What you have suggested is very nearly what I had in mind certainly more what I wanted to aim at anyway,thank you very much for your comments
Michael

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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  fiona on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:52 pm

I like Daniel's virtual and it looks more doable than mine.

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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Michael Cooper on Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:22 pm

Right,I have had another go at it bearing in mind Leo's comment and here is what I have done so far.
Since seeing the photo I am aware that whilst setting up the shot I mistakenly moved the left hand side of the upper cushion which I was trying to set up for a dome and that it needs correcting.
Couldn't quite do what you suggested with rear left , pretty rigid branch.
Thank you Leo.A long way to go yet but you were more in line with the tree that I had in my head.That is the trouble with being an artist is the compromise between the image in ones head and what one  has the technical ability to achieve.
with the

Michael Cooper
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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Thomas Urban on Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:31 pm

Hi Michael,

As of now it's probably not possible to do Fiona's method, but I think it's a great image to eventually strive for. Fiona's virtual tree really makes a visual impact and impression on me but I also know the feeling of growing certain branches for a long time just to have someone tell you that you should cut them off Very Happy. In any case though, I think the foliage needs to be moved in closer to the trunk and pop up on older wood. I suggest a few years of candle cutting to get those dormant inner buds to come out Ryan Neil does a great explanation of working with pines on youtube.

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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Michael Cooper on Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:58 pm

One straight branch taken off and a year later this old friend is budding well and beginning to look like a bonsai rather than the scruffy coniferous bush it was not so long ago.A lot of what I have done I would have been to nervous to tackle without some of the advice I have had here and at The Taunton and Somerset Bonsai Club which I joined about a year ago,many thanks folks.
It did have a very ugly graft not a V cut but a totally round heavily protruding collar which I have tried to chamfer down it seems to have worked OK.The scales of the JBP came off easily making the join far less offensive.

Michael Cooper
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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  vietbacbl on Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:29 pm

Michael Cooper wrote:One straight branch taken off and a year later this old friend is budding well and beginning to look like a bonsai rather than the scruffy coniferous bush it was not so long ago.A lot of what I have done I would have been to nervous to tackle without some of the advice I have had here and at The Taunton and Somerset Bonsai Club which I joined about a year ago,many thanks folks.
It did have a very ugly graft not a V cut but a totally round heavily protruding collar which I have tried to chamfer down it seems to have worked OK.The scales of the JBP came off easily making the join far less offensive.
Good plan! it so graceful!

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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  Michael Cooper on Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:44 pm

Progress photo of my JWP beginning to look a bit better now

Michael Cooper
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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

Post  LanceMac10 on Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:14 pm

Looks to be growing well, almost too well.

Mine got pretty shaggy this summer as well.
Candlepinch, here and there, next spring?
These seem a little finicky....

Did you water a bit much and with maybe too much fert?
I think I may have...

Still, two shaggy JWP are better than none!! drunken

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Re: White pine my first serious wiring

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