The dreaded inverse taper problem.

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The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Fuzzy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:21 pm

The dreaded inverse taper problem. I was wondering whether there is ever a time when this visual fault can be used in a positive creative way? I’d be interested to hear your thoughtful views. Smile

Russ……….NOT Eric! Suspect

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:28 pm

Possibly when the tree is then used as a growing against a rock style? Obviously it demands a really well chosen rock that fits the trunk like a glove and the two look as if it was always thus.

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Fuzzy on Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:31 pm

Thanks for your reply Kev. I’m just trying to visualise the end result. Would it be aesthetically pleasing or more of a curiosity? The reason I asked the question was because I recently read an interesting article by Walter Pall where he describes his impressions of an ancient oak bonsai he once viewed with terrible inverse taper and a catalogue of other faults. At first he says it was a truly ugly tree when the rules were applied to it, but the longer he looked at it the more he began to experience the tree in a different light so much so that eventually it became a thing of beauty to him. Unfortunately there were no pics of said tree in the article.

The second reason I ask the question is I remember an article by Dan Barton where he showed a collected hornbeam with beautiful branch ramification and a huge gall on the trunk the result of a horse treading on it years before collection. When I saw this tree my eye was drawn immediately to the ball like growth on the trunk as in what the hell is that? and then I looked at the branches and the tree as a whole. Enough to say that the resulting final image was curiously aesthetic and interesting visually.

Are there any others members on this forum who’d like to come out of the shadows and express a view? I’d be very interested to hear them.

Russ. Smile

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Harleyrider on Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:36 pm

An interesting and provocative issue, methinks Fuzzy!

Do you know that familiar mantra spouted by non-bonsai folk, "You never see trees like that in the wild"? A comment which we, as creators of these 'un-natural' trees, then feel compelled to refute. Well, in the wild trees have all sorts of 'issues' that are regarded as being undesirable in bonsai, so who says that our trees shouldn't have these flaws as well?

Obviously there will always be exceptions to this, but how many of us would think about consigning our children to a dark corner of the garden just because they weren't perfect?

Just a novices thoughts.

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Tony on Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:17 pm

Dear Eric, I have inverse taper... its not such a bad thing... I think Suspect

Tony

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Tony on Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:20 pm

Harleyrider wrote: how many of us would think about consigning our children to a dark corner of the garden just because they weren't perfect?.

Fiona.. could you field this question please pale

Tony

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Harleyrider on Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:52 pm

Dear Eric, I have inverse taper...

As we've seen in another thread, the blame for this can be laid squarely at Carolyn's door! Laughing

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Fuzzy on Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:01 pm

Cheers Harleyrider for the reply and you’re quite right in what you say me thinks, beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all that. Though I do think there is a very fine line between a severe (fault) becoming acceptable visually because it adds to the composition as a whole, and a fault being simply wrong. Ultimately I think this right or wrong aspect comes down to the talent of the individual artist.

I’m hoping that our resident expert and talented artist Mr Tickle who also happens to be an all round great bloke will perhaps expand and enlighten us all on the above mentioned topic……..PLEEEEEEEZ! Smile

Your’s always Tony
Eric.

Fuzzy
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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Harleyrider on Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:09 pm

Though I do think there is a very fine line between a severe (fault) becoming acceptable visually because it adds to the composition as a whole, and a fault being simply wrong. Ultimately I think this right or wrong aspect comes down to the talent of the individual artist.

That's exactly what I was meaning, Eric. It also depends to a degree on whether you prefer the Japanese style or the more 'natural' style of tree. Having said that, though, I have to say that I would much prefer my trees to be 'flaw-free', but I'm not going to lose sleep over some little imperfection.

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Tony on Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:18 am

Eric, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sometimes this statement stacks up. Sometimes...

The image presented either pleases or it doesn't, the design of a bonsai either works or it doesn't. I have yet to see a deciduous 'bonsai' with an 'exaggerated' inverse taper that pleases me.

The same cannot be said for Junipers/Pines/Yews I have seen these with very 'exaggerated' inverse taper that are amazing... the 'inverse' aspect of the tree usually twisted deadwood.

It all boils down to the individual tree and the way it is styled... there ain't no hard and fast rules Basketball

Burn after reading...

Tony

resident expert and talented artist
Eric... please be careful when using such exalted attributes when referring to my fair self... people may well start believing them to be true No

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:23 pm

I agree with Tony regarding inverse taper on a deciduous tree, unless you can create the illusion of what used to be, as in deadwood. Most of the time, there are a number of tecniques to ovecome this fault on deciduous. Air layering, creative carving or even splitting the base of the tree and opening it out.Most bonsai have faults within, just as trees in nature do. Branches on the inside of a curve and spoke wheel branches, should not be removed, just because it's been said in a book. Crafty artistry can make good use of these natural features. The best tasting meat is marbled with fat.

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For instance

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:08 pm

Here's one of my pines. I'll be rewiring it in the next month or so. This tree has faults, two of which I'm posting. Inverse taper.

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For instance

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:12 pm

I hope you can see this ok but the character branch is above the back branch.

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For instance

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:18 pm

As you can see, my chosen front reduces the inverse taper and the foliage will mask the starting point of the character branch. Hope this helps.

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Fuzzy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:10 pm

Will, Thanks for posting and showing an example, much appreciated and a Beautiful tree by the way.
Two questions to follow
1 Do you see the inverse taper as something that would discourage you from showing this tree in any way?
2 Would you explain what a character branch is and it’s function in the design of a tree and do all bonsai have them? First time I’ve come across this term.

Regards
Russ Fuzzy Eric Take your pic! Smile

Fuzzy
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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:19 pm

Hello Eric. I n answer to your questions, I would happily show this tree but only after a number of years in refinement. Although showing at exhibition is not why I create bonsai, it is very nice to have a tree selected for a show. Ted ( the trees name) is a number of years away anyway.
The character branch is usually the first branch and in Japan is the kikieda ( hope i've got it right).

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Fuzzy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:32 pm

Thanks for the reply Frank, but I’m now confused….why call it a character branch if it is simply the first branch. Character branch suggests to me that it has a specific role to play in the design of the tree. If the character branch is removed for some reason, the next branch takes on that role Right? So does it have something to do with the overall balance and flow of the design? I’m just curious.

Eric. Smile

Fuzzy
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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:57 pm

Fuzzy wrote:Thanks for the reply Frank, but I’m now confused….why call it a character branch if it is simply the first branch. Character branch suggests to me that it has a specific role to play in the design of the tree. If the character branch is removed for some reason, the next branch takes on that role Right? So does it have something to do with the overall balance and flow of the design? I’m just curious.

Eric. Smile
You've kind of answered your own question here. When I look at a bonsai, visually I start at the base, move up through the tree,round and out through the first branch. Remove this branch and the whole dynamic changes, unless restyled. If cut off, the second or balancing branch, would become the first branch and completely change the flow of the tree. Hope this makes sense, but I have a feeling you know more than you let on Very Happy

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:02 am

There is a style of deciduous bonsai where you could get away with inverse taper. Some old Oaks, Ash, Hornbeam..etc, exhibit inverse taper, when in the past, they,ve been pollarded. A very European image worth trying.

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:41 pm

Here's another pine with inverse taper

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:45 pm

Closer pic of the "fault". This is a completely natural feature and in my opinion gives the tree character.

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Fuzzy on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:09 pm

Can’t see the inverse taper Will I’ll get me microscope, cyclops nice movement though!
I have an Elm that I collected autumn just gone with severe inverse taper that I’ll post a picture of later tonight as I’m not very computer savvy even with the idiots guide posted on this forum…..Yes I am that dim! So dear wife where art thou?

So why did I collect it? Well apart from being a not so secret masochist I see something in it like an old weather beaten oak, Elm image. Being a huge fan of Walter pall I hope I can pull it off and if not it will remain as a Halloween tree to scare my daughter! Smile

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Fuzzy on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:12 pm

AAAAHHH! There it is! you posted as I was typing!

Thanks! Smile

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

Post  Fuzzy on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:16 pm

will baddeley wrote: This is a completely natural feature and in my opinion gives the tree character.
I hope that you’ll see what I mean with the Elm pic I’ll post later. Smile

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The Dreaded Inverse Taper Problem

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:30 pm

Someone mentioned a method of fixing this by cutting up through the base & actually spreading it. Which species will this work with? Any where it should be avoided? What would you fill the center with? How do you avoid infection?
Iris

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Re: The dreaded inverse taper problem.

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