Windswept Yew

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Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:53 pm

I recently acquired this yew and thought that you folks might appreciate a look.

Thanks, Lee.



To give an idea of scale...


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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:11 pm

I'd call it a semi cascade rather than a windswept. Does it have a root base? If it does down under the Turface, it could end up being a very nice tree. It needs a lot of trimming -- in the spring, I'd guess, though I don't know anything about yews.

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Dave Martin on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:17 pm

That looks like a nice yew with plenty of potential.

Was its trunk vertical when you got it or had it been leaning into the prevailing wind prior to collection or growing on a hillside?

That would explain the windswept nature of the the tree, I don't think that our American cousins have seen Welsh yew trees growing on hill or mountainsides. This tree typifies that habitat.

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Windswept Yew

Post  Guest on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:25 pm

Very good tree Lee. When you said aquired, did you collect it or buy it? If bought do you know how long it's been collected?

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:58 pm

Thanks for the replies. I collected the tree myself Will, and nature has already done all of the work where it was exposed to the elements and the prevailing winds.  The tree is pretty much as it was when in the ground and has not had any pruning or styling done yet.

Dave, the trunk was leaning slightly into the wind, with all of the branches on the sheltered side. You are bang on the money with the Welsh mountain-side.  Wink

Jim, its does have a good root base. I managed to collect almost all of it's main root system which is well developed.  I really like what nature has already created and feel that there is not too much work to be done. I would like to create some jin on the right side and reduce the two main branches a little.


Last edited by Lee Brindley on Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:44 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  JohnOstranica on Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:09 pm

Myself and Lee were wondering ,with this being a newly collected tree .Would it be best to give it some bottom heat and were would be a good place to keep it ?ie garden ,green house ...John

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Windswept Yew

Post  Guest on Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:14 pm


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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  gman on Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:26 pm

Nice tree with potential....looks like it was browsed for a dozen years or so by local sheep Laughing

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:25 am

The Taxus has survived collection and is now putting on lots of new growth. It has lost the tips to the two main branches, but these I was going to cut back anyway. Anybody any good at virtuals?





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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Tony on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:04 pm

Hi Lee… classic schoolboy error, the tree was ‘windswept’ on the hill but that does not mean that it would make a good windswept bonsai. You must let the tree grow for at least another two growing seasons before you decide on a style. And you need to remove any overly straight ‘branches’ as these will not help with your final design… any virtuals are premature at this time.

This tree will NOT be styled as a windswept bonsai… despite looking great on the hill… Yew do not make good windswept style… have you ever seen a windswept yew bonsai?



This is what a windswept Yew looks like:



When you come to my garden… bring your tree and we can look at options.

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:06 pm

Thanks Tony. I bow to your superior expertise but I thought that with all the branches on the same side and the trunk leaning in the same direction, a windswept style was a no brainer. I will look forward to showing you the tree and seeing what ideas you have. Very Happy

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Storm on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:44 pm

Hi, great tree and Im looking forward to see what you guys do with it, but just wondering.. Why Tony, do you say it cant be a windswept one? To my beginner eyes, I cant see why not. And you ask if we have ever seen a windswept Yew bonsai? I havent, but why should that mean its not possible to make a convincing image?

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Tony on Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:38 pm

Storm wrote:Hi, great tree and Im looking forward to see what you guys do with it, but just wondering.. Why Tony, do you say it cant be a windswept one? To my beginner eyes, I cant see why not. And you ask if we have ever seen a windswept Yew bonsai? I havent, but why should that mean its not possible to make a convincing image?

Hi Storm, I didn't say it 'can't' be a windswept, just that Yew do not make good FUKINAGASHI bonsai... nor do pines, junipers or Picea ... please show me a GREAT windswept from ANY of these species... (not Colin Lewis's either coz its OK.. NOT great)

Also FUKINAGASHI is probably the HARDEST style to get right, the best I have seen are from the tropics... I have NEVER seen a truly great FUKINAGASHI bonsai in a European exhibition... I attempted a FUKINAGASHI and had it shown at The Noelanders Trophee a few years ago... BUT it was OK.. NOT great!

This is an AMAZING example that we should follow... all I need is the right material... Robert Stevenson HELP!


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‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:17 pm

Thanks Tony. I do not have much hope of my tree ever being "great" though, as the first proper yamadori I have collected! Laughing If I can turn it into something you class as "OK" I will be satisfied. ThumbsUp

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Thu May 10, 2012 12:21 pm

I've been a bit of a naughty boy! Wasn't supposed to be touching this tree for a at least a couple of years, but I couldn't resist having a bit of a fiddle. The ends of the branches had died off, so I figured I could get away with cutting them back without doing any harm. I also straightened the tree up in its box a bit, whilst disturbing the roots as little as possible. It looks healthy now anyway, and is growing strongly.


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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:02 pm

Almost two years from collecting, and looking forward to its first styling!





Last edited by Lee Brindley on Sat May 17, 2014 7:47 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Image size)

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:52 pm

BURRS 2012
Hans Van Meer takes a looks at the taxus



Hans comes up with a good design. Unfortunatly it would take many years for the branches on the left to build enough thickness to come into proportion with the right hand branches - but a very valid idea, none the less. He sketches his design.



I spend many hours wiring the whole tree, and then while Hans is busy else where, I get Enrico Savini to take a look and help me to position the branches. Enrico has the same vision for the tree as I have had ever since collecting it. He feels that the left hand branches should be jinned.



After an amazing weekend at BURRS, I am very happy with the tree.




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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Fore on Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:25 pm

Nice material Lee! Good job getting it healthy for 2 yrs! I like the new styling a lot too along with those l. sided jins. Thanks for the update!

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:34 pm

Got the Taxus into its first (over-sized) bonsai pot this week. I know its still a little early for repotting, but its gone into a nice big pot with no need to cut any of the fibrous roots. I was really happy to see a very healthy root system of densely packed fleshy roots in a compact ball. It will be able to go into a nice small pot at the next repotting. Put back under cover now until it gets a bit warmer.



Just can't wait for it to start putting some growth on now! Very Happy

In a few years maybe...


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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  leatherback on Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:41 am

Love the virtual tree; And I can just see this happening in 2-3 years, if the growth works with you a bit! very nice job.

I do wonder though why you decided to remove the major part of the old canopy of this tree, and decide upright rather than some form of cascade?

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Lee Brindley on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:55 pm

leatherback wrote:Love the virtual tree; And I can just see this happening in 2-3 years, if the growth works with you a bit! very nice job.

I do wonder though why you decided to remove the major part of the old canopy of this tree, and decide upright rather than some form of cascade?

Thank you Leatherback. If I show you the back of the tree, you may further understand what has been removed and why. The trunk split into what was essentially a double apex. By removing one portion, clarity of trunkline and form was created and the removed sub-trunk now forms a jin on the back of the tree. The natural movement of the trunk and first branch has always made me feel that a more upright/wind influenced if not windswept style would be more appropriate for this tree than a cascade or more probbably semi-cascade form. The artists at BURRS were generally in aggreeance.



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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Andrew Legg on Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:36 am

Hi Lee,

The tree is looking well. I'm going to be a bit controversial here and say that I'm kinda sad that you have gone the way you did with the styling. I think you have lost the opportunity to have a tree that is different and now you have ended up with a tree that may become a nice tree, but will quite possibly never really stand out. I'm not sure why Tony was so vehemently against styling it as a windswept tree, but perhaps he saw a problem that I did not see. With bonsai (in my mind) we are trying to recreate a little slice of nature, and those first images of the tree were EXACTLY that! Windswept Welsh Yew tree. You now have an informal upright. I think we as bonsai people need to look long and hard at our willingness to fit into the accepted norms when it comes to styling our material, and instead do what tickles OUR fancy, not someone else's. I was quite unpopular the other day with some folk at my club as I took a Chinese Maple to a club meeting and it had a swing hanging from one of the branches. "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!! - it's not allowed in bonsai!!!". Well, sorry that you don't like it, but I do so just live with it OK. I grew up with a swing in an old London plane tree. I identify with it. If you grew up with or identify with a 100% natural windswept Welsh yew (which is what that tree was), then what more could you ask for? Surely not an informal upright!

Cheers,

Andrew

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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  mambo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:55 pm

[quote="Andrew Legg"]Hi Lee,

The tree is looking well. I'm going to be a bit controversial here and say that I'm kinda sad that you have gone the way you did with the styling. I think you have lost the opportunity to have a tree that is different and now you have ended up with a tree that may become a nice tree, but will quite possibly never really stand out.

Lee,

I have to agree with Andrew,

I think you took the soul out of the tree and it would have made an fine extreme windswept bonsai.

The design has turned it into a plain-jane-yet-another-triagular-lamp-shade-tree and the shari is just boring with zero character or movement.

I disagree completely with Tony. I believe that yews can make superb windswept subjects and I have had a superb (and I mean every word of that) scots pine that was naturally windswept. I have yet to see a better scots pine of any style than that one. Unfortunately it died, however everybody who saw it was just gobsmacked, it even got Mr. Kimura excited when I took it along to a workshop.

I am about to repot a windswept yew I have been working on for about 10 years and when I do I will post photographs. It is still about 2 to 3 years away from being presentable, but the potential to be a special tree is there.

I apologise for the harsh words, but it upsets me to see trees robbed of the potential they had.


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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  mambo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:57 pm

[quote="mambo"]
Andrew Legg wrote:Hi Lee,

The tree is looking well. I'm going to be a bit controversial here and say that I'm kinda sad that you have gone the way you did with the styling. I think you have lost the opportunity to have a tree that is different and now you have ended up with a tree that may become a nice tree, but will quite possibly never really stand out.

Lee,

I have to agree with Andrew,

I think you took the soul out of the tree and it would have made an fine extreme windswept bonsai.

The design has turned it into a plain-jane-yet-another-triagular-lamp-shade-tree and the shari is just boring with zero character or movement.

I disagree completely with Tony. I believe that yews can make superb windswept subjects and I have had a superb (and I mean every word of that) scots pine that was naturally windswept. I have yet to see a better scots pine of any style than that one. Unfortunately it died, however everybody who saw it was just gobsmacked, it even got Mr. Kimura excited when I took it along to a workshop.

I am about to repot a windswept yew I have been working on for about 10 years and when I do I will post photographs. It is still about 2 to 3 years away from being presentable, but the potential to be a special tree is there.

I apologise for the harsh words, but it upsets me to see trees robbed of the potential they had. In this case, I think your gut feeling was right and the artists were wrong.


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Re: Windswept Yew

Post  Vance Wood on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:05 pm

I know you had a veritable vegetable market thrown at this tree but that being said I assume the tree pleases you and that is how it should be. Perhaps you have yet to acquire the vision to see what you can imagine or, like a lot of use, you listened to a lot of advise and choose what you thought was best. That doesn't matter much either. So-----now what do you do? Not that it matters any more than the rest of it; you fulfill the vision you have for the tree, post the results proudly and make fools of the rest of us. Nothing shuts up a nye sayer better than results.

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Re: Windswept Yew

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