Awful or awesome ?

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Awful or awesome ?

Post  PkWk on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:32 am

I have kept this aerial root wrighthia religiosa for quite some years.
Recently some friends told me that it's roots look weird and awful and suggested that I should cut off some of the top roots and reshape it to become more decent looking. However, there are also others told me that it simply look great with the roots.
Well, I'm here looking for more comments.
Your criticisms and opinions are welcome and will be very much appreciated.



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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:16 am

Hi PkVk

Awfull, I dont know. Maybe it could be a chinese style bonsai.....but it would have to have a bonsaipot, rectangel or oval.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:56 am

If you want to keep the roots you need more top to balance them. Those are not really aerial roots, this plant was at one time planted deeper in a pot, the soil washed away and exposed the roots, on subsequent repotting the normally underground roots were exposed. I have a number of plants like this.

An alternative would be to plant it deeper again, covering the exposed roots and maybe more feeder roots would grow higher up then the bottom could be cut off.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:29 pm

Awfully awesome..?..!

I love exposed root trees above all others because of the contradiction they can present.. I keep coming back to look at your tree over & over again... I really like the roots but out of all that movement is a trunk thats bolt upright & it just doesnt fit together in my mind...

I would do a virtual if I knew how... if you tilt it to the left about 30 degrees, the trunk line is broken up & works better. Plant it a little deeper & the strong root on the right would appear to be holding the whole lot from blowing away. Heavy looking unglazed oval pot, something simple & understated.

Or you can send it to me & i would be very proud to have such an awfully awesome set of stilts on my bench...

Matt


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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:00 pm

I like it, but like Billy says, you need a LOT more top.




Incidentally, I hope the second picture is the front. I get a very disturbing image of someone's squatting bare bum from the first one. Maybe it's me.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:02 pm

MattA wrote:Awfully awesome..?..!

I love exposed root trees above all others because of the contradiction they can present.. I keep coming back to look at your tree over & over again... I really like the roots but out of all that movement is a trunk thats bolt upright & it just doesnt fit together in my mind...

I would do a virtual if I knew how... if you tilt it to the left about 30 degrees, the trunk line is broken up & works better. Plant it a little deeper & the strong root on the right would appear to be holding the whole lot from blowing away. Heavy looking unglazed oval pot, something simple & understated.

Or you can send it to me & i would be very proud to have such an awfully awesome set of stilts on my bench...

Matt


Matt, you are spot on.

I think it is important to understand exposed root style bonsai. Aerial roots are on ficus and such, and that's different. So why would a tree in nature have exposed roots like this? Erosion, water or wind. Leaning the tree and working the canopy into a slanting/windswept/semi-cascade style will give you a more natural and believable bonsai. Right now it just looks like a weird root system in a pot with a piece of broccoli stuck on the top. "a LOT more top" is an answer - but not for me. It could be so much more than that in the right hands.

Russell

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:24 am

Jims virtual is very close to what i see as well for this tree, I think its awsome, sick and twisted and old and tricky in a Jim Henson movie kind of a way, and definately style the plumbers crack to the rear. I also would plant those roots about 5 inches deeper so we're not looking at thinner roots holding up thicker roots, i see that all the time with Azalea exposed roots and I't disagrees with me.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  jersanct on Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:39 am

I don't know this species - could you cut it back hard, say all the way to the trunk, and regrow the branches entirely? I definitely like the exposed roots and agree that it needs more of a canopy, as most others have said. I think the biggest problem with the tree is that you have weather-tortured exposed roots with a lot of movement...and then stiff, straight branches with no movement at all. This is really what the others are saying, too. If it is possible to cut back all of the branches, regrow them, and wire movement into them from a young age, I would do that. I am assuming that you couldn't wire any movement into them as they are now.

I think it does have a lot of potential, though. Thanks for showing it to us.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  PkWk on Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:17 am

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi PkVk

Awfull, I dont know. Maybe it could be a chinese style bonsai.....but it would have to have a bonsaipot, rectangel or oval.

Kind regards Yvonne

I don't quite agree with the words Chinese style bonsai but rather said its Traditional style Chinese bonsai.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  PkWk on Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:29 am

MattA wrote:Awfully awesome..?..!

I love exposed root trees above all others because of the contradiction they can present.. I keep coming back to look at your tree over & over again... I really like the roots but out of all that movement is a trunk thats bolt upright & it just doesnt fit together in my mind...

I would do a virtual if I knew how... if you tilt it to the left about 30 degrees, the trunk line is broken up & works better. Plant it a little deeper & the strong root on the right would appear to be holding the whole lot from blowing away. Heavy looking unglazed oval pot, something simple & understated.

Or you can send it to me & i would be very proud to have such an awfully awesome set of stilts on my bench...

Matt

Thank you very much Matt for sharing the interest of loving exposed root trees.
I actually got quite a nos. of trees of this kind. I don't mind to send one of them to you but sending it all the way down south can be quite problematic.
Thanks for yr interesting suggestion.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  PkWk on Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:36 am

Jim and Billy's virtual is what I had in mind.
This is how the tree looks like now. Hope it's foliage will grow and spread as soon as it can.



Thank you Jim, Billy and all those who gave criticisms and opinions.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:56 am

I think I would remove some of the branches on this, especially the crossing one I see in front.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:01 pm

Great job of burying the most interesting part of your tree! Just went from awesome to awful.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:21 pm

What Matt and Russell wrote was exactly what I was thinking as well and in my opinion, the best solution for this tree. If it were tilted to the left everything becomes more interesting. I would definitely expose those roots again.

Good luck
Sam

Russell Coker wrote:
MattA wrote:Awfully awesome..?..!

I love exposed root trees above all others because of the contradiction they can present.. I keep coming back to look at your tree over & over again... I really like the roots but out of all that movement is a trunk thats bolt upright & it just doesnt fit together in my mind...

I would do a virtual if I knew how... if you tilt it to the left about 30 degrees, the trunk line is broken up & works better. Plant it a little deeper & the strong root on the right would appear to be holding the whole lot from blowing away. Heavy looking unglazed oval pot, something simple & understated.

Or you can send it to me & i would be very proud to have such an awfully awesome set of stilts on my bench...

Matt


Matt, you are spot on.

I think it is important to understand exposed root style bonsai. Aerial roots are on ficus and such, and that's different. So why would a tree in nature have exposed roots like this? Erosion, water or wind. Leaning the tree and working the canopy into a slanting/windswept/semi-cascade style will give you a more natural and believable bonsai. Right now it just looks like a weird root system in a pot with a piece of broccoli stuck on the top. "a LOT more top" is an answer - but not for me. It could be so much more than that in the right hands.

Russell

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Jesse on Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:25 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Great job of burying the most interesting part of your tree! Just went from awesome to awful.
A bit overstated in my opinion. Yes, I thought the roots were interesting but forgetting the prior pics, this is a good looking tree in my opinion still developing. I wish I could see a nice virtual of what you would like to see done with this tree Russell, because clearly you had a cool idea in mind. My guess is you would not slam this tree quite so harshly if you did not have a nice direction in mind. Maybe a virtual to help bonsai noobs like me be able to visualize what you were describing? Even if he wouldn't be interested in using it, I would love to see what a more seasoned bonsai enthusiast like yourself sees as a potential design for a tree like this--time permitting of course.

On a different note, I totally agree with Billy about removing the crossing branches to improve the top.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  JimLewis on Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:11 pm

Yes. The roots now are an uncorrectable mess. I hope you didn't cut away too many roots when you buried them. You may not want ALL of those roots re-exposed, but certainly most of them. They are what gave the tree character. Work on the top and leave the (original) roots alone.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:01 am

Jesse wrote:
Russell Coker wrote:Great job of burying the most interesting part of your tree! Just went from awesome to awful.
A bit overstated in my opinion. Yes, I thought the roots were interesting but forgetting the prior pics, this is a good looking tree in my opinion still developing. I wish I could see a nice virtual of what you would like to see done with this tree Russell, because clearly you had a cool idea in mind. My guess is you would not slam this tree quite so harshly if you did not have a nice direction in mind. Maybe a virtual to help bonsai noobs like me be able to visualize what you were describing? Even if he wouldn't be interested in using it, I would love to see what a more seasoned bonsai enthusiast like yourself sees as a potential design for a tree like this--time permitting of course.

On a different note, I totally agree with Billy about removing the crossing branches to improve the top.

At this point in training the branch structure, as it is now, is completely irrelevant. It's a mess and out of scale with the trunk/root mass. Or at least it was. It's going to take a lot more than removing crossing branches to make sense of that top. Can't do a vert, but I'll try to come up with a couple of sketches over the weekend.

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  PkWk on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:51 am

No roots have been cut, just buried.
Still looking forward for all you people's good opinion out there.
Thanks

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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  -Brent- on Sun May 01, 2011 6:05 pm

I also find the roots very interesting, but just a touch too exposed for me.
If it were mine, here is the level I'd pot it (extending Jim's virt - tks Jim):


-Brent-
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Re: Awful or awesome ?

Post  Jesse on Mon May 02, 2011 5:20 pm

Russell Coker wrote:At this point in training the branch structure, as it is now, is completely irrelevant. It's a mess and out of scale with the trunk/root mass. Or at least it was. It's going to take a lot more than removing crossing branches to make sense of that top. Can't do a vert, but I'll try to come up with a couple of sketches over the weekend.

Very cool Smile

Jesse
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