Can you help with first styling?

I’ve just set structure on this oak, and I would like you to look and comment, good or bad all comments will be appreciated and can I also take this opportunity to thank the mirai team.


I love the gnarl on the bark, and the base is really hefty. The 90 degree turns are unusual. Really imposing trunk.

I was going to suggest you turn the tree 45° clockwise, but then realized it would be your average “S” shape tree. I like the weirdness of it now.

I’m having a hard time visualizing where the foliage is going to be, in relation to the trunk. I’m not super convinced about that branch by the base, but again, can’t really picture the foliage.

I would love to see an MS paint rendition of what you have in mind, but the material is extremely unique. What’s the backstory on this bad boy?

1 Like

I agree with @el_cheezer. I’m not sure if the lowest branch improves the styling. Besides that i wouldn’t train the branch in the back this vertical, i would prefer it a few degrees more horizontal but i think this is a personal opinion.

The material is really cool. Looking forward to see it with foliage.

1 Like

Generally agreed with both folks above.

I think you’re making a mistake pointing that apical branch to the right, though; you’re ultimately making two right angles, which looks artificial and unbalanced.

But if you got that apex pointing left, you’d have pretty interesting, heavily asymmetrical material that would go well in a thick round pot. At that point, the lower right branch might make more sense too.

1 Like

Also interested to know the story, how long has it been in the training pot etc.?

I’m just wondering if giving it a season or two of heavy fertiliser and free growth before cutting back hard might prompt one or two buds from the trunk, sure you’d lose a year or two, but what’s there will be thicker and you might end up with one or two more branches to work with for more options. That bark is looking pretty dense so it’s not guaranteed to bud.

Also bear in mind I’m in the UK so probably not familiar with the species!

Just an idea to think about :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hello Darren,
Thank you for your comments. I bought the tree last year. I am going to let it to grow freely and fertilize heavily this season now that i have set structure. The trouble with the tree is the previous owner styled the tree and carved the trunk which i personally don’t like. The branches that i used was all that i had, so i tried to put some movement in them and put them in a position so they could be used. i didn’t want to cut any off because i didn’t want them to all originate from the same place.
i also live the same side of the pond as you, it is an oak. i will take some more pictures to show all sides


Nice tree. The lack of limbs now does not bother me…
Any idea of the type of oak? (Or did i miss it.) Said you are in UK? English oak?
My Utah scrub oak (Q. gambelii) can get cut (chewed) off above the base and sprought…

I don’t want to overwhelm with comments, so I’ll say that I agree the lower branch looks a bit odd. I would remove it eventually, and likely rotate the tree and give it a bit of angle change. Maybe post more photos from different angles. I love this tree, though. Awesome bark and base.

Hello again, as promised more picture. Please tell me what you think.

I would also like to say it is an English oak.

Nice material @albie! I love the base and the initial angle but then with this front, the trunk starts going straight up vertical and you have also a horizontal line prior to that. I would definitely change the angle. I would tilt is to the left some 60 degrees what I can imagine is that elbow coming out of the pot and almost touching the bench then going up (and away) and with time new foliage bringing back the composition towards the pot but not aligning with the centre of mass of the base. Another option would be to tilt to the right but that would create an S shape.

1 Like

I like that last photo. How much is the trunk moving toward you in that view?

1 Like

I like that one too, but I think a little tweak.

Man, that third and fourth photo are significantly better. I particularly like the fourth, assuming you can angle it in such a way that the trunk doesn’t too obviously jab the viewer.

1 Like

The movement in that last photo also impressed the hell out of me. I would find a way of making that work. It’s not your widest base, but the movement is incredible.

1 Like

photos 2 and 4 are the best angles IMO. Looks like a fun project. I’d be happy with the tree in my collection!

I actually like 2. Deadwood. Next repot, lean the trunk to front and swing the big limb to the left. Balance.
4 shows promise, a little too verticle, no visual trunk taper.

i respect your opinion but surely the quality is in the bark, maybe

Knarley bark and hollow trunk (sabamiki!) ON A OAK! You can have both.
This tree could cary it off! You could always do THAT in a couple of years, though …
Do save the lowest limb.
Did you know what type of oak it is?

1 Like

i’m sorry,
i just thought that an oak with this quality of bark, the quality was in the bark. but ryan has always said there are no rules, is it what just looks best?
There are also all these other considerations special features, branching, whether its coastal or alpine?
is the deadwood valuable, or is the bark valuable.
i am relatively new to bonsai, and you obviously know what your talking about by the knowledgeable answer that you gave.
so at this point I’m going to keep quiet and try to keep learning.
Thank you for your advice.

if deadwood is not an issue on an oak, i keep on getting drawn to no.3