I repotted the feminine Ponderosa pine. I was lucky that there was a root flare not only a sharp turn. The base is very wide but slightly two dimensional so the potting angle offsets that flat plane a bit by rotating clockwise some 20 degrees. The pot has large lateral aeration gaps filled with long fibre sphagnum moss. If/when winter ends I will plant moss on the sides. The top already has top dressing. I may style the tree now or later in the year. I will think about it because the back has some merit too.
The proposed front:
Detail of the base from the front:
Detail of the trunk seen through negative space of the pot:
Detail of the base from the back:
That is one heck of a composition Rafi. The pot is something very special and the peek though the window is great. I love the back, that jin spike and hard turn are incredible. I’m very interested to see this tree in the future once the front view chaos is reined in. Granted I am only viewing in 2D, but if it were mine I’d be hard pressed to call your proposed back the back. What a stunner!! Please keep us updated.
I also love the “back” as the front, maybe with a slight clockwise rotation (to the right). The vertical jin and zig-zag angles are quite compelling.
Really beautiful work. Perhaps you could make use of sumi ink to get your sphagnum used in the lateral openings really nice and dark?
Thank you @moon and @joe_d, I am definitely struggling to decide if the back should be the front. I will analyze this tree again in a few days. I was definitely happy that there was a root flare on the short side, it was underground. The long side of the root flare validates the asymmetry going to the other side as is now. With the back being the front it would be harder to hide the straight line but as @joe_d mentioned, part of the trick would be to turn the tree a little bit counter-clockwise. Whatever the front will be the jin spire will be visible but this jin definitely looks better from the current back. I am very pleased with this tree. I have been straggling to think how to style it ever since I bought it in 2018. @joe_d, I will cover the sphagnum moss walls with live moss. It will be green.
Hay Rafi… how is this tree doing, now, after a long hot summer…?
It is absolutely fine, it didn’t skip a beat and is ready for styling. I left it outdoors for the winter as I didn’t have space in the greenhouse.
What did you decide as the actual front and why?
I haven’t yet decided on the front but for now, my original plan still stands. If I gather up the courage to make a major bend on that straight non-tapering section of the trunk then things may change. At the moment the tree is buried in snow outside enjoying our fine Montreal winter.
I’m thinking your front might be where the side where the long low branch hangs down.