First Cascade (Japanese Red Pine)

I am starting my first cascade design and feel a little out of my element. It is nursery stock and I don’t believe it is grafted but I could be wrong. The trunk was chopped before I bought it. And it was initially wired last year. I just rewired it and did some basic styling this week. July ‘20.

One thing in particular I am looking for is what to do with the trunk above the top branch. Create some shari or a more flush cut?

I welcome any critical feedback as I am a little out of my element.


I think it looks pretty good. I’m guessing the first shot is your “front” right? It does display the cascading branch pretty effectively which is good but I’m not so sure the trunkline (particularly directly out of the soil) is portrayed in its best light… maybe think about an angle change here to maximise flow/dynamic movement if possible?? Always hard to tell from photos but that is my initial thought from what I see. Nice tree though!

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I agree with a change of angle. I would make the top a jin as it dies back on the side away from the branch.

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I tilted the pot a bit. The change of angle makes a big difference. It amplifies the slight bend that was already in the trunk and it creates some flare on the far side that anchors the tree. Thanks @Ryceman3 and @MartyWeiser.

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On the Forum Q&A 71, Ryan recommended removing some tissue to allow the bark to fuse together. I did that, pasted it over and did some cosmetic bark work. Already looks better. (Sorry the full size image is too big and the system rotates the shrunk image)

Bonsai Techniques II (Naka) shows some very attractive Upright Cascades. Angle change not necessarily the best thing to do here. Personally I would clean off the cut paste/clay on the top and let it weather and die back naturally then remove the dead bark. Getting some more foliage on the rest of the tree looks like more of a priority just now as it does not look very strong.

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