Hinoki design help

Picked up another but of nursery stock. Pretty happy with the base and movement. Gonna plant it in a grow bag to let it thicken a bit.

I haven’t done much to it so far besides setting the movement in the main branch. I’m not sure what to do with these two branches though. They’re the biggest primary branches on the tree, but they originate from the trunk right next to each other.

The lower of the two has the most foliage, but that will change when I clean the tree and get rid of whorls. Here are the options I’m considering.

  1. Keep both branches, but shorten the lower one over time as I get back budding. That will make the top one the defining branch

  2. Remove/Jin the lower

  3. Remove/Jin the upper

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Hinokis are notoriously bad at back budding. Don’t plan on it. Be conservative in your cleaning approach, leaving some green if you want to expand foliage mass. Good news is that foliage will regenerate from just a few nodes of green foliage.

The hinoki aesthetics stream is a fantastic resource for hinoki.
https://live.bonsaimirai.com/library/video/hinoki-aesthetics

Man, I’ve watched that one like 5 times because I have a golden hinoki as well. I’m super reluctant to cut off either branch because I worry about lack of primary branches due to lack of back budding along the trunk. Although, didn’t Ryan mention that it will back bud along a branch?

When I styled my first hinoki I was very conservative because I didn’t want to rely on back budding. However, this one has very long sections of branching before I get any foliage though, so I’m hoping that I’ll at least get back budding along a primary branch. I’m going to keep a bunch of foliar mass until then, so it’ll be an ugly duckling for a while. I just worry about having that having two primary branches basically originate from the same place is going to be ugly.

Another thing I just realized is that those two branches are on the inside of the major curve which is a no-no.

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Okay, after basically rubber ducking this I’ve decided to remove the lower branch and jin the upper one. I clipped them last night and it turned out better than I thought it would. I’ll post pics later. I sure do hope I get better at design. This is the second tree I’m designing and I’m struggling lol.

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Hah. Glad it worked. Sometimes it’s good to break the design fundamentals, but a lot of the time it’s good to remember that the fundamentals are there for a reason.

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Man, I’m at the point where I have to understand the fundamentals first before I start to break them. It’s a bit daunting at times. I’ve been watching streams for a couple of months now and now that I’m finally getting my hands into the trees it’s like I’ve learned nothing. :sob:

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