I’ve got a few of these white pines that were part of a large number of seeds planted in 1992. This is the first I’ve styled of them and of course forgot to get a before photo. I had some help from Yusuke Hamamoto on styling this as I don’t have much experience styling small trees grown from seed specifically for bonsai. It was a challenge and I learned a lot!!
Good effort! That is quite an accomplishment
Thanks so much! That means a lot to me coming from you. Very grateful!
That is incredible. Since '92! Container grown the whole time? Tight inner growth close to the trunk.
Yup container grown since 92. I’ve got 3 more to style. They’re strong trees. Gerald from Shikoku planted em on his return from Japan in 92.
I have grown some trees from seed. I am a big advocate of growing from and cuttings. I say anyone under 91 years should grow from seed (our oldest club member is 90). It seems like a long process but time flies when you do bonsai. It is a way of paying back into the bonsai community by creating better material for people who haven’t even got the bonsai bug yet or are even born!
Open for a suggestion on your Japanese white pine?
Please! Yes. That’s why I posted it.
From your photo, if we are looking at the front, it looks like that there are a lot of bar branches. After 26 years it is hard to part with them but as the apex appears to move to the left, the first lowest branch could be your defining branch and remove its opposite on the right. Moving up the tree, the 2nd branch on the left could be removed. Shorten these branches slowly and leave the others. Great tree as it is and impressive work.
Nice looking tree! Well done.
I really appreciate your input! And you’re bang on with everything you said. I saw the bar branches…there about as bad as it gets. However, you’re absolutely right with the whole 27 year thing …I’m gonna leave this tree. If it was any other tree, I probably would have done what you suggested right off the bat. But this was a challenge for me and I learned a lot doing it so I’m gonna keep it how it is and enjoy knowing it was my first time styling a tiny ass tree grown from seed specifically for bonsai. I’ve got 60 some odd trees in my garden and almost all of them are yamadori or field grown nursery stock. A totally different approach to bonsai than this little white pine. Let me tell you, with my fat fingers it was hell! Lol I really do appreciate your advice, and like I said, you’re 100% right. But this one I’m going to consciously decide to leave the flaws.
Here’s #2 of these Japanese White Pines. Again, a crazy challenge and although there’s probably lots I could have done differently, I did my best and learned lots. I’m posting a before and after, as well as a close up of the comparison between my fingers and how tight these branches are! Thanks again for looking!
Perfectly understandable approach.
You did a great job shortening the long trunk area below the apex for tree #2. Did you remove it and wire up a new apex from below or did you put some curves to shorten the length? Can’t really see.
I removed it and brought one of the lower side branches up. It was just too empty to make use of. I tried…I tried hard to keep it …but in the end it just made sense to bring one of the lower branches vertical. Thanks for the kind words!
JS, you are motivating me to dig up some of my seedlings and get them into pots next spring.
Please do! You can send a few my way hah
Understandable to leave the flaws now, but my suggestion to you for that first tree, when you’re ready, would be to “chop” the trunk directly above the first set (lowest set) of bar branches. And then wire one of these branches up as the new trunk line, and the other will stay as the first branch of the tree. I know this may sound radical, but this way you could create a trunk with really great movent and solve some of the bar branching issues.
If you go back and watch the nursery stock series video with the noble fir, Ryan saws off a big portion of the upper trunk, and then uses a branch as the new trunk line, to achieve instant taper and better movement. May be worth it to check that stream out again, could give you some ideas. Just a suggestion!
I really appreciate your input Mike! I’ve taken that approach on many of the trees in my garden. Standard styling technique for sure! Like I said with this one though…::I’m just gonna leave it. Not every tree I own has to be textbook. This was the first time styling a tree like this. Grown from seed with a Japanese approach and then styled with Japanese aesthetic on the mind. It was a challenge and something I haven’t done. You’re absolutely right in the technique you’re suggesting! If I was to take this tree back to the beginning that’s exactly how I’d do it. Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts. I’m genuinely very grateful for how positive and helpful everyone has been with the photos I post. I’ve been doing this for quite some time and have just recently started to actually share some of my trees with the online community:
Just sat down and watched the zelkova stream…towards the end Ryan talks about how he just likes the tree for the tree. It’s got its flaws and powerfully ugly points but it means something to him and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Funny to watch that and think that a day before that stream aired I was saying the same thing about my bar branch white pine! Haha just thought it was funny and coincidental enough to mention here…the world works in mysterious ways!