Literati wanna be

Hello bonsai lovers!
This is my new yamadori Pinus Sylvestris collected this week.
I wan’t to develop a literati style tree from it. Height ~3feet (1meter), trunk thickness ~2.5 inch (~6.5cm).

This is the direction I want for this tree,

Collecting site
It was a very easy collection, basically the tree was in a “natural” pot. Almost all the root ball was taken out undisturbed at collection.

Any ideas and help is very welcomed.



Sandor, after finding areas to collect stunted trees, you then have to find areas with individual rocks that can be removed easily allowing for getting the largest amount of roots versus large rock slabs where trees have to grow in crevices and are therefore very difficult to collect successfully.

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David, I know that. I always test if the tree can be removed in a fashion that it would survive. I hold my self back if the tree is stuck in crevices and the collection would kill the tree, even if the tree looks phenomenal I leave it in place.
This particular tree was placed in a cavity that basically permitted to lift the tree up freely with all the fine roots undisturbed, and only one tap root needed to be cut.

it seems you’re set on a design idea already and have all figured out… :slight_smile:
Are you asking for design ideas?

Hey Rafi, I’m not 100% set yet. Maybe the tree is more suited for a Formal Upright style, that’s why I’m asking for more opinions.

Your tree’s foliage is sparse, formal upright is not the best. It won’t emphasize the sparse foliage on top and lack of foliage on the bottom half of the trunk. Literati fits. Add a bit more movement and maybe change the angle.
Picture the tree growing through a crevice on the side of the cliff trying to reach for the sun on the opposite direction. You can add sort of wind damage effect and maybe a windswept style literati?
Just a thought. Feels right, looking at the tree and how you can play with the long branches…
Still your choice.


I guess it would be hard to make it look really nice as literati since it would require some really severe bends. My initial feeling would be to slant it and create several gentler bends making it go up and away sideways with trunk and pads forming almost like steps, creating a dynamic tension with most of the tree out of the pot. I would break the design principle of different angles and have somewhat similar angles relative to the horizontal line (to create some harmony), but different angles and distances relative to the vertical and depth directions.

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Makes sense Rafi. Gaspar has options to consider then.

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Sorry Sandor. I obviously totally missed what you were asking ideas for.

As for tree design, are there possibilities of shortening the tree? I see at least two branches in the middle of the foliage mass growing upwards. Perhaps one of them could become the new leader producing a shorter tree with more taper. Because of the length of the lower trunk devoid of branches that can take your eye off its length and bareness of the trunk, I would keep all of the lower jins for now… Wiring the trunk could accentuate existing curves . I like the first branch on the right, while short, it has some branching to create a small pad. I don’t like the idea of the long falling branch. It doesn’t have a natural look. The second branch on the left could be your defining branch enhancing movement to the left. The apex should also orient to the left as well. Remove opposing bar branches in the lower area but you may have to keep some near the apex. Somethings to think about.

Thanks David! I certainly will wire the trunk and yes i can shorten the tree. Thanks a lot for the spot on feedback! I leave the tree to strengthen this year, and I’ll start the styling in 2019.

Hello Sandor,

If you don’t mind… I’m attaching a sketch I made last week. I was having a hard time attaching this over the weekend only to find out it was an incorrect file.
I thought about your tree during my break and wanted to get my mind off the business at work and what’s left to do.


@GasparSandor , any update on this tree?

@Mircea.ruba , Welcome. Give it another go!

@KurtP right now he got a new pot. Growing vigorously. Waiting for the summer dormancy to give the first wiring.



I dig it. I think you are on the path towards something along the lines of your original vision. Literati doesn’t have to be super bendy in my opinion. My teacher has plenty that are doing a similar motion, tall and elegant with a regal but understated canopy on top. I have some tigers eye sumac that I want to do similar with. Keep us posted!