Results of my first time styling bonsai :) Looking for suggestions

I apologize for the low quality picture but it was the best I could do. Also please excuse the flower pot, I have no bonsai pots training or otherwise to put it in.

I collected this mountain hemlock last spring and I just did my very first structural styling ever. I know very little about bonsai design to be honest but I’m not terribly unhappy with the result. I’m definitely looking for your guys’ perspectives though on how to improve the tree or criticisms of what I chose to do.

It was kind of challenging to work with (for me at least) since almost every single branch emanated from the right side of the trunk and they were all of them extremely sparse and lanky (which is why I introduced such dramatic bends)

As far as future is concerned I plan on planting the tree at a slight angle left to help remove the verticality of that lower trunk section. Some additional backbudding will also help to fill in bare patches (particularly on that lowest branch) although I definitely plan on keeping the natural sparse literati feel of the tree.

also does anyone have an estimate for the age of this tree? It was growing at 6,000 feet here in Oregon if that helps.

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Roger this is a nice first styling. The thing I would do is bring the lower branch back and down to the right so that it does not cross the main trunk line. I might also plan to shorted the upper branch that goes to the left at some point. Both of these moves accentuate the movement to the right, but you have done a good job to pull the foliage in and add some interesting movement. If you decide to change the lower branch I would do it soon. I would then allow the tree to grow unimpeded with moderate fertilization for the year to gain strength. The combination of collection and major styling is very stressful.


thank you for your reply! :smiley:

I actually brought the lower branch over to the left because I thought it needed some foliar mass on that side to give it balance. I guess I didn’t need to do that lol. I’ll bring it back over to the right in that case.

I definitely plan to let the tree rest and recuperate now.

Hi Roger,
Bringing that lower branch to the left was the right design choice, what he is saying is that you should have brought the branch to the left from behind the trunk line instead of in front of it. Does that make sense?

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ah I see now, thank you :grin:

Great job on the first styling BTW! It will be a great Bunjin in a few more seasons.

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I was actually suggesting to bring the lower branch back in underneath itself so the foliage would be under the rubber pad. That would put almost all of the foliage to the right of the trunk for a rather asymmetric design.

On the other hand, I agree that putting the branch behind the trunk would be better if you want the foliage on the left.

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I gave it a try but there is absolutely no way that branch will bend that far in that direction. I cracked it in the process of trying in fact. I’m pretty sure the branch is going to die now. Don’t worry I definitely don’t blame you, it was 100% my fault. but yeah I’m kinda bummed now. Hopefully it doesn’t lead to any further health problems.