Thoughts on initial styling of this shohin black hills spruce?

Here’s the after photo:

And here’s the before:

1 Like

Man, I saw this on Reddit and the more I look at it, the more I love this little old man of a tree. I can’t really provide any advice on design as I’ve only been involved with bonsai for about ten months. My eye does travel through the entire tree so something is going right for it!

Why did you choose this front?
It looks like the Jin is pointing straight towards you from this angle.
I don’t think you will need those 2 lowest branches, I’d probably get rid of them, then there is offcourse not much left but that doesn’t make it bad, however just bending them down gives a bit of a boring image, I think you could be better off bending them upwards as subtrunks. I feel this could make for a more lively tree.

Agreed. Bottom two branches got to go! I saw this on Andy’s page. I passed on it thinking there wasn’t enough potential but I think this is already looking better.

I would keep the bottom branches. You can always remove them later and this tree won’t be much to look at without them right now.
Play around with the planting angle and front. The tree seems to be leaning away and has a 2 dimensional feel. It’s difficult to tell but it seems like three branches and the apex exist on one plane. Once you settle on a front see if you can tweak the branches to help create some depth.

1 Like

I think I would take the design of the upper two right hand branches and apply that to the upper left.
First the branch would reach upwards and then swoop down. And the same to the lower left and lose the branch at bottom coming straight out at the viewer.

@Jaron.Colorado , how does this tree look now!