What is your most difficult tree to style so far?

I haven’t been at this long, but I can recognize that there are trees that are difficult to style. So far for me it’s been my hinoki. Trunk is so slender and branches are so long. I think I just don’t want to bite the bullet and reduce the branches as much as they need to be. :weary:

@Bonsai_Bentley hinoki are one of the harder species to work with. If you were not aware they will not back bud on old wood. That makes reductions very hard. I have 3 hinoki that I am currently working with.

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Yeah, I’m watching the hinoki stream for literally the 4th time which prompted me to post this. I have 3 others currently either in the ground or in pond baskets. Beautiful trees though.

@KevinNGa do they graft well? I had one about 2 years ago that I inherited from a neighbor. It grew well for me but I did not attempt any styling on it. I ended up trading it for a large trident.

@ndavila80 from my understanding they are extremely hard graft. But I have never tried just because of what i have heard.

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I just had this relatively big larch in the shop.

It has pretty good branch placement to begin with, but getting it to a nice shape that works in a photo was really hard. I’m glad to say it at least looks a little better in person.


Looks great to me. Did you decide to remove that branch that’s covered with the cloth?

Thanks! I feel like it’s a bit too straight in places but on the other hand I like the very drawn out, tall feel it has.

The cloth covered piece is a big dead stump that needs a good carving :slight_smile:

I guess the only critique I would have is that it needs a bit less angle whenever the repot happens. As it gets taller or the branches on the right get longer it’s gonna feel like it’s falling over.

That’s actually really sound advice. I hadn’t given that a thought. Speaking of repotting - do you have any pot suggestions off the top of your head?

Hard to say without seeing it in person, but lately I’ve really grown partial to the round and oval containers. Regardless of tree size. Not sure why. With a larch I might would even go with something glazed since it drops its leaves. It’s nice to have that with the winter silhouette. Just gotta make sure that it’s not so bold that it takes away from the tree when it’s flushed out.

Yeah, I’ve actually been thinking along those lines. Glazed but subtle. Round would be cool, seeing as it’s leaning so much. Well, we’ll see. Won’t have to choose for at least a year or two :slight_smile:

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For me, the hardest tree to style was my first one. I was so keen to do something, ANYTHING to it but also scared I’d make a mess of it. I inevitably killed it along with many more after.

My success rate with styling/survival has improved a lot. But I have come to the realisation each time I work on a tree it don’t need to look like a finished image. I prefer the term ‘developing’ trees rather than ‘styling’ trees.

I do however have a rather epic tamirix I’m struggling with. It dies back a lot and looks great in wire but out of wire, the tips are somewhat unruly.

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