Yamadori Oak Initial Design Ideas

Happy day everyone!

Curious to hear your initial design concepts and storylines regarding a yamadori oak I acquired in Autumn 2020. All pictures are from that time as well.

I’ve included two pictures of the pre-bonsai, potential front (with stone pillar as backdrop) & back (garage backdrop), as well as two pictures of an inspirational tree located in one of the gardens I steward. The yamadori has some similarities to the native white oak in nature, namely proportions and basic branch layout, and it could be tapped into further in the first iteration styling.

I’d like to honor the inherent qualities this collected oak offers the world, and thought it would be an informative study subject.

Fondest and warmest regards!



I like your first orientation better. Oaks for me are always a stately, undulating, twisted and elegant with multiple apical branches. Looks like youre set up really well


It looks like a great project.
Will you retain that bottom branch and perhaps develop a secondary trunk?


Looks awesome. I like the first picture as the front.

I like the lowest sprout, that is very oak like to me. The thick branch about 2/3 up right right I think should be brought more upright, but the crown is sort of in the way. You could maybe tilt the whole tree at a slight angle to the left.

So many different ways to go with this.


Loads of potential. I would be trying to put some movement into all the primary branches and get them ‘up and out’ and ‘into their own space’ with multiple billowy areas. Not sure when I would lose the skinny bar branch at 2/3 height, it doesn’t seem to be doing any harm at the moment but not adding anything either? Your inspiration tree suggests that the twin trunk option is viable. You could let it catch up to the main canopy and decide in a couple or three years if you like it.


I agree with how you’ve described oaks. Noticeably, they make up some of the eldest, tempered trees where I live and it is always pleasing to pause and admire them.

Like @nmhansen & @Burslf commented, I think I may let time be the core decider of the trunk sprout. I have an image in my head of this oak being in a tight knit, competitive forest community, yet I am not sure how this secondary trunk form will play out in the presentation.