Sunday, July 28, 2013

A small Taxus

I bought this Taxus baccata  from Tony Tickle at the Best of British 2011. I was attracted to it by the movement it had throughout. A lot of Taxus have straight and rather difficult to bend sections. It had not been collected for long but was extending well. All I did was feed well for the rest of the year.
The following year it was cut back to push strength into the areas I wanted in the design

A small amount of rough carving was carried out to help with visual movement and reduce some inverse taper 

       The right side of the tree showing the nice deadwood branch that I wanted to be important in the design
 I like the idea of a semi cascade style tree but didn't want to create another green triangle amongst a whole                   load of deadwood. The other thing that bothered me was the lazy s shape in the trunk
 By turning the tree away some more, the curve was tightened. I also rotated the tree bringing the deadwood                                                        branch more over the top of the tree.
 All the older leaves were removed. this helps with wiring and also aids back budding. The whole tree was                                                                            then wired
                     Before styling I refined some deadwood areas that had already been block carved
                      Once finished, the deadwood was wetted and treated to diluted Lime Sulphur
                                                             The right side after styling
                                                                            The back
 Now on it's way to becoming a bonsai. I always intended on the three canopies and the top one will eventually gel more with the rest of the foliage. I could have gone with a much smaller tree but felt this design was more individual and feminine but still with plenty of power and dynamism.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Troublesome White Pine

A good friend of mine has had this White Pine for a number of years and wanted some help with its styling. The top was completely flat and some branches were very thick, the foliage was a long way out and it needed direction. Here are some before pictures of Chris's Pine. The old front.
This new front was selected as the trunk line was quite sweet and feminine. This also set the first branch at a good angle so style the rest of the tree
The tree was styled over a couple of  short sessions. Chris cleaning the weeds before the second and last placement
 A very thick branch in the centre of the tree was split and bent to add character to the branch as it was fat and straight. Splitting and bending also helped to shorten the branch visually.
I gave Chris time to think about removing the bottom branch as I thought it too low. Off it came.
The bottom branch gone and a much cleaner line.
The back. Some growing to do now.
A much more feminine and compact solution. No spiralled branches either and a much brighter future

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Denmark 2013

      Back for my fourth year at the Bonsai Nan Kai club weekend workshop in Denmark. Lots of trees and students to work with. Here are a few before and after pictures of some of the material. Lots of Pines but because of the long Winter, the needles were still soft and easily damaged so fine wiring was left and only structural work was done.
     First up is a Swedish Pinus sylvestris that was styled by Kevin Willson 6 years ago. The tree was discussed and the lack of cohesion between the base and the canopy.

                          The trunk has a nice line, great bark and some fantastic deadwood features
 As I mentioned earlier, it is a bad time to touch the needles as the new ones are very soft and easily damaged so only structural work was carried out with the use of guy wires.
 The trunks apex had wire on the main branches and were carefully rearanged to soften the pointed apex.
 Finer detail will be carried out when I return next Spring and I think this tree has a lot of potential.
A very tall crab Apple

 There was a very straigh trunk in the apex that was removed to leave two main branches. The rest was wired and pruned to induce some back budding.
Juniperus Chinensis. The primary and secondary branches were wired and shaped but the finer foliage will be wired and placed next year.
                                         A change in orientation adding interest to the trunk line
Another possible front.
Literati style Swedish Pine
                                          Bottom left branch was removed to add asymmetry
                                  Again the new shoots weren't touched and will be worked next year
Twin trunk Swedish Pinus sylvestris. The lack of cohesion between the two trunks was discussed plus the fact they are similar heights. The right branch (trunk) was wrapped in Raffia and wired to bend forward and underneath the left apex

        The inclination of the composition was leant over to the right to add better movement
First 2 pictures are of this Oak (Quercus) when I worked on it in 2011
 Some carving on the trunk and primary branches were wired and placed. Last year it received a strong cut back on all the apical buds to strengthen innner branches and induce budding (no pictures).
                                       This time the tree was wired after pruning hard again
                  I recommended plenty of feed to strengthen any new growth. Coming on well
Until next year.....