Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Old trees have Horizontal branches????

This Hawthorn came from a customers garden and was the last tree I collected as a thatcher. It was much taller than it is now and was reduced to some buds I found lower down. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures at the time. I was attracted by the invisaged taper and good bark qualities.
     I have discussed branch formation and style in deciduous trees at club workshops and demos. I try to dispell the myth that old trees should be styled with drooping or horizontal branches. Take a look at very old trees and while there are horizontal branches, by far the majority of movement is still vertical. The key to creating old looking branches is dramatic changes in angle and good taper. I hope with this post and with regular updates to go some way in achieving what I am trying to explain.
                                     This Hawthorn is currently 8 inches (21cm tall.

 The first job was to leaf prune. June 2013. Some horizontal growth but  the branches have no age to them.
 All the branches were wired, a small amount of movement added and then placed in a more upright habit
                                                                       The left side.
                                                                           The back
                                                                        The right side.
 I posted a thread on the European bonsai forum and made this rough virtual to show how I see this tree developing in future years. There will be an element of horizontal growth but as you can see, plenty of movement and vertical growth.


  1. That is a very interesting debate.
    The majority of us tend to design decidious bonsai the same way as conifers, with horizontal branches.
    There should be some horizontal on the lower part, but as you explain, they tend to vertical growing.
    Very nice hawthorne, and great work

  2. ...and often its the primary branches are vertical, & its secondary branches that are more horizontal?