this japanese black pine came from one of the early private collections i bought in 2002. i have always struggled to really see the styling direction that i am happy with. the tree was more or less very centred with its trunk movement. being a tall and skinning tree, it had way too many branches to show the elegance and age.
in 2008, it was presented to Hirotoshi Saitoh from japan, hoping to get a more definitive and clear vision for the tree. his suggestion was making it a left moving tree and it was wired and styled accordingly shortly after. however, it just never looked right. but not having a better option, it sat on the bench for the next 6 years.
while walking around the nursery this morning(17/07/2014), i looked at it and felt it was time to take a closer look and study this tree.
making a tree with just the first right branch was an obvious drastic approach. however, with the consideration and respect for the age and character of the tree, i needed to find a more responsible solution.
what i don’t like about the tree:
1 – too many branches.
2 – the exiting downward angles of the branches from the trunk are not sharp enough to show age and maturity.
3 – left moving flow of the tree contradicted the right moving initial length of the trunk.
4 -the sharp bends at 2/3 of the way up the trunk, interrupted the gentle trunkline.
once i have identified those unappealing characteristics, it became clear what needed to be done. the tree was first tilted more to the right and forward to set the right moving flow. then all the long and leggy growth were shortened.
in order to create the sharper downward angles of the branches, all the major branches were undercut with a fine-tooth saw 2-3 times to remove excess wood and then pulled down with wire. the trunk was wired with heavy copper wires to twist and bend to achieve a gentler trunkline.
the needles were thinned out and every single branch needed to be repositioned and often twisted set the buds and branchlets laterally. the following videos demonstrated this process.
it now stands at 90cm tall. there are at least another 25% of the branches that could come off, but they are kept for now to re-establish the tree’s vigour and give me more refinement options next time.
to be continued…………