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Classroom Corner – Academy Class….Impossible Pines!

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.

Classroom Corner – Academy Class….Impossible Pines!
Recently I held a class for my level six students….it was their last session of the year. I decided we would end with a bit of a bang and a touch of drama…..two impossible yamadorii pines!
These were the last of a batch of Pinus Sylvestris which had been collected on the Alps. When you look at the before pictures it’s plain to see why these trees are still with us and if nothing changes why they will be here for a long time to come.
The class was divided into two groups and each tree was discussed with a view to finding a styling solution to turn the trees round. The solutions called for some drastic work. I generally gave the students some basic instructions and maintained a watchful eye as they set about the preparation work.
There was general tidying up and the removal of dead/weak/unwanted branches. Old needles were removed and deadwood was created. The remaining branches were then wired. The trunk on one of the trees would require some drastic bending so longitudinal wires and raffia had to be applied.
The pictures below will take you through the transformation as the work was carried out. The finished product for half a days work is quite remarkable. The newly formed triangles of foliage are sparse but as these fill out in years to come there is the potential to form two excellent bonsai. Shari’s will be introduced to enhance the movement in the trunk, create interest and link the newly formed deadwood……potentially very dramatic final images.
The finished trees are much more compact, in scale with the trunk, and will be stronger/healthier. It is surprising when you do bonsai just how many times with a bit of imagination, technique, determination, and knowledge…..the impossible becomes the possible!
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