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Studio Stories – Ian’s Pinus Sylvestris

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….

Studio Stories – Ian’s Pinus Sylvestris

The first weekend workshops of the new year and Ian arrived with this substantial Scot’s Pine.

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Apparently it had been in the pot for 5 years and certainly the tree looked to be strong and healthy. Ian wanted help with carrying out the tree’s first bonsai styling.

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The trunk is substantial and there is a degree of movement and taper in this lower section. The immediate problem is where the top half of the tree has been pruned away in that just below this are four large branches all emanating at the same height but in different directions.

It was a case of deciding which one we would use to continue the trunk line and form the apex. Fortunately the thickest branch also had the most useable side branches. The other three branches were removed and stubs were left to form jins(deadwood).

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Some thin branches were removed but at this stage most of the branches were considered useable and were therefore left ready to be wired. Branches are wired and positioned, starting at the bottom and working upwards.

The angle of the tree is altered slightly. This brings the apex of the tree over its root base whilst enhancing it’s movement and taper into the new apex.

Branches are brought closer to the trunk and arranged to form the basis of sizeable foliage clouds. The finished tree has a strong Japanese influence more akin to a White or Black Pine.

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The removal of the upper section of the tree (used to fatten the trunk when grown in the ground) has left a large scar which will need to be refined. This will be linked to the jins and a shari which will connect the lower trunk with the selected apex branch. This will bring the whole tree together, hide the pruning scars, improve taper/flow whilst giving character and a sense of age to the design. All this from one little shari….WOW!

This was Ian’s first attempt at a major styling using heavy wire gauges and he did very well. He seems really pleased with the outcome. I am pleased for Ian and I am also pleased for the tree…..I think they will have a great future together.