I am very pleased to see these new buds appearing on some of the Yamadori Scots Pines, I removed the end buds in November last year and this forces the energy in the tree to push out onto old wood. I left one branch with the end buds on to see the reaction: New buds have appeared but they are weaker and less frequent along the branch. Last year I fed the tree with Tibolar and the tree was very strong enabling me to do this work. NO needles were removed prior to this technique.
During the British Shohin Bonsai exhibition at RHS Wisley Gardens in the south of England that was hosted by Sutton Bonsai society I attended workshop led by Taiga Urushibata. So much time can be wasted at workshops simply wiring your tree, so I pre-wired my pine before the workshop, I also took along another pine to work if time allowed.
I could easily have styled this tree but I wanted Taiga’s ‘take’ on the tree, there were so many option available… what was his idea for the tree, how would he style it? I believe that you are never to old to learn no matter how many years you have been working with bonsai.
The tree is a ‘natural’ cascade as the base of the tree has a sharp bend bringing the trunk more than 90º also the base and nebari are very interesting displaying deadwood and deep fissured bark. There is a VERY old shari running almost the length of the sweeping curve trunk.
After a short discussion Taiga agreed that this was the best option and the styling began. I wanted to bring the crown of the tree closer to the base, this meant a very severe bend. The tree had raffia in the area to be bend. Taiga told me that such a bend was not safe however I was confident that it was OK as the tree was strong and Scots Pine are very flexible. A tourniquet was applied to a temporary steel bar; this tourniquet was later replaced with a shorter one attached to a dead branch nearer the base of the tree. Taiga expressed that a bend such as this would not be possible with a Japanese Red pine as the branch would snap in two.
The final design was more or less as I envisaged. The other trees worked by Taiga included a few Junipers, a Yew and pines.
This is a pine that I planted in 2006 on this amazing rock from Scotland, Terry Foster helped with the planting. The photos tell the story.
On my visit to Friends with family in Finland, I created this little door in the base of an old Pine tree, I told nobody that I was doing it and waited for someone to ‘discover’ it. Maja found it as it was alongside a path through the woods near the summer house next to the lake. She then told a story of the tree faeries that lived in the Pine, and they could fly because they had wings made from leaves!