up side down bonsai

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up side down bonsai

Postby hashbean » Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:41 pm

hi there all ,
i was hoping someone mite be able to tell me how to turn my bonsai upside down so that the branches become the roots and the root sprout new braches..
there a few famous trees like this only i cant find anything on how it is done..???...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq8eb2XK ... re=related
the link to youtube shows an example of what im wanting to try it is at 2.20 and the master calls it shimpaku ....any help would be great .
im asuming you would take of all the leaves and put root hormone on the ends and hope it takes root??....
what do you think??
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Re: up side down bonsai

Postby alpinebonsart » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:42 pm

hashbean wrote:hi there all ,
what do you think??


Hi Hashbean welcome to GE.and the wonderful world of bonsai .The so called famous trees you are referring to are from the Master Masahiko Kimura " The Magician" and they are just that a magical illusion to think they are growing upside down . For starters the Shimpaku juniper you refer to has had its trunk split , bent and rotated to give the illusion that it growing upside down .The upside down version of the masters raft style pine is the base or slab that has been turned upside down . Instead of being concave it is convex . Another version of his work is where he has simply aerial layered a new root mass at the top and to the side of the original canopy and replanted it so the old canopy is now at ground level and the old root ball becomes the jin and shari . If you do find a method of truly growing a tree upside down let us know. Cheers alpinebonsart
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Re: up side down bonsai

Postby taffyman » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:37 pm

Hi Hashbean - welcome to the forum.

I've been doing Bonsai for 20+ years now and I've never seen or heard of a tree being grown upside down - where the roots become branches and the branches become roots.

With regards to Masahiko Kimura and the tree you're referring to: First, Shimpaku is a species of Chinese Juniper - it isn't a style of tree. Kimura is known as a master because he is very unique in the procedures he does and the amazing results he achieves.

Now this is going to be a bit difficult for me to explain, so I hope you're able to understand it. As you see on the videos, a lot of his trees are gathered from the wild - on the sides of mountains etc.

That particular tree you're referring to in the video isn't really an 'upside down tree'. What Kimura is noted for is the way he can see better trees in the material in front of him. Most of the material - Juniper in particular - collected from the wild may only have one or two live veins winding down the trunk. The rest of the trunk will be as you see it in the video, just driftwood. The procedure he uses to turn the tree upside down, is to separate this live vein from the driftwood - complete with all the roots. He then sits the driftwood at whatever angle appears the best to him - even upside down if it is more attractive, then he re-attaches the live veins to the driftwood. Over time, the vein will fuse once again with the trunk.
Kimura also has an incredible talent in carving and polishing driftwood. That particular tree you're referring to may not have had such impressive driftwood prior to his expertise in working on it. With that tree, he may not have removed all the live vein from the trunk, he may have only separated a part of it along with the roots and leaving the upper portion still attached, and when he turned the trunk upside down, the top sort of becomes the bottom, but the live vein would go up the trunk, then curve round and (usually) go back down the back of the trunk, attached in place and the roots once again buried in the soil. I say 'usually', because if there is enough length in the separated portion of the live vein, he may bring it round and wind it down the trunk.
At 4.15 on the video, there is another tree named 'Dragon Reaching Skywards'. You can clearly see the live vein spiraling around the right branch and across the trunk. I'm got an idea I have that one in a book that shows the entire procedure of separating the live vein, turning the driftwood section upside down and re-attaching it to the trunk. I'll dig the book out and have a look. Obviously, because of copyright laws I won't be able to post the photos or the write-up, but I can verify if it's the same tree.

I've just been through my books and no, it isn't the same tree. The one in my book is just named 'The Dragon', but it's an amazing work of art and is also styled by Kimura. The procedure is exactly as I described above. The 'book' it's in is actually a two monthly magazine called Bonsai Today. It was in issue no.2 July-Aug 1989.

I hope this has gone some way in explaining the 'upside down' tree Hashbean, and as Alpine has just noted - if you do find a true method of doing it, yes - let us know, we'd be very interested.
Taffy
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Re: up side down bonsai

Postby hashbean » Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:48 am

thanks both of you for clearing that up for me .
and yes when i have completed my world first TRUE upside down tree you guys will be the first i brag to lol..
thanks again..
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Re: up side down bonsai

Postby alpinebonsart » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:19 am

Hi Hashbean , Bonsai Today Magazine released a master series on Pines , Junipers and The Magician ,The Bonsai Art Of Kamura 1,2,3,and 4 . Ocassionally the come up for sale on ebay . The Master Series on Pines and junipers was for sale last week approx' 180 page soft cover for $60 Plus postage .The Shimpaku is covered in the Junipers Series in great detail .Cheers alpine
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