Yamadori Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

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Yamadori Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby alpinebonsart » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:01 am

Hi to all once again ,This is quick and simple .Well training was , uploading was another nightmare ,so "tolerance" will have to "prevail" .I found this tree in the wild back in Jan' 09
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As found showing 2 of the 3 branches live branches left on the tree
A quick investigation showed only 3 live branches survived ,however the trunk was something special .
100_2146.jpg
The ring was the only item i had to guage the size of the 45mm trunk
I gathered numerous large branches to build a barrier so the apprentices {Skippy and Bambi} didn't continue trimming the foliage . I covered the entire tree and gathered animal manure and fertilized the pine .I would return every 2 weeks to check the progress , water , power feed and seek out more Yamadori .I didn't disturb the roots as it was Mid summer with temps in the mid 40's
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Prior to digging the feeding and watering had worked a treat, the barrier shown with the top branches covering the canopy removed
.I returned at the end of May and removed the tree .Mid summer to early winter is the preferred time to dig Mugo Pines , all other pines should be left until late winter . I removed the tree and was astounded by the compact root mass measuring 400mm x 250mm as if the tree had been in its pot from day 1 .This fiberous root mass is typical only of the Mugo in the wild other pines have tap roots with very little fiber mass hence i usually take several seasons to remove Nigra's , Ponderosa's , Resinosa's and many others .
Last edited by alpinebonsart on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Yamadoi Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby alpinebonsart » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:31 am

Home with the Ultimate Mugo and potted into a large 420 x 350 x90 pot .Usually i place trees into wooden training Boxes , however this required a Bonsai pot from the Start , not the right choice of color but i used what i had .
100_2953.jpg
Potted up 1 hour after collecting
I cleaned the debris away from around the base of the trunk and was overwhelmed by the massive 110mm base and the combination of movement discovered and then potted the pine immediately . With such a healthy tree and root ball i allowed it to settle for 3 weeks and then the challenge was on .
100_2955.jpg
100_2957.jpg
Last edited by alpinebonsart on Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yamadoi Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby alpinebonsart » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:07 am

After careful consideration to all the asthetics of the trunk and canopy i set about blocking the pot into a position for a Semi-cascade . I securely blocked and strapped the trunk to the pot and wired the lower dead branch to the pot for added security . Not completely happy with the loss of Movement in the trunk in this position i did however set about wiring .This exercise was to take 9 hours in total to wire and style . I have used a combination of Spiral wrap , Hook and Hold and included a bracing rod to position the branches into a respectable order
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Planned front of the Bonsai
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Side view
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Rear of the tree showing the 16mm hardwood dowel used to rotate and position the back facing branch to form the new apex Naked as a jay bird on the rear
With the top branch pointing in the wrong direction i chose to use a timber dowel to rotate the branch for the new apex . approx'180 degrees rotation was needed and wire alone would not hold the position required . .After the wiring was completed a rethink was needed as the rear of the tree was as naked as a new born , and the trunks move was somewhat lost
Last edited by alpinebonsart on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yamadoi Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby alpinebonsart » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:07 am

With the wiring complete the branches "weren't" adjusted except for the new apex .To much unnecessary movement would damage the cambium layers and result in die back.The shape is how it turned out after applying the wire and brace .Not satisfied with the Semi - Cascade idea i chose to retry my original plan and produce a Lower than usual Slanting Style . Several Factors were to influence the change of mind ,
1/Loss of movement of the trunk or lack of ;
2/Unsightly naked rear view ;
3/Only 3 branches to work with , 2 if the smaller first branch was to be removed for a true cascade ;
4/The flat main dead branch underneath that i wanted to retain for a nice jin needed removing ;
5/I don't particularly like semi or cascade pines
100_3323.jpg
Front view
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A more pleasing rear view
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Side view
I began to manipulate the wired branches starting at the base and working my way around and up to the apex .The change of mind payed big dividends this is the Ultimate Mugo for any collection , now for the time being it will grace mine .
The top apex of the trunk shows a healing scar of some 35mm long and 9mm wide suggesting the main apex of the tree was damaged or broken many years ago by my not so caring helpers . I have taken a slice from the dead base branch 450mm from the trunk .It measures 11mm in diameter and has 23 growth rings that i can count using a magnifying glass.Under a microscope more could be present .
I conservatively estimate this tree is in the vacinity of 65-75 years old with the slice calculation and scaring . It could possibly be 1 of the original trees planted in the 1920's making it 90 years old .The trunk has a huge 110mm base at soil level , 90 - 70 mm curve taper then reducing to a 45mm trunk and then to 30-20-15mm branches.The finished Bonsai is 800mm wide {tree only} 500mm deep and 325mm high .
On further examination i have decided to elevate the apex up another 10-15 degrees at a later date during a repot into a suitable pot . It will sit in the pot at approx' 25-30 degrees .The lower dead branches will be bent downwards and jinned .
Last edited by alpinebonsart on Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:26 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Yamadoi Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby alpinebonsart » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:31 am

100_3325.jpg
THE TRUNK IN ALL ITS GLORY
100_3330.jpg
TOP VIEW OF THE CANOPY .
With a mammoth task of attempting to upload this topic {6 hours } and having several uploads still flying around in cyber space i think i might just stick to training as it is far more rewarding . I bid you happy bonsai , keep inspiring , get motivated and show some of your works on the site .Its been suggested before , post a pic and remember i'm only an amatuer having fun {OBSESSED} "WITH ONE DAY PRODUCING THE ULTIMATE BONSAI". Cheers Alpine
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Re: Yamadori Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby taffyman » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:13 pm

That's an excellent tree Alpine (Y) Wish we could get material like that up here. The natural beauty of the tree and your talents have turned it into something special. Your description of the way you went about it and the final result are inspirational.

It looks great as it is in Semi-Cascade style, and after studying your third last photo, it could even be classed as a Windswept/Driftwood style - which is what it struck me as.

Alpine, I do hope you're not going to leave us. You've already contributed a lot to this forum, and I'm sure you have a lot more to contribute as well. (Y) (Y)
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Re: Yamadori Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby alpinebonsart » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:44 pm

Hi Taffyman
Thanks for the compliments , its a magic looking specimen ,pity my pics aren't of the same quality .Amatuer status in most area's .To me and i stand corrected if i may as i have never studied styles , isn't a semi cascade were the tip of the tree appears below the top of the pot , Full cascade where the tip of the tree falls below the pot , Windswept where all the branches sweep in one direction and Driftwood where a majority of bark is removed to give the impression of an older than usual tree .

Not that i take much notice what styles are called , i call them as i see them . Still making my rules and breaking their rules and guidelines.If i was to call it i would call an Informal / Slanting /at the angle it is the trunk only i would call windswept,however each of those classification has major flaws now i don't think i could show this as i'm not aware of a class i could enter it into as very few trees have they attributes this one has .
Personally i think with a raised head to about 25-30 degrees {that's the builder in me 35 years and still an amatuer} and with a compressed narrower canopy it would look even more impressive ,then i could enter it as a slanting style maybe you could do your magic with that tricky program "virtual tree' or if you like we could set up a subject for styling i have 50 trees here waiting to be challenged ,most of them are big , some are huge , all are Yamadori .Some need tweeking others drastic manipulation . In fact i might post one pic "A FEW" words and see how it goes
!!!! WELL NOW WHERE WOULD I GO ????.
No other places to get motivated or inspired about gardens and Bonsai . Just don't like computers . I have lost about 10 topics into cyberspace over the last 12 weeks only when i load pics .They take off like a"Gut Shot Greyhound" the moment i hit submit. I upload to my blog without failures in a 1/4 of the time
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Re: Yamadori Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby taffyman » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:17 pm

Alpine, the accepted 'standard' for Semi-Cascade is from 45º above the horizontal to 30º below, and can (but not necessarily) go below the rim of the pot. Full Cascade 'standard' is accepted as being from 30º - 90º below horizontal. Slanting 'standard' is from 11º to 45º from vertical and the trunk can either be straight or as in Informal Upright. Difference being in Informal, the apex should be vertically in line with the centre of the trunk base whereas in Slanting it isn't.

A lot of Windswept trees have driftwood (or jins) on them to portray the struggle the tree has had with the elements and all just about all the branches are facing one way (away from the wind). Windswept is the only style that allows for branches to cross directly in front of the trunk from one side of the tree to the other.

Most trees that are displayed in exhibitions and in books and magazines don't really conform explicitly with the rules, more often or not they're a combination of two or more styles although they are portrayed as a particular style. A good example is a Root over Rock style tree. A lot of these could conceivably be Root over Rock or Semi Cascade. The one below is a small Chinese Elm I did as a demo and shows what I mean:
Image

If your Mugo was mine, I'd be very happy to leave it as the angle it is now and display it as either Semi Cascade /Windswept/Driftwood style with all the attributes of the three styles.

With the way the trunk comes up from the soil, curves down and then back up again, it really looks as if it's had a hard life with the wind and the elements. Follow the link below to see a good (but small photo half way down the page) example of this occurring in the wild at Greenough just south of Geraldton WA. That's only one natural example - there are many hundreds of them in that area - and they all point inland. I drove up and down that highway a number of times and they always fascinated me:
http://www.ningalooreef.net/geraldton/places.html

Mate, unless someone is an absolute stickler for the 'Rules' of Bonsai, I personally see nothing wrong with stepping outside the square. In fact, I reckon if everyone threw out anything that didn't comply exactly with the rules they'd have very little left on their shelves. There are times when a tree doesn't quite fit into a particular style but looks aesthetically nice, but if it was made to, it'd look like rubbish. I try to get my trees to come close to an accepted style, but if I think to looks better as it is then that's the way I'll style it. Aesthetics has a big part in creating Bonsai. A classic Formal Upright, styled according to the rules with all branches at 120º to each other, perfect distances between the branch layers, perfect taper, lower branch in the ideal position etc, etc could look very 'mechanical' whereas if there was some variation in the branch placement etc it would look much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

At a Bonsai Convention on the Gold Coast I listened to Robert Stevens from Indonesia - who is an absolute master at creating miniature trees say: "To be able to break the rules, you must first understand the rules" - and that to me is very accurate. Most of his trees are collected from the wild (Yamadori) and for him to force them into a classic style would destroy the natural beauty of the material.
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Re: Yamadori Swiss Mountian Pine "Mugo"

Postby alpinebonsart » Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:09 am

Hi Taffyman , thanks for the info . I have learnt more about styles today in one paragragh than all the books i have read .Could you put that info into a topic , if it helps me , others will benefit .That little Elm looks real trick ,the moment i saw the pic i immediately thought of that Big Mother Pine . As for the rules yes , each author has so many different interpretations of the word BON AND SAI let alone styles . However i haven,t read any text that explained what you have just said . I suppose unless your into shows and exhibitions you dont gather that type of information .
Thats why i maintain Amatuer statis in most things otherwise i would have to do courses in all my hobbies .I have never attended a class for Bonsai although i did enter a local show with a "display only" of 30 trees and by the time i left i was told not to enter the year after as they believed the trees did not belong to me .I think the locals knew the judges and none of them had heard of me in town .Yes my preference is Yamadori and thats what i try to replicate not manufactured trees ,to me i have made the canopy on the Mugo look more manufactured than natural. If they look manufactured i put them up the back for the roos to play with ,but not this particular tree they have had there time with it .
True i live in town and Skippy and the family sleep under the clothes line {much to my wifes horror} only metres from my collection which has grown to a point where a fence is required to prevent any unnecessary , unautherised trimming . Several clubs in the area have asked me to join , but their sticklers for rules and its their way or no way .Not interested in being told , however always willing to learn at my pace . Cheers Alpine
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