Back in January I posted about trying to make my mind up about whether to keep this Yew Tall or go for a shorter tree. I talked about the sentimental value of this one and the tall character of the tree suited this.
Last night, being on my own while my wife is in America for a few weeks, I decided to drink beer and listen to 80′s music on the radio while playing with trees in my garage. DAB radio has lots of new stations available and this one is right up my street
So beer in hand, music blasting I sat this tree down in front of me and explored a chop option. No matter what I looked at, I could find a convincing image. I therefore set about thinning and wiring to improve the taller option. This is the result.
and beer bottle for scale
and sure I have older photos of this tree somewhere but for comparison, this was it 2 years ago.
As Allie is away, it might be an idea to freshen up the lime sulphur work on this one now too
Another field Grown Yew. This one has quite a bit of character when you see it in the flesh. It’s been on the sales page here for a while and instead of it sitting for another year without any work down, I have went ahead and gave it the initial styling. It now has a good basic skeleton structure to work from and build a nice little tree. A few too many branches retained but these can be removed as the tree fills.
This is a little Shohin Yew grown from a cutting. Out of all the Yew field grown, this one did the least growing, as it turned out, not a back thing. This is it front and back before and after a light trim.
Time to rework this Yew called Old Joe after my Uncle. See HERE and HERE for background and older photos.
This is it now. Grown well in the last while. Decisions to be made about the future height of the tree. Initially keep tall for a bit of carving practice on a poor tree. Now as it fills out I might be tempted to create the tree from the bottom few branches. However, tall and straight is part of my memory of my uncle, decisions decisions.
The second yew styled was also on the ‘to go’ bench. I can’t even remember where this one came from, possibly a club auction many years ago.
It had previous been styled by someone but not very well. It had also been very weak. It was now back to full health but the manufactured ‘s’ bend on the trunk was terrible to look at and the foliage was far removed from the best feature, the base of the tree. I wanted to bring the two together to make a more compact and interesting tree.
This the after image. I applied raffia to the upper trunk and bent it down making more convincing movement bringing all the areas of interest closer the the best part of the tree, the lower trunk. The jin to the left needs to be reduced but is currently acting as a wire anchor point. With some back budding and a little more refinement, this is going to be a rather nice tree with interesting trunk movement. The jin can be extended into a shari down into the lower trunk making a nice feature and perhaps even extended along the upper trunk to link up with the small jin there.
I have had a couple of yews sitting on the raw material bench for a while. Again I had these for sale in case a beginner wanted to start with a piece of raw material. As I previously stated, I am clearing out and figured that these won’t go anywhere as they are now. I decided to do the initial styling and look to move then on next year.
Here is the first one.
It’s an old tree and was void of branches down one side of the tree. I decided to add a shari and shape the image around this feature . This is it when I was completed. With another years growth this should make a nice image. Some further carving will be required once the wood dries out.
We had a bit of a photo session the other week. Hugh can down to my garage with a better camera and some lighting. The plan was to photograph some trees with a view to submitting them for selection in the Best of British Exhibition next year. You never know a few might be selected but we had good fun anyway taking the shots.
These are some of the trees we shot. Some mine, some Josh’s, some Phil’s and some Stephen’s. Bar the shohin, all show front and back.
I was looking at a few of my bonsai with Robert last week and as is usual with Robert, he came up with a few other possible options with trees that I have had for many years.
I love it when I get the opportunity to discuss trees like this. It lets you know that you can become complacent with trees that you see every day and you should teach yourself always to look at your bonsai with fresh eyes whenever you can.
One of the ideas that Robert came up with was using the back of this Yew as the possible new front. [hence arse about face :-)] I bought this tree from Robert many years ago and I think he would like it back. Not happening !
Here is the original front as selected by Marco Invernizzi back in 2004 during a workshop.
The tree will be getting some work done sometime this year as a few of the branches are rising and some structural work is required. Sometimes I look at this front and feel there is too much white wood in your face. The base is also boring with a flat section of deadwood and a fat live vein.
Robert suggested that the back might be another option. The base is better and the image looks fuller but still has interest and character. There would need to be some branch adjustments, but I rather like the idea. I now have it turned to this aspect so I can view it from my window and see it every day. The potting angle would need to be changed. As with most trees at this point, there are points for and against the new front. Just need to decide on balance which is the best option. What do you think?
Had a couple of friends around last night. One, who I finally managed to catch up with earlier in the week was Bertie, a past club committee member and now current member again. Hadn’t seen him for years and it was great to catch up and talk trees. I tried to capture a photo of him but he is an expert camera dodger
He spotted me coming and turned his back! Phil giving him a hand thinning out a yew.
Here he ducked behind the yew for cover.
Nearly managed a clean shot here but Phil points out how many failed attempts I’ve had
This is as good as I got, good to see you Bertie
This is his Yew that was worked on before we started.
It was first styled as a demo tree by Kevin Willson way back in 1997. Here’s a few other angles and a look at the deadwood.
And after some work. Thinned out and a little basic wiring.
Had a good night at the club meeting last night. We had asked for members to bring Larch and we had a great turn out. As usual for January, numbers attending were up. Must be the post Christmas effect.
A few pics from proceedings.
Birch root over rock belonging to Hugh.
Phil pointing out how many more trees are needed in the forest planting.
In hartje Aalst vind je een droom van een bonsaizaak. Jean-Pierre Timmermans is al jaren een referentie in het wereldje en geeft je graag het correcte advies. We verdelen ook exclusieve bonsaipotten van eigen hand. Indien u denkt dat u alles al gezien en gehoord hebt over bonsai's, kom dan zeker nog eens bij ons langs!
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