Paul’s Virtual

Paul Bowerbank sent this altered virtual of the hawthorn in the previous post having removed the long branch to the right. I must admit I’m very tempted to do it right now 😀 It gets rid of a now very pronounced straight section.  However, I will leave all alterations for a while giving myself time to make a few decisions. I will build most of the structure within this tree by clip and grow, only wiring when I absolutely must. Wired branches on hawthorn stand out a mile when you see their artificial bends during the Winter.

More Black Pine Virtuals

As my attempts at finding the right shape of pot for this Black Pine failed so badly yesterday, I have tried a few more.

These first two were pot suggestions are by Xavier. When he sent me the pot photos yesterday, I preferred the first one shown. But now that I have added the tree, I prefer the second one. The colour isn’t right but it’s hard to get this just right in a ‘cut and shut’ job like I’ve just done.

These are further ones I’m trying myself.

I like this one but I think I’ve made the pot a bit too small.

I tried this one, a little too ornate but nice all the same. Colour not right either.

This is my favourite one. A primitive pot that I feel suits the age shown in the bark of the tree.

None are quite right but it’s an interesting exercise that helps assess how a tree will look. I obviously need the practice 🙂

Black Pine Pot Virtuals

OK, One more tree for pot options 🙂

This is it with it’s new potting angle.

Back into the same pot


or even?

Juniper Pot Virtual

Yes, another one! Better to play around with ideas now than leave it until the Spring.

This is the slight change of front for this tree and a new tilt as well to bring the apex further over the base.

I was going to go smaller, something like this? What you think?

Give it a go yourself.

Escallonia Alteration

Again, another tree discussed with Peter Warren. This time it’s my Escallonia. I’ve been playing around with angles to pick a front and I asked Peter for his advice.

He suggested removing a branch at the front to show off some more of the character of the tree. I’m planning on some carving refinement on this tree this month and now I can actually get access 🙂

This was it sans leaf as Peter saw it.


And after branch removal.

I think I prefer a slight change of angle now with the branch away.

This is a virtual of it repotted but with the pot shrunk slightly!

The live vein at the front will probably shrink a little now that the branch has been removed. Escallonia are like Junipers in that they have a very defined route between a branch and it’s roots. I did leave a little shoot at the base of the removed branch to see if that is enough of a sap draw to keep the vein alive and see if the sap will transfer over into the main vein to it’s right.

Hawthorn Virtual Pot

Another tree discussed with Mr Warren was this Hawthorn Raft/Twin Trunk. The biggest issue with the tree was the two apexes at the same height. Peter suggested a change of angle and an eventual change of pot into a shell pot, roots permitting. This allows for different apex heights.

As it sits in a pot now.

The proposed new angle

Something like this in the end.

Give it a pot yourself 🙂

Rhododendron Virtual Pot

One of the trees Peter W.  looked at on his visit here was this Rhododendron Blue Diamond. I posted about the changes made here.

Peter suggested a pot change, this one was always just a stop gap until I could get something more suitable. He suggested a bag pot and I had a quick virtual play around with a few that might be suitable just to see how it looks.

This is how it looks now.

 Virtual Pot 1 Glazed Pot

Virtual Pot 2 Matt pot

Virtual Pot 3 Something a little different

Virtual Pot 4 Something a very different, tried it but no!

Give it a pot yourself 🙂

Left or Right?

I read a post on the Bonsai Tonight Blog a week ago that intrigued me. It looked at a particular tree and posed the question, What direction was the tree facing? This is important when displaying the tree and in some cases, having balance within the image.

Then a few days back Michael from the club posted this tree on his blog.

This tree poses that same question, is it moving to the left or right? It a Common Juniper that Michael is bringing over to my place next week for some work. I asked him if it was ok for me to share my views on it here as a learning exercise, for me, not Michael 🙂

To start with I just want to say that I rather like this tree and what it could become in the next few years. The two deadwood spikes pointing to the right, marked in red, give it real character and the larger one is nicely carved. It seems to have enough branching to create a nice image as well.

The bit I don’t like is the curve marked in white. This looks rather man made. Also the other branch marked in white is rather an odd angle but this should be fixable.

Now, if you look at the green triangle outlining the foliage mass, it currently points to the left. If you add the bend in the trunk and the lean of the apex, both marked in yellow, the the left looks quite strong.  However the deadwood all points to the right and does so very strongly.

I decided to do a few tilts to see how that changed things.

Here you can see the original angle in the middle and a tilt left and right either side. The one to the left just looks wrong. The one to the right however has possibilities. Below I removed the two jins just to prove a point that without them the tree is rather ordinary and lacks the original interest.

I opted to do two quick virtuals adding a little foliage and a pot. The first at it’s current potting angle and the second tilted to the right.

When I was done I wasn’t happy with the quality of the virtuals to be honest, but time has been against me. I would like to see a shorter tree with more definition within the foliage. This will be achieved when we actually get wire onto the tree. If I had to pick a favourite, it would be the tilted right one but I would want to try and disguise the bend a bit better. This could be done with foliage or even a continuation of the shari.

To be honest, I think that a change of front with a different viewing angle will make for a better tree. The bottom two branches can be moved into a better positions and more importantly, a new angle will alter the shape of that man made bend.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this tree in the flesh before. I’ve been to Michaels place a few times. For the life of me I can’t remember it!! I will however be looking forward to seeing it next week. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for letting me dissect your tree Michael. 🙂

Slab Larch Virtual

Following on from my last post about Roy’s Larch group and the comments made, here is a slab virtual that retains the rock element.

and with part of the rock removed for better lines.

The original pot virtual.

and the original

side by side…

Larch Forest Pot Virtual

Roy C brought this Larch forest to the club meeting on Friday. Roy has been creating bonsai for many years on his own, learning from books and his own experiences. About a year ago he heard about the NIBS and made contact through the Website. He has a bit of a drive to make it to the meetings but when he gets there, he always has something interesting to see.

This forest was created from young Larch seedlings that had self seeded into the guttering on a shed roof at his farm! When he put this group together, he added the white limestone as it reminded him of his local landscape. I quite like this sentimental idea but in it’s current form, the white rock over powers the image and the rocks are a little too angular.

We chatted about the group at the meeting and I made a few suggestions that in my opinion would make for a better image.

Firstly I felt that the stones should go. The rock to the left look as if they are holding the trees in the pot and are very distracting.

Secondly I felt that the height of the soil mass should then be reduced. It sits very high in the pot in its current design. This may be more sustainable in a wider pot.

Thirdly, a change to a larger, shallower oval pot would greatly improve the image. The current rectangle is too deep and inappropriate for a group.

Lastly, I felt that a few of the trees should have their height adjusted to give a more overall triangular over view. This could be enhanced by adding a further small tree or two at the edges.

I took a photo and said I would play about with a virtual to see if helped explain my views. Here is what I came up with.

A smaller tree could still be added to the right hand side during repotting. If Roy still wanted to include some white stone, a well weathered piece with a more worn appearance could be added in the space to the right as well. It would need to be low lying, mostly buried, just visible on the soil surface. Two trees to the right have been shortened as well.

With a few more years of ramification and a little wiring here and there, I think this will be a very nice little group indeed. Moss would be nice but the sparrows on the farm do major damage, but the less said about the sparrows and Roy, the better 😉