Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yamadori Korean Hornbeam #4

At the beginning of the incredible story of Shinji Susuki, Bonsai Works of Divinity, it was said that, "a bonsai has a universe within itself."  I think that analogy really fits this old, collected tree.  I purchased this material from Bonsai West in the winter of 2009.  I was just enamored by the enormous, melting base, however, the apex was too straight and lacked taper.  In the winter of 2010, I removed the apex and most of the original branches were cut back to a stub.  With assistance from local bonsai artist, Haidar Kazem, the rotting section near the apex of the tree was carved out.  Over time, I realized this section could make an interesting focal point and the small tree growing out from the base could also be part of the composition if this side was made the viewing front.

The tree in 2009 at Bonsai West

A year later, before branch trimming and carving...
After pruning and during carving...
and today...




Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oak Leaf Hornbeam Air Layer (cont.)

As promised from my previous post, I've included photos of the top section of the Oak Leaf Hornbeam and what remains of the bottom section. 
The bottom will make a nice formal upright/broom design and has developed a nice flaring nebari in only a couple years while growing in a shallow wooden training box.  Branches were left to grow freely over the last few years, but were cut back to a stub to develop two, even three additional branches from that location this past summer.  Primary branching is now in place for the most part, although, the right side needs to thicken next year.  The tree is chuhin height.

The top section is a fine example of the unique twists and turns that can develop naturally at the apex of a tree, which is precisely why many of these top sections make such interesting bonsai material.  Most of the branching already has movement and is well refined, so I don't expect to wire the entire tree, but will make every attempt to accentuate the natural appearance.