White Pine #1

I bought this pine from Dai-Ichi's Newbury shop. There weren't many of these pines there at the time and I assumed that all the good ones had gone quite swiftly. Then I saw this one and thought 'Yes, I can do something with that'. I don't like buying bonsai that don't need any work. Its the idea of taking something average and making something good out of it that I like.

The tree as bought.

This is the tree as it was bought. I quite liked the thick base and originally thought about just hacking off the main trunk and making a mame bonsai. I decided to think again as I didn't like the idea of loosing a nice healthy trunk.

Base

All the branches come from a short but thick base. For a mame I could remove all the main branches and concentrate on one of the smaller ones as a new trunk. Or I could create a larger tree by concentrating on one main brang as the new trunk, or even two branches for a multi-trunk tree.

Possible Front?

The tree had no obvious front so I look at all the angles.

Another possible front?

Some of the views were just no good...

Possible new front?

...others weren't much better.

Change of angle?

Then I thought about a change of angle.

Change of angle?

Slowly an idea formed.

How far?

But how far to take it? I decided that I wasn't going to repot the tree for now. Instead I would try and change the angle of the main trunk. Its a pine, they're quite bendy, aren't they?

Trunk bent

Out came the raffia and the heavy wire. One layer of raffia, two thick support wires above and below the trunk, then another layer of raffia. Heavy wire coiled around and we're ready to bend. One of the smaller branches was removed from the chunky base. The other was left as a fall back in case something went drastically wrong. As it happened, there was only one crack in the main trunk about halfway along. Nothing serious, but I packed it with cut paste just in case.

If the final branch is removed.

By holding down the fall back branch you can see the beginnings of the final outline. I didn't wire many of the fine secondary branches as I didn't want to stress the tree too much. They can wait until next year or even the year after, depending on how long the main branches take to set.