Choosing Branches for Flow–
Flow. In bonsai we need it, and we need it early. We have to decide ‘Right’ or ‘Left’ at the very beginning when crafting our trees, or we could land in a real aesthetic pickle. Flow is the direction the asymmetry of the tree moves, and is essential when it comes to linking the future bonsai to other elements, not just in display, but the interrelationships on your benches or posts, too.
This White Pine had some very long lower branches, and so the first part of this adventure was removing them so that the smaller, more promising upper branches could be used in the new design.
Our White Pine with some very long branches that needed addressing. The two big problems were the lowest branch in the front, which sticks out pretty wretchedly far into our snoot, and also comes directly out of the front of the trunk, so there was no question of simply moving it to the side. The other is the long straight one on the left. If we imagine these gone, it leaves us with a rather pleasing flow…
Beginning to remove branches-
Nearly finished pruning, just gently moving branches to see how they look in their future positions. Over bending at this point is not a great idea, however.
The pine after branch pruning and thinning the denser areas. The two branches on the right are much smaller than the ones we cut off, and eventually the one in the front will (hopefully) be a solid key branch. The lower one is longer and is actually a back branch. So it will take a few years to develop a convincing, full, primary branch.
After wiring and setting. This variety of Japanese White Pine ramifies very fast, so in about a year we’ll see significant volume development. I’ve set the shoots to be more open to allow for this predicted growth. Flow is to the right. Apex slightly to the left for some drama. Nice pot supplied by Maestro Matt Reel. Pine originally from Japan. Plywood from Home Depot. Paint from Miller Paint. Misty, ‘no shadows’ photography weather courtesy our endearingly moist Oregon climate…