Limber Pine First Styling-
Those of you following the threads surrounding the publication of Bonsai Heresy have maybe also noticed a lag in posts this month. With relief I can report the book is off to the designer and my duties are downgraded to thumbs up or thumbs down for a few weeks.
In the interim we styled a limber pine with a lyrical trunk line. I collected this tree a couple years back.
Enjoy the photo essay-
Limber pine before any work-
The front and inclination we chose-
After cutting off old needles in preparation for wiring-
The team for the day: John (apprentice, on the left), Kevin, and Alan.
After a bit of time, you may notice that pine bark will dry up, crack, and fall off with little persuasion. You can do much of this with fingers. Maybe a bit of light crushing with a pliers. This is distinctly different from juniper, which always seems to need serious tool persuasion to remove dead bark.
Pine branch liberated from its bark. Fresh bark and phloem comes off fairly easily, but if already dead waiting a bit longer allows for this easy removal and also prevents inadvertently digging into the wood using tools. The yellow is not fresh lime sulfur but just the bark’s undercolor. A bit of sandpaper would take this off.
And our finished styling. This pine has an interesting low branch which seemed to want to be a trunk more than a branch. Many naturally growing, full-size pines create a secondary canopy. So we just found an inclination and a front to show off this main feature. We’ll likely remove the small jin on the top of the secondary trunk as it doesn’t do much for the design. The base of the tree, hidden by the box, continues to flare. This coming spring a couple of sides will be taken off the box and we’ll start teasing away the old soil mass, still from the mountains, which holds a lot of moisture and within which very few roots grow.