Many of you know that the pre-bonsai business Telperion Farms was lost to the western fires this summer. They leave a hole in our community that still brings us sorrow. The trees they shipped went everywhere over the years, a friend said he’d received some in Puerto Rico. Many were brought to my backyard by car, Telperion being only 75 miles away and near enough to visit now and then. I’m left with memories of a high bluff overlooking the Willamette Valley, populated by small trees waving about in the wind.
One Shore Pine that started its bonsai life at Telperion was brought in by a client last week. This pine recalled a yamadori, with a wonderful trunk line created as a very young whip. It spent several years in the ground before being dug.
While there were several design options we agreed on a semi-cascade. Hope you enjoy the photos—
Shore Pine from Telperion Farms in 2015.
The tree before work began in January 2021. The very large thick, upright branch (seen in the previous photo) was removed a couple years back, and many branches were shortened.
Closeup of the lower trunk. A shari has developed on the top of the trunkline.
After playing around a bit we settled on this as the trunk line and inclination.
This was a tree without many branches. We decided to attempt to use them all, including this awkward one arising right off the top of the trunk. It needed a severe bend, but, we thought, if it didn’t make it a smaller one (seen behind and to the right) could replace it.
John removes wood underneath this awkward branch to enable lowering.
Because of the major bends needed to bring this tree in, raffia was applied to most larger branches. The strongly bent branch, shown in the previous photo, is seen laid down on top of the trunk in the upper far left.
Final design. While thinly foliaged, in a couple years this design should coalesce. There’s a long straight section in the final inches of the trunk that will be shortened slightly after the crown area gains strength, possibly making some shari along there, too. After a year or two of growth all this will be compacted once more to clarify our design aims. Branches are still rather long and will be cut back to ramifying interior growth. By that point the tree might be in a bonsai pot, though, which may influence final adjustments. Among these final tweaks might be slightly raising the lowest branch which would make this a strongly leaning tree rather than a semi-cascade—an intriguing inclination, I think, with a lot of directional energy.