On todays workshop it was very busy. There were a couple of complicated stylings, for example this yamadori mugo Pine. This tree was 8 years on my nursery and is now 3 years in this pot. Originally he comes from the German Alps.
I started to remove all the unnecessary small and dead branches in between.
As usual we discussed all the options. There were two trunks that we could use for different styles such as windswept or cascade or even bunjin. There was a 3rd small tree that was growing between the 2 long branches. It seems to be a separate tree. After discussing with the owner he took the same option that I had in mind.
Our main style will be a full cascade. We have to deal here with very old, not so thick trunks but they are really hard to bend and break easily. We have to bend the main cascade branch completely down. Before we are using our normal raffia technique I decided to lay straight raffia completely around the trunk, because this has to stay at least for 2 years. If we should start immediately with wrapping the raffia around and tie real hard he will snap in the bark and leave unremovable marks.
Than we start with a heavy wiring over the trunk and also a heavy wiring for all the other branches. We want to make some interesting caracter branches for the future.
This styling has nothing to do with the final image. Because I am always counting on more movement and to achieve this I have to bend more than necessary. When we unwire a little part comes back in another position.
The smaller tree that was growing in between the 2 main trunks is now in our way. We changed the positions and moved the smaller tree behind the main trunk. It looks easy but 50 year old trunks are not so easy to move without breaking.
When an old branch is not wrapped in with raffia you can feel the tension when you start to bend. Were I point my right finger this is the bending point of the branch, there I have less tension.
We could bend the 2nd main branch without wrapping him in raffia and keep it in place with tension wires. Protecting the old bark, because all this has to stay at least for 2 years. We created some more caracter branches in the apex.
Every branch that we had to put in position was a dangerous one to break, sometimes it took more than 5 minutes to create the right movement for one branch.
To achieve the right angle I had to break some branches on purpose. For this you have to be very concentrated that it doesn’t snap completely. We open the branch just half and do this slowely, than the branch opens in the line of the veins, so it never dies off.
Today I was very happy with my assistent Bruno. For this kind of “heavy duty” work a good assistent is necessary because there is always work for 4 hands.
We do not need the smaller tree anymore in this creation. There was an option to separate this tree next spring during a repotting, but our main tree needs than a recovery after repotting so we decided not to take any risk for the main creation and cut off the branches of the small tree.
I never say after a 1st styling this is our finished product. This is just how far I want to go in one step. The next step will be at least after 1 growing season. I do not care about the foliage or the pads that everybody wants to see immediately after creation. Next summer is going to give more foliage and the sap will find his way from the roots to all the branches after the heavy bendings. From then on the work can be continued.
This styling proves again that your original material does not always look the same as your end product. These are for me the most interesting trees to work with, those were it is not so obvious what the result will be.
I want to thank also Buno’s wife Sriske for the delicious sandwich.