Bonsai Tonight

Where should the apex go?

Posted in Styling by Jonas Dupuich on August 14, 2012

Some years back I dramatically shortened the trunk on the black pine below to create a small sized bonsai.

Shohin black pine

Shohin black pine

I regrew the apex from a branch that pointed forward. As a result, the apex wasn’t centered close to the base of the trunk. I figured this was fine as I’ve seen a number of good pines with forward leaning apices (see examples at the 2012 Gomangoku exhibit and sales area). That said, it appears there’s a limit. Akio Kondo noted, during his recent critique at Bay Island Bonsai’s August meeting, that the apex on this pine was too far forward. To remedy this, he recommended raising the front of the tree about an inch and pruning the frontmost branches. He also recommended making the tree more compact.

Shohin black pine - front

Black pine – the branches are long in relation to the trunk

Shohin black pine - right side

Side view

Shohin black pine - front raised

Tilting the tree brings the apex closer to the center of the tree

Shohin black pine - with front raised

View from the front with the front tilted up – it’s clear from this angle that the wiring will need adjustment

Kondo recommended locating the apex just in front of the base of the trunk. I plan to tilt the tree when I repot this winter.

At the same critique, Kondo suggested changing the angle of the Sierra juniper below.

Sierra juniper

Sierra juniper

It looks like he got the chance to do the work. Here’s the tree after initial styling – what a difference!

Sierra juniper after initial styling

After initial styling (photo by Boon Manakitivipart)

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3 Responses

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  1. FRED said, on August 14, 2012 at 4:09 am

    What time of year did you chose to shorten the apex.

  2. Jonas Dupuich said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Hi Fred – I believe I made the cut in winter about 4 or 5 years ago.

  3. Fred Janson said, on August 14, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Thank you I have some trees to cut back that helps to know. Fred

    Hollow Creek Farms inc. Fred Janson 2124 Dutch Hollow Road Avon, NY 14414 585/226-8593 Phone 585/226-9755 Fax 585/734-7035 Cell http://www.hollowcreekbonsai.com


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