Some years back I dramatically shortened the trunk on the black pine below to create a small sized bonsai.
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.
Black pine – the branches are long in relation to the trunk
Tilting the tree brings the apex closer to the center of the tree
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.
It looks like he got the chance to do the work. Here’s the tree after initial styling – what a difference!
After initial styling (photo by Boon Manakitivipart)