I’m fond of referring to selected trees as “project” trees when the journey to become a bonsai is a long one. The black pine below has something resembling a bunjin feel – a euphemism, in this case, for a tree with no branches along the lower part of the trunk. I removed the top half of the tree last year. This year, Daisaku Nomoto removed the top branch and wired what was left to create an apex and main branches.
Black pine – January 2013
I don’t expect these branches will mean much in the final design. The goal now is to stimulate new buds and develop new branches closer to the interesting bends. To help keep the branch undergoing the biggest bend intact, Nomoto called for raffia. I suggested he try the black construction tape used at Aichi-en. You should have seen the look he gave me. I offered some gentle encouragement, and eventually Nomoto gave the tape a try and made the bend.
Construction tape doubling as raffia
I haven’t seen this tape in the US – I brought back the roll we used from Japan – though we might have something similar.
Subscribe to Bonsai Tonight
New Posts Delivered Every Tuesday and Friday