Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ultimate Mugo's first styling

This is the first styling of the Ultimate Mugo that has settled in my care since digging .I decided that a style was in order due to the fact that a feeding regime had been carried out whilst still in the ground . The root mass was as if trained in a large pot measuring approx' 400 x 250 and a mere 60mm thick . With no trimming of the roots or foliage the tree was potted and is as ready as it will ever be .
My original plan was to make a low lean slanting style , however i chose to set the pot on wedges and considered a semi-cascade . With the trunk secured with straps and blocked i then anchored the dead lower branch to the pot for added security . I began wiring using heavy gauge aluminium wire for the main branches and annealed copper for the branchlets . After 6 1/2 hours of very cautious wiring the task was complete . I had an issue with the top branch which required a brace . I used a 16mm hardwood dowel to rotate the rear facing branch 180 degrees and anchor into position to form the new apex . A combination of spiral wrap , hook and hold and a brace was implemented in the process of wiring .After studying the tree i had several good reasons not to pursue the semi-cascade .
1/loss of movement and flow of the trunk .

2/the top smaller branch would required removal to produce a true cascade leaving only2 main branches to work with .

3/the bottom lower dead branches left for the jins would also have to go .

4/the rear of the tree was as bear as a babies bum .

5/i don't particularly like cascade pines .

With all these negatives a decision was made to revert back to the original plan . So onward and upward with the final styling .With the apex set i began gently manoeuvring and adjusting the main branches and then moving onto the lesser branchlets slowly adjusting and fine tuning as i worked my way around and up to the apex . The new Bonsai is finally complete 2 1/2 hours after the fine tuning and bending into shape began. Whilst this is still a trainer it looks very impressive as if trained for several growing seasons . Below is a pic of the very impressive trunk . An 11 mm stub slice was taken from the lower dead branch and to my astonishment 23 growth rings were counted using a magnifying glass .
The apex of the trunk has a scar from the original tree top it measures 35mm long and 8-9mm wide almost completely healed , armed with this info i conservatively estimate the tree at 65-75 yo and if it is one of the originally planted trees it could be 90+ years old .
The base is a handsome 110mm aged trunk at soil level with a nice taper to 45mm at the main trunk . The finished Bonsai measures 800mm wide x 500mm deep and stands 350mm from the soil . .Pot used is for training only ,i will at a later date repot and elevate the apex about 10-15 degrees . For now this beauty will sit amongst some of my better older trees .

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