Kyokko Yatsubusa training, round 2

This corker came from Don Blackmond in 2008, and has been reduced in height once, wired once in 2011, and mostly left to its own devices over the last 6 years. I liked the height, but the tree lacked character and the appearance of age.

I considered shortening the tree some more, and accentuating the bottom-right branch by removing the left ones, and working the trunk more toward the right as well, as suggested here:

In the fall, I got to work…



Removed all of the wires:

Now…ready to work:

Yatsubusa means multi-budded, so unchecked, the tree sends many small buds each year. To be honest, I left this tree to its own devices far too long, when I should have cleaned it up once or twice a year, even if I was t planning to do more with it. A peek from below shows how congested this tree had become over the years.

And the same branch after cleaning it up by removing small shoots, old needles, unnecessary extension growth, and downward-facing needles:

First branch or two wired:


Inserted rebar to serve as an anchor point to move the upper trunk:

After the work:

A shot from fall ’08 (that’s a card table as the backdrop):

And from fall ’14:

Who knows…maybe one day that first right branch will go too…what do you think?


3 thoughts on “Kyokko Yatsubusa training, round 2

  1. I also like it without the first right branch. But is there a version of a front where that could be a back branch? Before you cut it off, I’m just curious if it would look good that way.

  2. awesome tree…The deep, rugged bark is now exposed and to me this is the most attractive attribute of the tree…the trunk also has subtle movement and good taper which is pleasing to look at. I respect the idea of removing the bottom branch but I disagree that its necessary. That branch makes a statement of strength…I see a lot of pines and bonsai in general for that matter that have nice builds that start halfway up the tree…to me, it’s much more rare/special to see one built from the pot to the top…humble suggestion: reduce the second pad from the bottom right…bring it in towards the trunk by about 4 inches, just bring it in line with the pads it splits (first and third from the bottom. If you did this you would have, starting from the bottom right, 4 solid pads that are similiar in size that lead the eye right up to the apex of the tree. I would continue the path you are on with the left side of the tree. Keep taking that lower left pad even lower, dont allow it to get much wider and you should end up with 3 nice pads leading to the apex on that side of the tree. Just some thoughts, thank you for your time, wonderful tree any way around it- Brian Hempel

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