1. Remove yellow needles
2. Reduce new needles to balance the strength.
3. Remove dead tips (pine tip moth was rough this year)
4. Thin congested areas.
5. Reposition some of the wires to fan out the shoots.
Next spring, I swear I’ll get the planting angle right:
Happy Spring repotting season!
Quick history; bought this one back in 2009 from Brussel’s. My son was less than 2 when I brought it home:
Here is the front:
Spring 2011, it has been allowed to grow freely.
Peter Warren did a demo with the tree in 4/11:
With a little help from my daughter…
Peter returned that fall for another round of work. Here is a shot a couple years later in 2013:
It was repotted into its first bonsai pot in 2014, and I started working on pushing the growth back toward the trunk, and replacing heavy branches with finer ones. Early 2015:
Late summer 2016:
After thinning, pruning, and wiring in spring 2017:
And repotting to a deeper and forward-leaning planting angle, although it still needs to lean more to the right, but that part of the root ball needs to be reduced in stages, so it leans a bit left now:
Growing well in early May:
So, my plan was to clean up, pull needles, prune, and wire this tree so it would be ready to tweak when Bjorn visited in December. This tree has been all my work since it’s initial styling with a buddy in 2007, and I thought it would be a good time to take the tree from the best I could do with it, to the best I could do with it…with Bjorn.
So here it is, Before:
What did we do?
Guy wires, exaggerating the downward angle of the branches, including the upper right, to reduce the separation between the first layer and second layer. Subtle, but nice.
Balance each tuft of foliage so they’re the same size and mass.
Evenly distribute each tuft so they’re equidistant.
Create subtle separation of layers within primary branches.
Rearrange the position of each tertiary branch so they fan outward, and then together, overlapping on or maybe two tufts from the branch behind into the branch in front. (Photo)
Round out the apex
Still to do: let the left upper section elongate.
Keep the first left branch shorter.
Replace branches at obtuse angles with branches at acute angles.