Itoigawa Refinement

This one has been one of my favorite trees, but it’s rather unassuming in the bench. I initially styled it with Peter Warren in 2011…a flash through the last 8 years in a few snaps…

2010, as purchased from Evergreen Gardenworks:

2011, first major styling:

2012, a slight change in direction:

2014, 2nd major styling:

2015, full year of growth:

2016, lightly trimmed, but otherwise allowed to grow:

2017, repotted, lightly trimmed in the summer, 2014 wires removed:

Which brings us to now…Here is a shot from spring 2018.

and the work begins…Scrubbed trunk and deadwood:

Lightly pruned:

Wiring started:

Continuing to the “H Shot”

And complete…

Some moss, cleaning up the undersides of the branches, and a little minor tweaking and it is ready for show.

One last parting shot…

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The 350 JBP Update 2017 part 2

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:

And After:

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.

The 350 JBP Update 2017 part 1

This tree is the subject of my book, a pictorial cause-effect book showing how to develop a JBP Bonsai.  This represents its 10th year of training as a bonsai, after purchasing it from Brussel’s in 2007 for $350.  It was candles cut later than normal this summer to make the second flush of needles shorter.  Once the growing season was finished, (new needles set firmly in their fasicles) it was time to thin out needles, prune, and wire.  In mid-November:


Needles pulled, and lightly pruned over Thanksgiving:

Wiring the fine branches, starting at the bottom…
And working my way up…

To the top…