“MOM’S YEW” PRE WINTER MANTAINANCE

Hi, everybody,

I Must admit that Irene mailed here pictures a will ago, but I have been very busy and to be honest, there is not that much to do on here “Yew” except for some branch shortening. As you can see in the pictures, Irene’s tree is very healthy and has plenty new growth. So now it is safe to shorten them to long and too thick branches, that are of no use in any future design. Try to do this half an Inch above a healthy side shoot. You can cut the thick branch  (in the third picture) just above the “Yellow” line. Seal the wound with  “cut-paste”. This will promote a lot of new growth along those cut branches and hopefully lower down the now bare branches. We just need to have a bit more foliage, for me to choose the best design for this “Yew”, this means that we have to start practising the most important task in bonsai…..being patience! I have made some red lines on the pictures for help. If there is enough foliage next season we might start the first styling. Time and Irene’s good care will tell!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

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“MOM’S YEW” DESIGN VIEWS. PART 2

So let’s look at another design option for Irene’s Yew. Again I start with the same drawing of the frame of the tree, without the branches.  

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So now I want to try and see if I can get any movement in this straight tree. I plane to use the right branch, it grows at a nice angle from the trunk and has a nice secondary branch growing on an interesting place. So now I will virtual tilt the tree to the left to create some movement and angles to the tree trunk.

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It’s a start, but still not enough movement for my liking!

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Now we are talking! I like to create angles in my designs, and I like to have branches, foliage or Jin’s emphasising the movement these angles create. Let me try to explain: the arrow on the left points at the future corner in my trunk design. This is a point were your eye, when you follow the line of the trunk upwards, turns from going left, to going right. If you emphasize this important point with a branch,  foliage or Jin, you will create a place for the eye to stop at, before it travels further upwards. (second arrow)

Those two thick trunks on the left are too straight and without any interest (in this design!). So they must be converted into deadwood,  so they are used to benefit the design.

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Here you can see how I might shape the Shari and Jins to emphasize that part where the tree changes direction. I also converted the back branches into Jins. Now I’m going to place the foliage in such a way that brings balance to the overall design. But also in a way that again enhances the movements of the tree!

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It is not easy to draw a picture with my mouse, but something like this is what I mean. Now the same tree is transformed in a typical bonsai style. That evokes a completely different feeling than the early-er formal broom style I made.

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First, the movement of the tree goes to the left and then where it changes to the right, I created an eye catcher in the form of that Jin. A place for the eyes to stop on there way up the tree and to enhance the change in trunk direction. It also divides the, otherwise to big,    empty space on the left side of the tree, preventing that the tree is being pushed too much to the right and looking unbalanced.

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The first branch on the right leans nicely on the empty space that is trapped under-need it (dotted line).  Supporting the tree imaginary, holding it up, and therefore keeping the tree in balance. Empty spaces are one of the most important features for a successful design but are often neglected or misunderstood.

So there you have it, another vision and possibility for “Mom’s Yew”. I will have another idea ready in a few days. We have a lot to think about and a lot of decisions to make! But that is the fun in designing a bonsai.

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com    

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“MOM’S YEW” DESIGN VIEWS.

Irene removed the branch I recommended and mailed the Pictures from the angle I asked for.                                   (see pictures below)

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OK, for now, lets use this side as the front.

From this side, the too large root is on the backside and will be (after some reduction), not so much in your face “anymore. The placement of the main branches show possibility’s from this side and there is a nice see through between them, to see the back branches. Creating dept to this broom like tree.

I  think that Irene likes here bonsai to look natural, so I will discuss that option first.

If you look at pictures of old Yews in the wild in Europe, you will see that the most often grow in an almost deciduous tree looking broom style.

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And often with stunning deadwood on there massive trunks.

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This next perfect drawing of an English yew, by an unknown artist,  next to the perfect example of an old and free growing broom-style Yew.  Shoot by my wife nearby the town of Santander, North Spain.

Look at the amazing small lifelines on this bettered old survivor.

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Looking at this fine drawing and picture; I believe that this natural broom style is a  logical and possible option for Irene’s Yew!

Here Tree has the typical straight trunk, that splits up at a certain height into several trunks that grow almost straight up, just like in the drawing.

In the drawing, U can also clearly see the long and thin branches that grow from these multiple trunks.  In there search for light, they bend down under there own weight and length, creating the broom-like appearance.  To create this on Irene’s Yew, we must first stimulate the tree into new growth lower on the trunks. But that’s for later. First, lets look at one of the possibilities I see to create Irene’s  tree into a believable broom style bonsai. Using Irene’s last picture (see below), I made a drawing. I only just the outlines of the bare trunk to show you what could be done to create this style.

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In the first drawing (dotted line), you can see where the two thick branches were cut and made into a Jin and Shari. This point depends of course on where the new growth will appear, but this is only an example of how I think when looking at a tree and what I might do to style it. I drew the tree with more or less (not too good I must admit) bonsai like foliage layers, so you might get an idea of how it could look as a bonsai. In the real live bonsai, the foliage layers would be closer together and heavier than in my drawing. But it is just to show you that this tree in this style, could be nice and believable as bonsai. And even more important, doable.

I’ll Be back with more soon!

Hans.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com    

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