Presentation on theme: "A Black Pine Restyling By Laurence LeClaire. Introduction In June 2007, I purchased a Japanese Black Pine from Ruben Guzman’s garden (a longtime Danville,"— Presentation transcript:
A Black Pine Restyling By Laurence LeClaire
Introduction In June 2007, I purchased a Japanese Black Pine from Ruben Guzman’s garden (a longtime Danville, CA bonsai artist) in preparation for a Marco Invernizzi workshop the following November. It was my first “more serious” purchase of a black pine. The tree was 25 years old with great bark and decent ramification. - great material to practice wiring and have a nice tree with a few years’ work. Marco worked with me an entire day wiring out the branches and twigs and helping bend some fairly thick branches using heavy wire and raffia. Since then, I’ve been slowly removing wire and performing the standard candle cutting/bud selection on the branches every year. But as my bonsai education grew over time since the tree’s first styling, I came to the realization that the tree had a limited future. By that, I mean the trunk lacked any interesting movement except a single bend near the base. Even with extensive wiring of all the branches, I felt the tree would always be upright and Christmas tree-like. I was losing interest in the tree and considered selling it. That’s until I picked up an issue of Bonsai Focus magazine where an article documented the restyle of a large pine tree. The article described how to introduce bends in large diameter branches & trunks by drilling out the interior hardwood of the branch/trunk and then bending with rebar. Better yet, the tree in the article had an uncanny similarity to mine! I was so excited about my new project I couldn’t sleep that night. So, at our February gathering of my San Francisco bonsai study group, I took the challenge. Enjoy the photos from the day’s work and the final result!
Step 1 - The Plan First, I made a drawing of the final design. We decided a single bend across from the first branch would be the only ‘drilled’ bend. The rest could be made with heavy wire and raffia. A new apex would be made from the 4th major branch.
Step 2 - The Drill. An incision was made just above the first branch. A hole was drilled into the incision and the center heartwood was removed by pivoting the drill sideways several times. Care was made not to remove too much xylem and not to harm the cambium.
Step 3 - The Bend. A length of rebar was inserted in front of the bend. The bottom is anchored into the soil against the rim of the pot. A block of wood is butted between the trunk and rebar. A piece of rubber is inserted between the wood block and bark for protection. A length of copper wire was used to pull the top of the trunk towards the rebar making the trunk bend at the drilled region. Note the top 1/3 of the tree has been removed at this point. After the bend, the two edges of cambium were aligned perfectly. A nearly 45 degree bend was introduced in the line of the trunk.
Step 4 - Raffia and Wire Next, I applied layers of raffia to the trunk around the branches to be bend downward and to the 4th branch that would serve as the new apex. #4 copper wire was then wrapped around each branch and anchored properly to support the major bends about to be applied.
Step 5 - After the Bends. All the major bends have been applied. Time to thin the needles and wire out each branch to its final position.
Step 6 – Further Styling. After lots of wiring and needle plucking, the final design of tree is realized. The top of the tree appears much weaker than the lower, most likely due to the spreading of the branches to fill in the new top. In two years, the raffia and rebar can be removed and the redesign should hold. The photo above does not reflect the depth in the new arrangement of the tree and the new layers of needles are not evident.
Step 7 – After a year and half of growth and a repot Tree is stronger than ever even after radical styling from the year before. A leader candle was allowed to extend without cutting the year before to help pull energy through the main part of the tree to aid with healing the bends