Restyling a Pinus Contorta

I wrote about this tree earlier this year  I’ve also been wanting to restyle this tree as the top has become visually heavy for the size of trunk it has.   This is a Pinus Contorta (Lodge Pole pine or Shore Pine).  I’ve envisioned this tree as  a “bunjin” or literati style  which should have a sparse top and usually a lone skinny trunk.

This past growing season I just fed the tree and let it grow.   For this restyling, I did the following:

  1. I removed the apex and rewired a new apex.  I  made the crown rounder.  I reduced the height roughly about 2 inches.
  2. I removed some of the older needles to clean up the tree and also more evenly distribute the needle mass, allow more light in and distribute energy more evenly.
  3. I removed all old wires and rewired the entire tree.  Directing branches more in a synchronized downward direction.  Also, compacted the look by moving some of the branches closer to the trunk.
  4. I reduced once of the branches in the back to give it a narrower look and thus more appropriate for the trunk size.
  5. Finally had the guts to removed one of the lower branches that I kept for a while.  This branch I see as redundant to the next branch up.  It’s also growing almost to the inside of a curve.  By removing this branch and making is as a “jin” it will emphasize the natural trunk contortion which I think is the most interesting part of this tree.  Making this branch into a “jin” also gives it an much older look.

FUTURE:  I plan to repot this tree into a “nanban” pot.  An irregular pot that looks rustic and will be shallower.  Hope to do that in Spring 2016.


DSC_0930 DSC_0931 DSC_0932 DSC_0933 DSC_0934 DSC_0935 DSC_0936 DSC_0943

Published by tony bonsaiko

My little trees are my daily reminders of our grand connection to this beautiful and mysterious universe.

Leave a Reply