Early Jan '15 work
Azalea 'Hekisui' styling
This tree has some beautiful features, and some aspects that could be improved. The tree has a great trunk girth and taper, and little nebari (surface roof flair). The lower two branches however are surplus to requirement and hide the trunk, making the bonsai look more like a bush than a tree. Originally, these branches would not have been part of the design of the tree, but were grown as 'sacrificial' branches, in order to thicken the trunk. As they have now served their purpose, they can be removed.
This however will leave an ugly scar for a few years at least if cut flush to the trunk (or slightly concave to encourage callousing flatter to the trunk). To overcome this problem, the branches were cut off, leaving approximately an inch of stump, which was hollowed from behind, leaving the viewer with a cleaner image when viewed from the front.
The tree's trunk leans to the right, however the movement of the tree flows to the left. Although the main defining branch is not in this case the lowest branch (as is usually the case), it is thicker, longer, and is defines the direction of flow or movement of the tree.
Shortening the tree slightly has been discussed, but in any case, the apex is to be styled and grown toward the direction of movement of the tree - and over the apex. Bringing the apex over the base of the tree, or 'center of gravity' creates a balanced image to the tree.
23/1/2015 12:10:59 pm
Hi Alex, Well that must have taken some B*lls to cut those 2 lower branches off, sacrificial or not!! Not possible to air-layer? The last photo is not too clear to see the detail....clutter in background. Any chance of another from the chosen front viewing angle? No Azalea's in my collection. Have you a pot for it yet. Bryan
28/1/2015 01:00:31 pm
29/1/2015 11:49:01 am
Thanks for the "better photo" Alex. I look forward to it filling out and a good show of flowers.....if not too stressed, later on in the year. Bryan
30/1/2015 02:23:04 am
Sorry it's still not a great picture, but I've only got a camera phone at the mo.
30/1/2015 12:06:54 pm
A wise old Bonsai Master once said " Young master is it not so that for one to follow the path to strong health and well-being in the future, one has to sometimes tread the path of pain. LoL! Go for it!!
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