Branch Selection Exercise—Spruce

2 months ago Nebby 0

Source: Crataegus Bonsai Blog.

Last week we had this formal upright Ezo Spruce up on the bench to see how it was developing. And to consider future branch removal. This spruce is a long view tree—a formal upright, seen from a long way off. A tree with a shallow trunk taper like this one has might be imagined with a tiny inch-high person standing next to it. From that imagined long view distance, keeping more branches (and thinner ones) tends to enhance the sense it is seen from far away. Here’s another puzzler. Old trees—really old, like old growth forest conifers—tend to have few, thick branches high up on the tree. And yet if we make bonsai this way, with few, thick branches, often the tree looks close up…not a big tree far away. A few more thoughts are offered in the following photos— The Ezo Spruce as is. Still not enough shoot detail for full branch pad clarity, but getting there. In many cases it’s wise in the creation phase to leave many more branches than you ultimately want, as the tree might not have much foliar mass to begin with. Later you can remove some. With two branches masked off, possibilities for removal. The other photos show other options. Question is, might we cut another branch or two off, to advantage? Or (as I’m still considering), does leaving most if not all branches make the tree look farther away? The itch to prune branches doesn’t always improve a tree; often that makes it…

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