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In 2016 my house was being remodeled, and I had to move all my trees over to Jonas’ yard for almost an entire year. I’ve written about it previously. The result was a commute to water my trees (TBH, Jonas did a lot of the watering) but it was also an exchange of ideas and in some cases trees themselves. I traded Jonas a Japanese black pine for this collected lodgepole pine, at the time thinking I would like the tall and interesting trunk. The trunk is full of character, including what seem to be two separate lifelines, a large shari, and two distinct large foliage masses.
I’ve always gravitated toward slow and steady measured progress from start to finish on creating bonsai trees. But, at the same time I recognize that for large trees, creating them from scratch can be such a long process, that it’s a daunting timeline. This tree is 36″ from the rim of the new pot to the top of the apex, just squeaking in under the traditional height limit. Even though I love growing trees from scratch, I also love mountain pine species like Lodegpole, Ponderosa, Western White Pine and Limber pine. I think the divide between growing small trees from scratch and using large collected trees as bonsai is almost like two entirely different things.
This tree will take a couple years to fill out again, but the new container (made by me in 2006) and this initial styling have brought it a few key steps toward being a lovely bonsai.
Here’s a video that I made about this lodgepole:
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