I posted about the history of this tree and some maintenance that I did on it last summer, see this post. The tree is collected, and thanks to Bob and Zack Shimon I was able to acquire it without much effort. After all, collecting can be a time-consuming, expensive and messy business.
Despite having put it in the show two years ago I feel like I’ve never been happy with it. Although I largely styled it by myself, I once had it in front of Boon and he said “looks like you have a lot more work to do.” I was dismissive of this at the time, but ultimately I think he was right. During the 2014 BSSF show, our “one man bonsai show” member, Jay McDonald walked past the tree and said “that tree doesn’t blow my skirt up.” The comment is somewhat odd, but I took it more simply to mean that the tree didn’t really capture his imagination. With two people who I respect greatly in terms of creativity on the side of additional styling and some more growth after the trim last summer I was once again looking at the tree and thinking that something new needed to happen to it.
The obvious problem with the previous styling is that the crown is simply too large for the size of the trunk. While I enjoy trees that have sinuous trunks this one seems to just be out of proportion. In addition to that, there’s an odd junction hidden up in the crown where two branches of equal size head in opposite directions, each forming about half the crown. I sometimes argue with myself about this sort of thing, contending that the structure can be “outside the box” but in the end I always lose the argument.
I’m pretty happy with the changes because the flow of the tree and the apparent movement in the trunk have both been improved. After an additional repotting this winter finally into an appropriate bonsai container I should have a tree that I can consider mature.