Working here in Japan we do a lot of work on different species and you quickly get to know the characteristics of them. Although the work is pretty much the same process of cleaning up, wiring & styling they are all slightly different. All species have their plus point’s and negative points but, certainly my out right favourite has come to be goyomatsu/japanese white pine. I find them a pleasure to work with and very much enjoy styling them.
The minus points of this species is it has a tendency to be weaker and you can’t push them as hard as a black pine for instance. Also to make a white pine look nice after a styling really requires a dense tree. Especially if it is good needle quality and small needles. Otherwise they look very sparse and it can be difficult to define the pads.
Here is an example of a tree I wired where it was too sparse for the size of the tree to make it shine in a photo after a styling.
Once I had removed the old needles and dead branches, on most of the tree, there wasn’t a huge amount to work with. The main branch wasn’t so bad but, most of the rest of the tree had far to little branching to make it look nice.
As you can see some area’s don’t look so bad but, others there isn’t enough definition around the pads. Even though it doesn’t look so great, the reason I decided to share this is to show the importance of the work. The main aim is to set the structure and spread each tip out evenly. So in the future as they divide they will fill out. When the tree is sparse you can make the pads smaller by putting the tips closer together and making more defined pads. This is more show wiring and not development because you hamper the growth of the next push. The less space/light the buds will get and the tree won’t fill out.
This is a root over rock white pine. Not a very exciting tree but the foliage quality is top-notch. In fact too good as Oyakata put it, it meant that the needles are very brittle which, made it awkward to wire.
This little guy was just a touch up job with a few strands of wire. Cute little tree.
I didn’t re-pot it and although it is an improvement on the terracotta training pot, I think there is a better match for it. For me I would prefer a simpler pot.
This is the last tree for the post.
Oyakata had pre-bent the branches earlier in the year (they were very horizontal) around late winter/early spring time, I think. It was safer to do it then and wire later. Bending and a full wire would be pretty dangerous then, as the tree was weak.
The branches were now set and it was ready for wiring. This tree was very dense, so had a lot to use.
I don’t think it turned out too bad in the end.
Thanks for reading.