Talk to anyone who’s been practicing bonsai for a number of years, and they’ll tell you that the best trees are the ones that are found in nature. Not only because of the natural character that they acquire through years of being left alone to deal with the elements, but also cause they usually only cost time and effort ?
Around my area there’s a number of different species that I can readily dig up but without doubt for me the pines hold the most character and interest. If you live near a plantation of sorts then there’s an almost guarantee to find interesting trees to dig up (provided that the owner allows it).
Here’s a few examples of pines that I’ve dug up.
The first I found of the side of the road
From these two photos it shows that it was cut by someone who probably thought it’d kill it and then a branch started to grow and take over as the trunk.
What interested me about this plant was the fact that there was a lot of deadwood because it had died back. Unlike many deciduous trees, pines won’t shoot new branches from an area that doesn’t have anything growing further up/along.
As shown here. The small amount of bark on the bottom left of the tree is alive but the rest is dead.
One other advantage of collecting trees (yamadori) is that they can often grow very nice surface roots (nebari) like this tree.
Just a couple quick pictures of the branches I have to work with and a couple dead branches (jins) I made.
Before I finish the post I’ll just include a couple more trees that I’ll probably write a bit more into in the future.
The one above is a nice twin trunk which I reckon has a lot of potential
The second is a larger tree with no real taper but really interesting surface roots (buried in the soil) and small needles. So we’ll see what happens with it.
This is the last one for the post and it was actually growing between the two trunks of the pine above. I reckon that it’s a future small literati.
All of the pines in the post were radiatas and I’m still experimenting with how to prune, pluck needles, etc. If anyone has any techniques that they use for this species then please leave a comment it’d be greatly appreciated.
If you’re actively reading this blog and would like to know anything then leave a comment and I’ll try my best to give you an answer.