Japanese White Pine new design

Well hi there, here’s my Miyajima white pine I purchased about 4 years ago and how I’ve moved forward with it. When I first bought it, I was going for a classic design and wired and styled it out. However, the next spring revealed that the cambium separated from the sapwood.

This resulted in all of the lower and main branches to die off, leaving me with a tree that resembled a fat person holding an umbrella. Impressive trunk but no asymmetry and bonsai without symmetry is just not as interesting.


I figured that I would at least re-pot it into the front that was proposed and then we’ll go from there in terms of a new design.


A few months later I thought of keeping the bottom branch as a jin and so I tried that


I had completely fallen out of love with this tree and was lost with how to move it back into an interesting direction. The trunk was too straight as this point and I had nothing to cut back to to create some more variation within the foliage.

I decided to just let it grow as much as possible and focus on having health come first before doing any other changes.

This year during the winter I tried a few angle changes to see if that would help.IMG_0504

This shift seemed the best and would definitely be an improvement from the old straight trunk line of the previous design. I also got some helpful feedback from Ryan Neil regarding the new design. That new idea was to create a tesion design. Tension means that the apex/crown and main branch move against the trunk. It’s a simple design that uses angle changes to create more drama when other features are lacking. In March I went through with this new design and I also re-potted into the new angle.


Now I am proud of this tree again and I am really looking forward to where it will go from here. The design idea from Ryan was a great upgrade to the otherwise boring design. Right now it’s happily growing this years candles and in full sun.

Stay cool! And keep your trees happy!



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