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  • Writer's picturepeacelovebonsai

#ProgressionThursday - Twisted JBP Bonsai

If it's Thursday, it must be time for a progression! If you've missed my previous #ProgressionThursday posts, you can check them out here and here and here. This is one of the first Japanese black pines I purchased, which I bought from my good buddy, Adam. This tree started out straight as a telephone pole. When I purchased the tree, Adam said he'd help me twist it all up and I said, "Ok, let's do it!" As a new bonsai practitioner, watching someone contort your new tree with wood 1x4's is horrifying! But, as you'll see, it all worked out fine!

Here is the tree, as purchased, in all it's straightness. Summer of 2016.

Adam quickly went to work building a contraption that would twist the tree. Using 1x4s, he screwed the boards into the trunk, while also adding a 1x4 to the base for support.

Before "the twist"

And after

The result was two-fold. First, the bark split. Second, plenty of new buds appeared.

I left the tree alone for a couple of years and it grew well. Here's the tree in the summer of 2018.

That winter, I lopped off the top.

And repotted that spring. I was not super aggressive with that repot and so more work was able to be done in 2019. A real good repotting is in this tree's future. At this moment, I'm not sure when that will be. (The tree in the Spring 2019)

The tree grew well into that summer, notice the strong candles. (Summer 2019)

I took it to Bjorn's and de-candled and gave it a first styling. The work was much more aggressive than I would have done on my own, but as you'll see, the tree didn't skip a beat. (Summer 2019)

In the summer of 2020, I de-candled again. A before and after.

Here is the tree today after some fall work of pulling needles and applying a bit more wire. (Fall of 2020)

I've thoroughly enjoyed this tree and it has taught me much about how JBPs work and grow. As you can see, it's a very healthy specimen which makes working on the tree even that much better. Hard to believe this tree started out a straight telephone pole. As for the future, you can see how the exposed roots only extend on one side. At the next repot, I'd like to see about moving those into a more radial fashion.

Finally, some close ups

The final before and after

So, what do you think? Feel free to comment or critique below and as always, follow me on Instagram. Share your progressions using the hashtag #ProgressionThursday so I can follow along! Until next time, Peace Love Bonsai!

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