The KoB Bonsai Focus Styling contest has it's deadline for the last entries at the end of August. Most contestants usually enter their pictures within the last threee days or even hours. Since one has to send photographs of very high quality, like 6 megapixels, the serves will run over again. My pictures are done and I decided I might as well send them right now as long as everything is calm.
Here the contest: http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=88
And here the final pictures with my final text:
"During the summer the buds have opened and developed rather short
needles; shorter than last year's. This is due to re-potting and no
reason for concern at all as long as they look healthy. Very important
are the buds for next year which are nicely developed already in the
middle of August. Some shoots have more than one new bud, which is
always a good sign. Some of the little branchlets have turned brown
right after styling and some during summer. This is most normal for such
styling. And it is very much to be expected on the Kotobuki variety of
Japanese black pine. The branches are so brittle that some will always
suffer. No larger branch had problems though.
The deadwood on a Japanese black pine does not bother me at all. I think
it clearly is looking good on this tree and gives it strong character.
The front for me is clearly picture number one. But quite a few people
who have seen the tree in person think that it should be number two. I
think this is great. It shows to me that the tree is credible all around.
As far as I am concerned this is a modern bonsai. Many would have
expected me to produce a naturalistic tree. But this one wanted to look
very much like a bonsai, abstract, powerful, very much extrovert - well
all these are features of the modern style.
This kind of tree has to get good winter protection anyway. After
styling and repotting in spring it is very advisable to make sure it
does not get frost; or only very little in winter. But It certainly must
be overwintered cool around freezing temperatures for several weeks.
Next spring the new growth should be longer than this year's. At the end
of next summer it will have many new buds. One could consider thinning
out in winter of next year again. The crown should stay light and airy
and transparent. It must not become a poodle again. "