Monday, April 12, 2010

Mugo number 19 in final pot #1

In summer of 2001 Peter Thali found this pine which later was known as "tornado" in the Swiss Alps. He collected it in spring of 2002. The tree was sitting on a huge granite block on the side. Wonderful spiraling deadwood close to the roots and quite vigorous growth . But all the green was just way too far from the deadwood. The foliage grew very well and it looked quite fit in summer of 2005 already. The tree must be well over 200 years old and the trunk was quite thick. this is impossible to bend. or is it?\nIn summer of 2005 Peter Thali decided that the tree was healthy enough for really drastic styling. The problem was that the foliage was very far away from all the wonderful deadwood. and the living branch or trunk was way too straight. So it was brought back with force. What an operation! Then one year later, in summer of 2006 the tree is compact and looks like it did not mind the bending.\nIn September 2006 the pine found it's way into my garden. Jim Doyle and I studied it for quite a while. What a monster! What a difficult tree! After long deliberation it was decided to aim for an upright position. This meant to have most roots in the air, but on the back. We decided that It cold be done if we protected the roots well. Only in the upright position all the violent deadwood could be appreciated. We planted it into a plastic tub which somehow has the shape of a bonsai container. The aim was to stabilize it in there and to not have to do too much to the root ball from then on.\nIn July 2007 the pine seemed to have adjusted very well. The new growth was vigorous. so some more major styling could take place. Big branches on the left were removed to get all the green more to the right side. Old needles were plucked and many superfluous little branhchlets were removed. The deadwood was cleaned with all sorts of tools including a steel brush on a die grinder.\nIn spring of 2008 I played a bit with the branches. They looked very fit and i dared to force one through the spiral to stick out in front. Thus I hoped to get some foliage onto the side where all the deadwood is. In July it seemed that the branch was doing well and also the rest of the tree. Now was the time for major styling of the foliage. Half of the green was cut off again on the very left side. The aim again was to get the foliage over to the right side, where the deadwood sits. Then needles were plucked and all thick branches wired. The rough sketch was corrected slightly an then everything was fine wired. The last two images give an impression what the tree could look like in a pot. As so often two dimensional images just don't show the drama of this tree. I call it "tornado" because of the powerful and violent spiral. In April 2010 I potted it into what looks like the final pot by John Pitt. I decided to give up the idea of bringing the crown more to the right to balance the whole thing. This would have meant that the spiral would be covered and the strange piece of deadwood at the upper left looked even more strange. I cannot remove the upper left thing because it carries the life line. So I made a half-cascade of it within ten minutes. Now the lower branches will have to grow considerably longer within the next few years.

In April 2010 I potted it into what looks like the final pot by John Pitt. I decided to give up the idea of bringing the crown more to the right to balance the whole thing. This would have meant that the spiral would be covered and the strange piece of deadwood at the upper left looked even more strange. I cannot remove the upper left thing because it carries the life line. So I made a half-cascade of it within ten minutes. Now the lower branches will have to grow considerably longer within the next few years.



2 comments:

Michael said...

When is the best time of year to make major bends like this?

Walter Pall said...

I think it's August her. Some do it in January/February though.
WP