This Japanese white pine, Pinus pentaphylla, already was exhibited at Kokufu Ten. One would assume that it is megalomania to try to improve such a piece in Europe. Well, I dare to want to improve it. I think not enough was done in the past twenty or so years.
This starts with the nebari. How can it be that such a famous tree does not have a visible nebari? There must be something there somewhere. I took off the moss and here it was - a very hard an tough root ball which looked very uncivilized and seemed impossible to tame. There must have been others who were at that point and put the moss back on again. I worked hard for a long while with all sorts of sharp tools. Although I am strictly against washing out roots of conifers in particular it had to be done here. I worked like a sculptor who takes off material until the figure that he imagined appears. Besides obviously technically possible, is it healthy horticulturally? I think it is a slight risk, but since I planned to take off 50% of the crown at the same time it could be done.
After cleaning the piece an painting with biotreecleaner the original color of the bark comes out. It is this nice brown which we normally never see because the bark is black from dirt and patina. It will become black by itself after a couple of months, btw.
Anyway, it totally escapes me how someone would leave this jewel under the soil for decades and not uncover it the first day. I learned thirty ears ago that everything start with the nebari.