Hiroki Miura fixes a black pine that is rather too dull
A thin-trunked tree with movement that creates a literati style black pine. Looking carefully at the base of the trunk there are a number of roots that are all tied up together making it an exposed root style piece of material. By all rights the character of the roots should be focused on; however, the trunk character and lack of impact from the roots mean that the strong bend in the trunk is the most overpowering feature, one which looks very unnatural. How can the thinness and unnatural character be overcome and improved?
Folding up the trunk to reduce the weakness
Hiroki Miura has pointed out the weakness in the trunk as a major flaw of this exposed root black pine material. There is a very strong and pronounced movement in the trunk, but no taper to the trunk that has branches growing only from the top section. Other than the big bend, there is no other variation in the trunk and it is quite boring. ‘It looks like an S-bend, which is artificial and uninteresting. The thin nature of the trunk is a problem. First we will move the trunk next to the exposed root section and fold it up and compact it. That should remove the flaws,’ Hiroki Miura tells us as he comes up with a plan.
Compacting the trunk and using the bend
The S-bend in the trunk is to be pulled right down to the roots and compacted. It is easily bent by hand as the trunk is still thin, which allows it to be bent down to the roots without much difficulty. Any normally stressful work such as trunk bending shouldn’t be carried out in the middle of summer, but the flexibility of the trunk here is such that little damage will be done.
Fixing in two spots compacts the tree!
Compacting the cascading branch
By compacting the trunk, the boring and uninteresting character has been removed, improving it dramatically. By removing the loose loop-like movement, and bringing the roots and trunk together as one, it improves and highlights the character of both sections.
The next step for Hiroki is to style the cascading branch. Now that the trunk and base is compact, the branch is too large and draws the attention away from the character feature that was just created. Using a cable tie in the same way as the trunk bending, Hiroki will compact the branches to bring everything together.
The change in the cascade branch as seen from above
Looking at the compaction and styling of the branches from the side
The final result
All the new candles have been cut and only the old ones remain. You can see the trunk line much better now. The uninteresting trunk with no taper and unnatural movement is now a compact and dynamic shape with interesting character, especially in the exposed root section.
Although a dramatic bend during the growing season, the second flush of buds have been developing as expected. If there is no drop in vigour in the next few years, the trunk will fix in position in 2 to 3 years and the cable ties can be removed.