Improving a Five Needle Pine

In this video I offer my thoughts on how to improve on a five needle pine bonsai, I also I explain how to create a jin.

So i have another project for you today this is my friend shomu and he happens to be an alumnus from my old college the indian institute of technology in kharagpur the same institute where our famous sundar pichai i graduated in 1993 you’re a graduate of nineteen two thousand yeah of two thousand i’m a graduate of 1962 so i’m his grandfather anyway and it so happens that he came to me as a customer not knowing that we were from the same college and what a strange coincidence so here i am going to show him how to do bonsai he’s taken up bonsai why do you think about that can you just say something oh because uh i first went into a trying to understand i was gifted a plant and i went into understanding how to care for the plant and when i started looking into youtube where everybody goes to start learning i started following peter because his videos were there to take care how to take care of one’s eyes how to do pruning and then i i realized that his nursery is not very far so that’s how i ended up as a customer here okay right now this is a tree that you must have bought from some other places so there’s one of us this is a five needle pine i wouldn’t call it the japanese white pine because that not really the correct name this is partners parviflora barbie floral means five you know needles so pirates bobby for a five meter pine grows all over asia and china they grow as well and i dare say this would be a tree from a chinese nursery where the chinese grow their five needle pines in this fashion whereas the japanese grow it in a slightly different way now choluha has realized that this street could be improved no end now to be frank i don’t think this looks very nice as a bonsai i’m being uh okay i’m being friends okay so that’s the real world yeah that’s why you’ve got it here and i was talking to shogo just now and he wanted to make it into a windswept and uh if you were going to make a windswept what were your thoughts initially so my thought was that because there that’s how the motion of the yes the trunk is and this is how and they’re like you know the foliage is at the end of the branches so if you were to give it a kind of a direction using wires it will actually look like towards the end it’s only the foliage which would look good in uh quincean style it’s not mine what can you insert side is usually a one-sided tree so you have to sacrifice one side so you would probably have to either sacrifice all this side and give all the trees going in that direction or you sacrifice this side and make all the branches go in that direction so that’s the way you would do it uh so that is one option my initial thoughts when i saw this tree was to try and make it a cascade tree that means bring this down or semi cascade with this as the head and then get rid of this one so that is another option and as i’ve always said in my videos the way i teach you never look at any problem as a one solution business every tree has more than one possibility for making bonfire so this tree has got several possibilities by all means you could make a windswept if you get rid of this make all the branches feed that way that could be a wind swim you can make it like a semi-tested hanging down like that so that is another possibility so when human brought this tree to me this morning i was going to ask him to do what he felt like doing because that i think is the only way you would learn but because uh i think i was bit hesitant uh it may not be fair just to let him loose and then end up with things which may not be so good but truly and frankly speaking that is the only way sometimes when people come and they really want to learn i let them just do anything they like and i will then correct what i feel are alternative approaches i won’t say what mistakes he’s done but alternative approaches to viewing a tree but since this is quite a decent tree and you wanted me to express my thoughts so my thoughts would be to get rid of these two thick branches usually when you have these big thick branches people are very reluctant to get rid of it you grow all this why do you want to get rid of it you know there are two strong branches here but they don’t fit the style of the tree so my inclination is to get rid of these two and just concentrate on this part so if you agree we will do in that way maybe make them as little gins if the gins don’t work we will get rid of them so if we begin by you taking off all these uh dead small dead tricks here there are only a few dead tweaks don’t worry about getting dead tricks from that just get rid of these small dead tricks and then we will proceed from them so it’s all yours with the branch cutter this is a grafted tree you see the base there’s a graft there yeah all the dead every the take out cut it the other way the cutter the other way yeah that’s it even using a cutter there’s a right and wrong way also when you use the cutter don’t wiggle the cutter just cut it clean if you turn to wiggle it you can break the blade you can cut it clean to the surface as well that’s the value of the branch cutter so get right up to the trunk and cut it close like even closer than that yeah really close yeah really close [Music] clean up all this go further up the tree okay that’s more dead wherever there’s dead okay now that you’ve removed all the dead branches from those upper uh set of branches as i said these two lower ones are going to be redundant so with the redundant branch what we will do is we either make gin out of them or we cut it off completely if we make gin if we don’t like it we can always remove it at a later stage so have you ever tried making a gin from a long branch like that so you don’t want to gin too long because that looks odd so gin is best about this sort of short you know like couple of inches that showed this side as well so a gin is really simulating what happens in nature when the branch is broken by the wind or the storm or drop from old age so to make a gin i will show you if you hold the camera for me focus on this branch now let’s go we make a sloping cut it’s explained in all my books so we make a sloping cut this way if you get close you see sloping cut like that one third or half the way through the wood or the trunk and then we snap it don’t cut it off completely because if you cut it off completely it’s not interesting supposing like i cut it here like that the end is not interesting so i’ve made this partial cut there so once you make the partial cut all you do is snap the branch and pull it and you get that torn effect i don’t want to take the bark off lower down because i need to sustain the tree so that’s how you do the gin over there and then you can thin it slightly like so and then we can refine it make it smaller now this one you do here now we don’t need all that let’s cut this up make it easier to handle so if i now get you to do it you’re going to make a sloping cutter back there because this is the front you want to tear this way so you make the cut at the back so if i give you the cutter you can turn it round make a sloping cut maybe a bit shorter than that it doesn’t need to be that long sloping cut a third of the weight through the trunk a third of the way through the trunk okay leave it that’s it now turn the tree round and you’re going to rip the branch off turn it so that you get a good yeah this way then you rip it rip it off just rip it hold the trunk here that’s it just rip it see the lovely texture you get okay that’s fine and maybe just cut this so that the bark doesn’t peel off completely and then you can reduce that a little bit and to reduce it you can use any curry wish you can even use secateurs because it’s a bit blunt looking i can reduce the size a bit by doing that you see you see how thin has become yes so that’s what you do see a lot of people like this but a lot of people do jins just for the sake of doing jinns you know which is the wrong attitude you’ve got to make it appropriate now if it it’s not appropriate for this tree we’ll probably discard the jinns completely but if you like it then we keep it so you see it’s not so awkward and uglier so thin and because it’s a live bark the bark will come off very easily with the gin pliers let me just remove the bark there and if i give you the gin fires you can just have fun in taking the thing off you crush the bulk be careful it doesn’t tear into the bottom just cut it you can actually crush it okay you can pull it okay just stop it there so it doesn’t completely [Music] [Music] okay then stop it cut it with the cutter and scissors okay turn it around let’s have a look at the tree so straight away it’s already looking better you know the proportions are right so the proportions on the tree are right and now it’s just a question of wiring so we go and find appropriate grades of wire okay right to judge the amount of wire we need always love if you’re going to wire these two branches these two bars are that long so i just leave a little more wire don’t waste wire as it says uh not good to waste because bonsai was quite expensive so that is going to come that way now choosing the front or the back of the tree i didn’t mention anything at this point now this front of the back is determined largely by the sinuousness or the the way the branch movement is there see if you look at this tree like this this got very nice movement a nice s shape if you turn it like this it’s very straight so that’s not a good front because this is the other side this can also be in front but i think because the tree is already leaning slightly this way i prefer to use this as the front so we’re going to wire these three branches down by that so we’re going to do these two together like so i’ll get you to do it because that’s the only way you can learn start it off really tight wash and be tight and the spacing should be right so now if you take it away you do the rest of the wiring remember when you come to then you can use the gin plus to assist hold the wire the other way it’s not an efficient way to use it if you use it like that like that or like that you know it’s easier to so you’re making like a little loop okay so so even holding a tool there’s a right and wrong way huh or efficient and an inefficient way okay okay very good now do the other one so just avoid trapping the branches and you should be there get in a comfortable position and do it don’t feel intimidated i think usually people who are new they feel intimidated now when you come to that you see there are three sub branches now which one to choose you see this this and that i think you can take it to that thicker one okay so always take it to a thicker one so when you come to a crossroads like that a choice you have to make the right choice or the best choice now use the gin class to assist in doing the little loop tools have a use you see gin parts are very useful like this okay yes okay now let’s look at the front of the tree again yeah yes front was nice okay this so this is the front so we’re going to make this patch go there this part is going to go at the back this part is going to the side got to be careful not to snap them they are brittle so this is going to be wide like this now we’ve come to a situation where we have three branches isn’t it so how do you use the three branch principle you know because there’s a branch on his own it’s quite simple you just use an existing branch as ward so link it to that as the one branch and then go up to this as the other one so that’s how you deal with the three branch situation so we start because this is going to be a double so we follow the same path as the existing wire has been wired so we go from here to there or we go around the trunk once it’ll be more stable like that and then go there and then this one we form the path of the existing wire so that the two are close together parallel like that parallel that how it looks neat and it’s efficient okay now your wire to the end over there wiring takes practice the more you do like swimming you know you do years and years of drills just to get a stroke right same with wiring you can’t get it in one day you can’t get it in one week and you can’t get it in six months the more you do the better you get at it so don’t be disheartened there’s always a good way and a bad way to wire remember not to do it too close now start using the gin class to assist okay now let’s have a look this is still the front now you may ask why didn’t i take it to the end because these are very thin so i’m going to use thinner wires to do the ends so that’s what we’re going to do the ends will be done separately with much thinner wire and this is two mil i think even two mil may be a bit too thick for that i think we may need one and a half but we can do that later on now these also need slightly you know [Music] i think these top ones can we can use there there are like five one two three four five six branches now i won’t take them all off because i’ll need all of them so let me start you off completing one of them always go around the trunk to give it support now in a situation where you get three branches one two three we always take the bottom one off we only want the horizontal branches huh so that one will take off and then we link it to another one see when you take that branches off take it clean to the trunk otherwise where it snags makes the wiring hard so why did you take the two next to each other and why not the one which is democratically opposite don’t have to as long as there are two together there’s so many i’ve got to wire them all so you could have it i’m going to make a little head there so that one at the top i will probably take up to the head so these two are the lower ones so you can wire these straws make you wire it now be careful they’re quite tense they’ve got to be careful don’t use too much pressure okay we go around the trunk again to start it now because it’s so thin you got to really support that branch as you were be careful don’t break it whatever you do otherwise you’ll be waste wasting the okay so you’re wiring these two this and this you are wiring not that easy is it this is where practice comes in okay so we’ve now wired virtually all the main branches so all that requires to be wired are these what we call sub branches like these ones these ones these can be watched so we’re going to use i think one and a half mil wide to wire these sub branches and that we get the pads so if we use the one and a half let me show you what we do so i’ve got a coil of one and a half here which is very thin one if i use thick wire it may damage the branches so i’ve got to be really careful how i do that so that back branch now let’s do this one that’s why if you have a very big specimen tree it can take one week to complete the wiring there’s so many small branches and trees that sometimes go on show you have to wire every single branch twig as well every single trick it’s a tedious process so this is wiring the pads so good to have these flat and now that the rest is fairly flat so then these two have to be worked flat are those two of course wiring is very therapeutic most people do bonsai because they love wiring so follow the path of that wire come right down here come on this oh so the five needle pins that the chinese grow are not as dense as the japanese ones okay so now these have to be white flats and that’s when that’s flat like that that one we can wire flat as well if we want to so this is where now we’re really playing with detail we’re really playing with detail usually the very fine branches you got to watch it because if you leave it too long it can strangle it so they have to be removed at some stage the wires okay so these can be wired like that i think i can use a slightly thicker wire here i’m going back to the two and a half mil choosing the right way of wire is very important if it’s too thick it can damage the branch if it’s too thin it won’t do the job and your chin class [Music] so that’s the front i haven’t marked the front but we remember what the front is like it so far yeah very nice so it’s nice delicate tree rather than a big spawning tree so this is all about proportion i didn’t want to let you do that windswept because it wouldn’t have looked right it would you’d be very very disappointed although it would have been a learning lesson for you but i don’t think the solution at the end of the day would be the right one [Music] a lot of nice little buds coming on this so i’ll leave the buns there’s not a lot of growth i would leave it so you can take it back as well can you see yes i mean you shorten the brush so you don’t have to go forward all the time so this branch have taken kick back on itself and this one i will also kick back present so with wire you can achieve so much without wire it’s not easy to get the shapes you want so again to browse principle i’m just linking to another branch of this world it’s just to provide the anchor then we can raise that back like that yeah so you can make the branch go anywhere so i’m creating a apex dollar tree i have no apex i’m creating the apex so that is the apex the top top of the triangle these two so it’s now a cute little tree rather than an ugly spoiling thing without the correct proportions so i think this was probably the best choice i said that every tree has different solutions and i think this was what we call the optimum solution i think it would be wrong just to force a tree into doing something just for the sake of doing it i’m sure we can make it a windswept as you wanted to but it would not have been right it would be so unnatural looking i would have not been very satisfied going down that route so as we say in life a lot of choices you can make one choice or wrong choice not that one is always right or wrong but some choice is better than others see how much nice it is now it’s already looking so delightful so the proportions are right you know yes it’s looking like a big tree in fact just by doing this and we’ve got an apex so a lot of these we can also fill the apex there we don’t have to do them all flat so i’m going to make those and they say once the wire is on you can literally manipulate it to do anything you wish okay so that i can just fill the triangle you see the top i’m filling that triangular space over here i’m not going lying it flat i’m just filling the spacer that the top is visibly an apex now these two literally wire everything everything in sight we were already looking nice and we didn’t have to repot it or change the pot this pot is quite comfortable but i think maybe it tastes pot one but i think you have to tease quite a lot of the roots so february next february would be the best time to do it a bit dangerous to do it right in the middle or third week of june i think they would that would kill the tree and maybe these two little ones i was also thinking those two little ones you can actually put into the triangle that looks really nice so we fill the apex the triangle of the apex very nicely now for good measure you do the last bit so you’re going to link this one to that one so you go down there strongly to go there okay have the pleasure of doing that one little tip before you do that can you hold the camera small tip but very useful don’t just cut it like that over here you see always bring it back on itself so it won’t escape so with the gin pliers rather than just leave it like that you can this is what i showed one of the girls from america angelica she found a very useful tip so we bring it back so it traps it like that can you see what happens so like that you trap it like that see rather than just straight and then then you can cut that bit off like that okay okay so that’ll be all these little trick tips and tricks are useful so there’s always some little trick that someone will teach you so now this tree this was the front tree so we didn’t work for more than an hour and there you are we’ve got this delightful little tree all in the right proportion because the trunk now is in proportion to the size of the tree if you had long straggly branches the proportions would not have been right that wouldn’t make it look like a big tree whereas if you have short small branches for this size trunk this is appropriate for the tree so it’s all about appropriate these you can still wire it more if you wish so that is now a really delightful tree rather than what we started off with so i hope you enjoyed it so what do you think of that lovely huh really lovely yeah yes it actually like so did you see this i think you did see it as well did you see the solution no no be honest no no you didn’t see this solution like i was thinking that it would look like a tree but yes now i get it also that you know how it is looking absolutely like an old tree a proportionate old tree yes i’m very very pleased with it so it’s being able to see the design so a lot of these things is visualizing design once you visualize design the rest is just the execution of the design so we can turn the tree around if you can turn the turntable we see [Music] from different sides in fact if you put it in a round pot you can view it from every side it’s actually a thing which can be viewed from every side yeah i know that that’s right a drum pot maybe in the spring we can pot it off in some pot okay the front but so are you happy yes right so this is going to appear on youtube and you will be a star [Laughter] supporting actor okay thank you [Music] you

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