Pushing the Limit!

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Pushing the Limit!


One day, Mr. Tanaka brought this Japanese Black Pine into the workshop and said, “clean this tree up for the auction tomorrow.” I sat there looking at the tree and the bark and figured it was about 50-60 years old. I asked Mr. Tanaka how much he wanted for it and it turns out the tree was not very expensive at all. I couldn’t help myself and bought the tree from him. I figured this tree would be a fun project to practice on during my time at Aichien. Hopefully I can make the tree look good, sell it and make a bit of extra money for another Bonsai pot (Mr. Tanaka gets a cut of course)! Since I knew wiring and styling the tree wouldn’t really make the tree much more valuable, I had to do some big changes. Changes in this case turned out to be two big bends on the trunk which I will chronicle in this post. Let’s get to work!































Here is a before and after of the tree

Aftercare and the Plan

Now that the bends are done, the tree is extremely stressed. We plan on keeping it protected inside the workshop for the rest of the Winter. I originally was going to repot this tree in the coming Spring, but that may change depending on how well the tree recovers from the bend. I have to take into account that the stress points are not only on the outside of the bends, but on the insides of the bend as well.

Dead or Alive

Many of you are probably thinking, “is this tree really going to live?” Scott asked the same question. Since one of the branches is below the first bend point, I believe that branch will make it, but branches above the bend is a “maybe.” Both Scott and Juan both laughed and here was my explanation to them.