Judge #3: I’d remove or shorten the middle and top jin. Challenging material choice.
Northern White Cedar (Thuja Occidentalis)
76.2cm (30") / 58.4cm (23")
I got this plant from a nursery sale for $10.00 USD, before my knowledge of this contest. However, It was purchased because of it’s numerous branches and thick, tapered trunk. Due to the tree’s symmetry, browning foliage and bound root ball styling it into somthing “original” will be a challenge. So I’m considering creating movement by slanting the trunk, jinning some of the various branches after wireing them into place and balancing the foliage in the direction of the slant in an almost “semi-cascade” stlye. I will need to create some shari on the trunk to further create movement and character. Wind-swept may be an option too, however I have absolutle no experience with that…so we’ll see if I grow a pair and try something new.
One Quarter Progression
Here I reluctantly repotted the thuja and worked the roots a bit. Before repotting the drainage was horrible; some branches died back at the end of summer during a heat wave despite ample watering AND creating shafts in the soil for the water to reach the root-mass.
The photos show new roots growing on top of old dead/rotted roots. The last photo show the tree after repotting and pruning of branches that died back during summer. No styling yet
Three Quarter Progression
In this progression a front is chosen, labeled “2”. It is difficult to see from the images but the planting angle will be slanted to the left and the foliage will be arraigned in a windswept style to the right. Some of the lower branches will be wired, then jin’ed in late winter to add to the tree’s movement to the right.
I live in the monterey bay where the coast line is checkered with monterey cypress. Some of these tree, namely in Marina, have been constantly battered by trade-winds. The foliage on these trees is sparce and leggy. This was the basis for my design. I anxious to hear feedback – I honestly think people will either love it or be totally bored with it.
The trunk was split to create the lowest primary branch (trunk). The base of the trunk was secured with wire in 2 different places to prevent “oversplitting”. The edges of the wounds were treated and the new primary branch was wrapped in raffia. Support wire was added along the length of the new branch and wire was then wrapped around it. The branch was bent 90 deg. down with a slight twist. Once bent, it was allowed to set for 3 weeks. Then the support wire was removed and a guy wire was added to continue the bend. All the additional wiring was pretty straight forward.
I was very worried this design would fail: Fukinagashi is a difficult style to impress on viewer. But I’m actually impressed, this tree looks windswept in my opinion. Reducing foliage is very difficult for me, but I forced myself to do it because I thought it necessary to achieve this style in this case.
The proper pot (shallow and rectangular) and planting angle will really complement the design. The foliage will be allowed to fill in a little Once the wounds have healed on the primary branch I will remove the raffia and develop some more jin and a shari on the trunk.