Finished for now. Three years after planting (see below). Masahiko Kimura (aka ‘The Magician‘) styled this Ezo spruce (Picea Glehnii) planting with a high mountain stand of conifers in mind. Notice how the trees on the outside lean out, which is what you would expect in a natural stand of trees. You may also notice how Kimura enhanced the feeling of age by removing or jinning about half of the limbs (from below). Trees tend to shed limbs as they age. This is especially true of trees in forests where growth follows light; at tree tops and at the outer edges of stands. All three photos in this post are from Bonsai Today issue 26.
An intermediate stage. One year after planting and two years before the top photo. It’s quite powerful at this stage, wires and all. Notice how all the trees are almost perfectly straight and vertical. The look isn’t completely natural yet (see above) but still pretty impressive.
Freshly planted. Kimura started with inexpensive, untrained trees. The placement of each tree is carefully thought out to create a natural and harmonious feel. We’ll discuss some of the concepts behind placement in future posts. Meanwhile, an excellent book on the subject is Saburo Kato‘s Forest, Rock Planting & Ezo Spruce Bonsai.