Refining a Masterpiece Japanese White Pine 4/17/17


Left side of a recently trimmed and wired masterpiece Zuisho Japanese white pine. The artist is Naoki Maeoka.

This Zuisho Japanese white pine must be one of the most outstanding formal upright bonsai in the world. It’s perfect taper, perfect branching with just the right amount of open space between each branch, perfectly rounded apex, and so on, all attest to this view of near perfection. But then near perfection is the goal with formal upright bonsai. And Naoki Maeoka is a master when it comes to refining extraordinary bonsai.

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Before. Even in this unkempt condition it's easy to tell that this is no ordinary bonsai. If you have a lot of trees, it's impossible to keep them all in perfect shape at all times. In fact, you wouldn't want to. Periods of free growth allow trees to recover from the last round of trimming and wiring.


Formal upright perfection. Naoki doesn't say how many hours he spent. Maybe his 20 hour job on the Shimpaku (below) will provide some reference, though my guess is this one took even longer.


After, right side. This shot shows one imperfection... the grafting scar. In the almost straight-on shot just above, foliage covers just enough of the scar to reduce its impact.


After, the crown

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Freshly restyled Shimpaku juniper, also by Naoki Maeoka. From a post we did back in January... No Problem that 20 Hours of Expert Work Can’t Solve.


Maoki doesn't say how long this Needle took to refine. It's from another January Bark post... Reviving a Neglected Bonsai

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