START BONSAI Professionals offer lessons on bonsai -- the basics, daily care, the fundamentals of appreciating bonsai, etc.

Wiring (1) Important point to shape trees

December 22, 2010

 For bonsai artists, wiring is the chance to show their skill. The tree's value depends on it so it needs advanced technique. It is best to do this work until mid-March when the trees become active. Once the trees are in active phase, they soak up water actively and the branches lose elastic. We interviewed Ideue Fumio, the owner of Ideue Kikkoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town, about the point of wiring.

Attraction of new trees

 Before wiring, thinning out the needles and cut off the unnecessary branches.
Of course, bonsai artists have image of the final shape when they cut branches. It is necessary to consider which branch to cut off, and do confidently and drastically.

The work to cut off the unnecessary branches (at Ideue Kikkoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town)
The work to cut off the unnecessary branches (at Ideue Kikkoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town)

 Ideue chose Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) which is Yamadori (collections from mountains) and Shakkan (slanting trunk) for wiring for this time. It seems to be over 150 years because of its split of trunk surface and its shape of weather‐beaten Shari (decayed trunk). It has been grown in a pot for a long time and is a new tree never is wired.

 Ideue said with a passionate voice, "It is exciting for me to be the first artist for a tree which never be taken care by anybody. I want to find the most of its potential like using the unnecessary branch to make Jin (perished branch)."

Using unnecessary branch to make Jin (perished branch)
Using unnecessary branch to make Jin (perished branch)

Require careful prior protection

The branches which are grown in a pot for a long time have the flexibility. It needs to take sensitive care especially for old trees such as over 150 years old.

 So ideue uses a band not to break branches off when he wires trees. The band is made from fiber of raffia palm's leaves which is native of Madagascar and it decays naturally over time.

Ideue protects branches with a band made from fiber of raffia palm.
Ideue protects branches with a band made from fiber of raffia palm.

 Ideue's style is to use the natural form. He does not make the unnatural shape. However there is a way to graft a branch on trunk for the good shape, he dare not use it because he believes the natural shape is the best. We can feel his spirit through his experience of bonsai over 40 years.
(By Shigeo Hano)

Trackback(0)

Trackback URL