Recently my wife and I made a trip to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and we were awed by the majesty of the place. ( See here for the story http://bonsaibpsbonsaiblog-bonsai.blogspot.com/2011_11_06_archive.html )
I was inspired to recreate some of what I saw in bonsai so to that end I went searching through the nursery. Here is what I found- it's a 16' tall Atlas Cedar in a 24" tub.
Many trees high up on the mountain have slim ,fairly straight trunks with minimal foliage due to the adverse growing conditions. For me they are some of the most impressive trees because they have survived for sometimes centuries in some of the harshest condition to grow in.
To start I decided that I wanted the top to be a jin- maybe like a tree struck by lightening or one the had the top snapped off in a windstorm. To do this I removed most of the upper branches and peeled the bark from the trunk and the two remaining top branches. I did this by using a branch splitter to split the trunk in several places and then used pliers to twist and tear the pieces off which left a twisted natural looking jin on the top.
To determine what the front was going to be I had to check the nebari or base of the tree.
Since these trees grow under such extreme conditions they don't usually have a lot of foliage mass. I knew I wanted a tree with a minimal amount of foliage so I started pruning-alot. I probably took off 80% of the original foliage.
Now its time to reduce the rootball. I was planning on at least two transplantings to get it small enough to put in an appropriate pot. The root ball was so big and so packed with roots I needed power tools to do the initial reduction. This is a 24' high by 24' round solid mass of roots.
Here is the finished tree. I will let the existing branches get fuller but I won't allow any additional branches to grow. I really want this tree to make a statement and once it fills out a bit I'm pretty sure it will.It's definitely taller than most bonsai at 55" but I think this tree will be able to pull that off.
In the future I may plant the tree in a stone similar to this to really enhance the idea that it's growing in the mountains.