The tree

This was one of the yamadori Mugo pines that I bought at Minoru Bonsai during a workshop from Walter Pall on July, 2015. According to Michael Tran, the owner of Midoru Bonsai, this tree was collected from the Alps, the age is unfortunately unknown.

Although the tree has a lack of nebari, the trunk is too slim at its base and has some back taper; I liked the tree because of its old flecki bark, the natural shari and the various changes of direction of the trunk.

The styling possibilities were discussed with Walter. One of the main points of the discussion was to get rid of the mid hanging branch and leave the tree only with two branches instead of three, compacht the tree and build the foliage pads along the trunk lines.

The tree was originally planted in a very large and heavy pot, the soil was already hard and had lots of weeds all over.

I took the tree back home in order to wait for next year’s repotting.

On fall last year I plucked the old needles and left the tree untouched until this year for its first styling.

Pot choice

Last year I commissioned this round flutted pot for this tree to Walsall  Ceramics. When I picked it up at Noelanders 2016 it seemed too small for the tree and decided not to purchase the pot.


Fortunately I found a really nice pot from Tom Benda which he fired just a week before Noelanders, that was a nice found! This is an unglazed decagonal pot with nice uneven finish around ist sides due to the firing technics from Tom.

Tom Benda pot

First Styling

Back home after Noelanders, and with a good dose of inspiration I wired the tree and started styling it. I decided to leave the mid branch on which would be the semi-cascading one. I think the semi-cascade form would work perfectly with the Tom Benda pot!

The tree was compacted with the help of two guy wires. The lower branch was pulled up to form the apex and the first branch was placed at the base level of the tree in order to disguise the thin trunk and some of its back taper.




Finally yesterday, I decided to repot the tree. Getting rid of the old soil was the most difficult part as this was already hardened.

There were spiraling roots at the base of the pot which I immediately trimmed, at the end I ended up with this root mass.


The tree was then potted with a mix of akadama, pumice and kyru.

Before and after



I´m very happy with the result. Now to leave the tree recover and further develop!