The Tree

I acquired this yamadori Pinus Sylvestris from David Benavente at Noelanders 2016.

This is a photo from the tree at David’s stand.


Literati style trees have always attracted me because of their elegance and simplicity. This could be one of such trees.

The good state of the foliage pads with its small needles, the favorable placed branching and sub-branching and the old flaky bark is what I liked from this tree. The tokoname pot was also a plus. The tree shows an excellent health with plenty of back budding all over. According to David, the age of this tree is around 50-60 years.


Although the tree has an odd trunk base with a scar on the left side, probably from the removal of a second trunk, I think I will be able to improve this by adding some moss or perhaps even extending the shari upwards (any suggestions there?).

David and I shortly discussed the styling possibilities of the tree. There are a couple of branches that could be eliminated in order to simplify and enhance the elegance of the tree. The fact that the tree was already pre-styled and had a basic shape would help me in the future styling, luckily almost no wire marks were to be seen.


Once back home I plucked the old needles and wired the tree to the tips (only one or two foliage pads per night as relaxation therapy J). While plucking and wiring I further observed the tree and decided to get rid of one of the lower branches since it was too long and straight in its first section showed some swelling which made the branch difficult to bend. As described before, getting rid of this unnecessary branch would enhanced the simplicity of the tree. Once cutting the branch off I could see that a section off the branch was dying which explained the swelling.

A couple of branches of the apex area were also eliminated reducing the crown´s visual weight, I will consider to reduce the apex mass in the future.

I think the balance between the trunk inclination and the angle of the main lower branch ended up working very well. The subsequent upper foliage pads provide good rhythm by linking the lower with the upper areas and the back pads. The back foliage gives a sense of depth by filling the empty spaces between trunk and the front branches.

I tried to separate some pads on the upper area in order to give more visual interest and to avoid an artificial helmet type crown or “broccoli shape”, as Walter Pall says, hope I could achieve that.

Branch Detail