The photo above is from 2011. Features a really nice Tosho that competed (but did not win) in Kokufu-ten number 85. For that last 4 or 5 years it has called Aichein home. I frequently stop to admire this tree. A few weeks ago it was due for its last trim of the season, so while I had it in the work shop I figured I’d get a few photos. Lets take a look.
The tree is really strong and has put on new growth evenly. It has expanded some since the photo from 2011. Obviously, that’s normal but still I find it nice to compare the old photo to the current. The current pot is different from the show pot in the previous photo. This is a cheap pot for growing. The show pot was antique Chinese.
I love the jagged appearance of tosho dead wood. It matches the sharp foliage so well. Often times when shimpaku is grafted on to tosho stock the tree has a strange feel. Soft foliage just doesn’t go as well with this type of dead wood in my opinion.
After cutting all of the new growth back to the silhouette the tree looks much tighter and refined. It is also a lot easier to compare its current state to its previous state when it was in Kokufu.
Trimmed tosho almost looks like a perfectly manicured lawn.
Thought I’d toss a quick tip in here as well for those of you who may be curious. When trimming tosho that have this level of refinement we generally don’t have to make many choices. Its simply maintenance work. It is however nice to make sure we give the tree some options for new growth. There is usually a very small bud hiding in there somewhere. Often times there are many! When going back to the silhouette line its leave a new bud before the cut. It is not always necessary to do this as many tosho will push new buds from old wood. Still, I like to leave a bud whenever possible. In the photo above the blue circle contains a small bud. You can get an idea of just how small they are by the size of my fingers. It can be difficult to spot them sometimes.
That’s all for this one. Thanks for reading and please check out the photo blog on Instagram. Just do a search for @treethepeople
Until next time…