The transformation of a mugo pine 2004 to 2013

Text and photography: Enzo Ferrari

How it started on 14 October 2006; as seen from the back.

 

9 June 2013, maturing already. At the Swiss National Exhibition it received the 3rd prize.

 

The story of this mountain pine (Pinus mugo) began in June 2004. This was the year I came into possession of this tree, which undoubtedly is very old and shows an incredible life of hardship and struggle for survival. The trunk is eroded on one side and has a natural shari of amazing beauty. The middle part, very twisted, confirmed the struggle against metres of snow that had compressed it for endless months during winter periods.

The much clogged soil caused it only to age and survive, without being able to develop harmoniously. Its survival was guaranteed by its needles that annually, once fallen, were transformed into new organic matter. The foliage grows at the tips of long branches far from the nebari. In March 2005 I thought that I could repot and put the tree in an unglazed pot, which would help to let the Kiryu dry better and prevent the roots from rotting.

October 2004, right side

 

October 2006, front.

 

The big challenge

In October 2006, after having studied the tree for more than a year, I decided it was time for the big challenge to get the foliage positioned closer to the main trunk. I had a plan in my head and wanted to bend the thick base of the branch towards the lower trunk. The branch has two side branches — the lower one is less thick than the one above. The top branch could serve as the foliage dome making use of all small side branches to create foliage pads. The lower branch is excellent for making a main or character branch, emphasizing the flow of this tree. And so I started documenting the whole procedure on a Saturday in October, 2006.

Detail of the natural shari

October 2006, left side

 

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