Design help on Hawthorn


I recently purchased a Washington Hawthorn from a bonsai nursery that had obtained the tree from an artist who passed away. The tree is quite impressive and well into it’s development stage. But as this tree passes to me, I want to help it become the best tree it can be. In spending some time looking at the tree from various angles and viewpoints, I think I have found the best front based on the trunk line and nebari.

Front (I’ve tilted it forward a bit to move the apex more towards the camera)

A few other pics with some better lighting

But this front presents with a few design challenges, that I would like to ask for some advice on.

First, the red circle. That branch is too thick and points directly at the viewer. My hesitation with just removing it is that this will leave my first two levels of branches are completely “barred”. The primary branch (red square), the branch exactly opposite of it are on the same plane. This will happen at the next level as well if I remove the branch pointing at the viewer in the red circle. What do you recommend?

Second, the primary branch (red square) bends directly away from the viewer. I know that’s not ideal, but sometimes we make sacrifices for the overall flow of the tree, which I think this front does. But what do you think? Is it ok to break that rule of the primary branch moving towards the viewer from the side?

View from the side to show why I don’t think the opposite side, which would allow the primary branch to move towards the viewer, is less ideal for the front than what I have selected.

You can see down on the right how much the primary branch moves backwards.

Again, I really just want to do the best by this tree to bring out its full potential, so I am willing to change the front or my approach if you think there is a better way to design this tree.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts! I look forward each Tuesday and Friday for your posts!

(Douglas Moran) #2

TSTRUM, what did you end up doing w/this tree? Could you post an updated photo? I love hawthorns!