On Tuesday, February 25, we'll see the next installment of Ryan Neil and Scott Elser's journey with Douglas Firs. A year ago Ryan and Scott each introduced us to a Douglas Fir in need of a basic styling. Their obserrvations as they styled their trees was most insightful. They returned in the fall to review the consequences of the styling and care decisions they had made. We learned from Ryan that styling a tree is like the opening line of a conversation. The tree answers back by deciding which branches, of the ones chosen by the bonsai practitioner, it wants to devote energy to, and which to let go. Then the bonsai practitioner picks up the conversation by working with what the tree has decided. With Douglas-firs, as in other "elongating species" conifers, you can see what the tree has decided by observing the quantity of buds along a twig.
Ryan and Scott will provide their next input as they repot these trees.