Inspirational Scot’s Pines in Scotland

It seems an almost universal truth that the more folk get into bonsai the more they begin to look at tree images in the landscape by way of inspiration for their hobby. Some years ago myself and a couple of Willowbog regulars visited a glen just north of Loch Lomond in Scotland to look at mature Pinus sylvestris trees.

All the tree are on the west-facing side of the hill close to the main road that comes up from the loch.  They are protected trees and each tree has a number tag which shows that some organisation is monitoring the trees, they are also surrounded by a deer fence to exclude grazing animals so as to encourage re-generation of the pines.

One of the most interesting features of this group of trees, that number perhaps a couple of hundred in total, is the quite  wide variation in shapes. This is a little surprising given that the topography of the hillside is fairly uniform so one would expect the all the trees to have experienced more or less the same weather extremes as well as any other development factors.

From a bonsai point of view it is possible to recognise several almost classic bonsai styles amongst the tree shapes present on the hillside.

How about this cascade ? Admittedly all the branches emerge 8 metres up the trunk but in other respects it could be one of our kengai images.

Caz in the picture gives you an idea of the scale.

A close up of the branches, this was the only tree to feature this arrangement of branches so what originally caused them to grow in this way , heavy lying snow ? if so why only this tree ?

Classic informal upright style , probably the most common shape amongst the trees, as you would expect really.

Just about bunjin ?  another common shape in the glen. Lacks a bit of movement in the trunk line ?

Again literati ?  just about.

Jin and apex side by side , I don’t know about you but I would like to pull the apex a bit over to the left to bring it more directly about the trunk base :-)

Jin forming the apex , not always a popular style one that I quite favour.

Interesting that in this tree the trunk at the top is growing almost horizontally, nice cascading branches though.

A much fuller image this time , something to strive for with our bonsai rather than over thinning out ? this tree really gives the impression of age.

A victim of age, extreme conditions, disease ?  look at the great spiral deadwood !

Is this sabamiki ?  if so nature does it best ! worth studying though and trying to emulate next time the machines are out :-)

Great inspiration for bonsai branches,  see the road down below? we did have a little way to walk. Worth it though !

The snow still on the tops suggests that this was at the end of the winter, in any case we had a long and tiring but very rewarding day north of the border .

It is time I went back for another look I think !

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