TREE HEIGHT

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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Andrew Legg »

Guy wrote: Hello Andrew------your right I didn't read your post before posting mine--so mine was a stand alone comment-300 years was possibly a bit arbitrary and could easily have been 1000 years-( really really bad Knees :tu: )-but surely "if you understand horticulture and plant physics,and you have an artistic eye" you don't need to learn the rules --- because you already have.-----but perhaps in all this we probably should just substitute the word ,"rules" for the word "Knowledge"
LOL - Imagine the arthritis at 1000 years!!!! Knees would be the least of your problems! Knowledge sounds good.

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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Nathan »

I agree with Tony's post from the 14th of November and from much reading over a number of years I have noticed that the suggested height has dropped from a 6 to 1 ration to more of a 4 to 1 ration, but given that every enthusiast has their own preferences it is a very hard to make a call, as Robert Stevens comments you should work intuitively and use the rules as a guideline rather than a check list, in the end the tree must look balanced

Just my 2 cents worth
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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Pup »

Bringing up an old chestnut. Just re read this post, I noticed that no one really answered the question, why Australian tend to grow taller trees.
In the northern hemisphere the trees used can be seen growing naturally, small and stunted.
I Australia our trees mostly grow tall, so we like our counter parts in the north subconciely follow what we see.

Just my :2c: Pup
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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Rory »

Pup wrote:Bringing up an old chestnut. Just re read this post, I noticed that no one really answered the question, why Australian tend to grow taller trees.
In the northern hemisphere the trees used can be seen growing naturally, small and stunted.
I Australia our trees mostly grow tall, so we like our counter parts in the north subconciely follow what we see.

Just my :2c: Pup
Thank you for bumping this thread. I've not come across this thread before and that was a very interesting read.

Well said Pup, but I don't think 6:1 applies to every tree in the Northern Hemisphere either. I don't ever recall seeing an American Redwood or a Swamp Cypress even coming close to a 6 : 1 ratio. It can quite easily be more like 20 : 1 or even 30 : 1 and they look trully fantastic.

Likewise, Eucalyptus / Casuarina can often have enormous ratio differences of trunk to height ratios. Eucalyptus in particular can be 40 : 1

Suggesting that 6 : 1 is an aesthetical ideal bench mark is ludicrous in my opinion.

I too prefer the look of a well structured taller tree, over a shorter stump. But it still simply depends on the species in my opinion. A lot of figs are naturally wide based at the trunk, and this may be a better ratio, but a lot of our other native material are relatively thin at the base, compared to their height.

A 6:1 ratio is simply generalizing and not helpful at all.... :imo:
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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by wrcmad »

Pup wrote:Just re read this post, I noticed that no one really answered the question, why Australian tend to grow taller trees.
I haven't commented on this till now, but it is an interesting read.
Just my :2c: - The slated 6:1 aesthethic ratio is born (I believe) out of the exaggerated caricature of bonsai as discussed in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=106&t=20659&hilit=design
Whilst only a guide, the numbers are based on generations of experience from the best in the world, so I find it difficult to argue with.
However, to address your question Pup, feels like addressing the elephant in the room.
In no way do I mean to sound disparaging, but in Australia we don't have either the patience or time to accommodate these ratios. We have the tendency to want a tree "now". We take nursery stock and trim and wire it as best it offers.
The Japanese 'grow' their trees into a bonsai, rather than 'prune' them into a bonsai - sometimes over generations. It is a totally different mind-set.
That may explain why our trees in Australia are taller.
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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by kcpoole »

I agree with pup in that we like our trees on the taller side of the spectrum, but......
I prefer trees on the taller side myself as I think they are more elegant and graceful.

:imo: Tree girth is measured across the Nebari, not across the bottom of the trunk,
the level that the width is measured at makes a vast difference to the ratio.

As examples, by my measurement methodology
my Chinese Elm here has a nebari dimension of over 60mm and a height of 400mm from the pot surface. Thus a ratio of 6.7:1
My Formal Trident Maple is more severe at 40mm Nebari and 600mm tall, give a ratio of 15:1

If you take the lower trunk size instead, then there will be about 25% less girth so a little bit higher ratio.

ps it all comes down to where on the tree you measure the width of which there are no fixed rules so there cannot be any definitive answer to specific ratios.
I suggest go and have a look at trees you like the proportions of and work out by your own measurement scheme the ratios you like and work to that :yes:

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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Theodore »

My view on this is very simple. Does the tree look good and in proportion? If the answer is yes then does the ratio really matter??

I wouldn't think judges at competitions anywhere in the world use a tape measure when judging the aesthetics of a tree!

That's my 2c's

Theo


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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by kcpoole »

Walter pall just posted his 2 entries for this Years Noelanders on his blog.
https://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com. ... -2016.html

If i do a measure on computer, for the Hornbeam I get a ratio of 3.7:1, and for the Juniper by my measure 2.5:1 or so.

Rory wrote: Well said Pup, but I don't think 6:1 applies to every tree in the Northern Hemisphere either. I don't ever recall seeing an American Redwood or a Swamp Cypress even coming close to a 6 : 1 ratio. It can quite easily be more like 20 : 1 or even 30 : 1 and they look trully fantastic.

Likewise, Eucalyptus / Casuarina can often have enormous ratio differences of trunk to height ratios. Eucalyptus in particular can be 40 : 1

Suggesting that 6 : 1 is an aesthetical ideal bench mark is ludicrous in my opinion.
A 6:1 ratio is simply generalizing and not helpful at all.... :imo:
Interesting but i disagree :-)
This picture of a Eucalypt posted a few weeks ago is interesting. viewtopic.php?f=106&t=21220
It shows a big tree out in the open and I get a ration of about 10:1 if I measure from the grass top.
the trees in the forest behind will be a lot more but ... They are in a forest and they all grow tall and thin. Just like we do with forests as bonsai. :D

to give another reference, check out this page https://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/heightrecords/
The tallest Redwood ( a species you mention. 115M tall and 15.1 M girth ( above the Nebari) gives a 10:1 ratio.
For the tallest Eucalyptus, 3rd on the list is "Centurion" in Tassie. 99.6 M with a girth of 12.73 M gives a ratio of 7.8:1

Even in nature, a ratio of 6 - 12 :1 is very common, both north and south of the equator

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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by kcpoole »

Sir Theodore wrote:My view on this is very simple. Does the tree look good and in proportion? If the answer is yes then does the ratio really matter??
Totally agree, :imo: people get too hung up on specifics when it should be what looks good to the viewer.

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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by shibui »

I thought 'girth' referred to circumference of the trunk Ken. 12.73m Centurion girth you have referred to should equate to just over 4 m diameter = ratio of around 25:1 but that girth is measured at 'breast height' ie 1.3m above ground level. The trunk should be far larger at ground level.
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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by kcpoole »

shibui wrote:I thought 'girth' referred to circumference of the trunk Ken. 12.73m Centurion girth you have referred to should equate to just over 4 m diameter = ratio of around 25:1 but that girth is measured at 'breast height' ie 1.3m above ground level. The trunk should be far larger at ground level.
Whoops sorry you are correct in both counts :-)

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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Rory »

kcpoole wrote:
shibui wrote:I thought 'girth' referred to circumference of the trunk Ken. 12.73m Centurion girth you have referred to should equate to just over 4 m diameter = ratio of around 25:1 but that girth is measured at 'breast height' ie 1.3m above ground level. The trunk should be far larger at ground level.
Whoops sorry you are correct in both counts :-)

Ke
I rest my case. You can take any example of a stunted Euc to suit your point Ken, but the fact is that the majority of Eucs do not have a 6 : 1 ratio, as Pup mentions.

The mathematics you quote "for the tallest Eucalyptus, 3rd on the list is "Centurion" in Tassie. 99.6 M with a girth of 12.73 M"..... may give an approximate ratio of height to trunk of about 25:1

As Eucalyptus age they will thicken a lot more at the base, so if you take one of the oldest trees, it will be more akin to the mathematics above. The majority of average aged Eucs may have a much higher ratio above 20:1

Here is a classic random outback Euc which I simply snapshot the first one I saw on images. They often have nothing more than a massive tap root and radial roots below the surface.
Note the number of trunks you can fit in that pic. It is clearly a young Euc and will grow much higher as it ages.
euc.jpg
Anyway, we can argue about mathematics all day, but essentially I am saying that Pup is spot on in that our commonly used native tree stock will have a much higher ratio than 6:1 in the wild.
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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Watto »

I believe the original object of this post was simply to help us all improve our bonsai and at times there have been some off topic views. The trunk width to tree height ratio is simply an artistic view that has a few different schools of thought (the Japanese originally thought the 7:1 ratio was good, some years ago when Salvatore Liporace was here for the AABC convention he caused a stir by saying similar things to Mela's comment, but suggested a 3:1 ratio) and these things will probably evolve over time.
I am a subscriber to a magazine - Bonsai Focus - and in the current issue there are photos of the best bonsai for 2015 according to the magazine. Now in 2015 there was a stack of great bonsai shows and exhibitions on around the world and this is their pick so a quick few (rough) measurements revealed, from a sample of the photos, the following:
* Olive by Jordi Ugena (this tree won European Bonsai San) ratio of 5.5:1
* Pinus uncinata by Jesus Valero Belmonte ratio of 2.9:1
* Fagus crenata by Louis Vallejo ratio of 8:1
* Japanese white pine by Mark Cooper ratio of 2.5:1
* Oak by Jean Paul Polmans ratio of 2.5:1
*Juniperus scopulorum by Brian Hollowell (from US National Exhibition) ratio 5.8:1
* Scots pine by Mauro Stemberger ratio of 6.7:1
* Juniperus scopulorum by Tim Priest (from Artisans Cup) ratio 2.7:1
* American elm by Suthin Sukolosovist ratio of 9:1
* Olive by Frank Cuccihara (winner of US National Exhibition?) ratio of 1.5:1
*Taiwan juniper by Salvatore Liporace ratio of 9.3:1
*Juniperus scopulorum by John Kirby ratio of 10:1
* Picea abies by Nicola Crivelli ratio of 7.3:1
* Buxus by Francois Jeker ratio of 4:1
*Scots pine by David Benavente ratio of 8.3:1
I understand that this is not a scientific evaluation or even a statistical analysis but it is an indicator of what is considered good bonsai from around the world. There are of course some variances (and I note that Salvatore Liporace is one that didn't meet the "standard") but we need to consider some styles that will never meet that ratio, like literati and a lot of the shohin but the object is to train our eye. The average of the ratios above is 5.7:1 - interesting.
And, just like all other bonsai rules, its a fair guide.
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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by kcpoole »

Rory wrote: Anyway, we can argue about mathematics all day, but essentially I am saying that Pup is spot on in that our commonly used native tree stock will have a much higher ratio than 6:1 in the wild.
Precisely and that is why the entire subject is pointless to discuss.
The 6:1 - 12:1 " rule ", is only guide to assist us to design better Bonsai and nothing more. not something to get hung up on design your trees to what you feel is a nice balanced between height and girth.

The point i tried to make (and failed at) :palm: is that trees in the open are far shorter per width than trees in a forest will be. Same applies to bonsai, Our trees are typically shown in isolation so when designed with that in mind, they will be proportionally shorter than naturally growing trees .

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Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Jarad »

kcpoole wrote: The 6:1 - 12:1 " rule ", is only guide to assist us to design better Bonsai and nothing more. not something to get hung up on design your trees to what you feel is a nice balanced between height and girth.
+1

In the words of Captain Barbosa from Pirates of the Carribean, "They're more like guidelines than actual rules."
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