Bunjin or literati (as known to the Chinese) is a style which Japanese red pines traditionally are styled in and it is a style which was ideally suited to this tree.
I purchased and imported this tree from Japan in 2013, since then I have been slowly developing the tree into what you now see. It has fully acclimatized and is growing strongly. You can read several blog posts I have written on the process here.
Although the structural design of the tree is largely set there are still some areas which can be filled over time with branches as the tree continues to develop. However the style or rather the environment suggested by it dictates that the tree not appear too lush, rather it should suggest a rather challenging situation. As such ramification should not be allowed to become too dense.
Akamatsu needles are both thinner and softer than Kuromatsu or Japanese black pine. When working on these trees this characteristic makes it less prickly.
Japanese red pine are very hardy and strong growers meaning they can be grown in many parts of South Africa, but if you are in doubt speak to other growers in your area and confirm this with them.
The tree was recently repotted into a mix of 50/50 akadama and hyuga (pumice), so no repotting will be needed for at least another 3 or 4, perhaps even 5 years. The pot I chosen to enhance the style of this tree is a drum styled, round container made by Tokoname potter, Shozan.
Measurements exclude the container. The display stand is not included.