2 Juniper Subjects

atonalkeb

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Hello - my name is Brian and I am new to this forum. I have a couple of questions for you Bonsai Masters ;)

I have these 2 Junipers and I am unsure on how to proceed with training them. The reason is because they both have two great sides and I only have seen pics of Junipers that have like one side. I would like to get both growing up in the center as well as both sides, how do I do this? So any comments on how to proceed with these will be greatly appreciated ofc :)

(1)







(2)



 
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bonsaiTOM

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Based on your pics here's what I suggest. First get a bowl or other suitable container - maybe a large colander - that you can place the potted juniper into at various tilted angles. Tip it, rotate it, swirl it around very slowly to find a better "planting angle", probably with the new trunkline at a 45 degree slant. Imagine - get an image going in your mind.

Based on photo #1 with the left branch pointed more upward and the right branch wired to a more horizontal line, but with both given some twists, you might be off to a start.

Sorry I can't give you a 'vert' image but I know others here can/will.

Be patient - others will follow up soon.

Tom :)
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Typically we choose a tree because something about it appeals to us...movement, nebari, foliage, the variety, etc... without knowing what you appreciate about these trees, we're left to choose our preferred features.

When you take photos, be sure to get a clean background, and photograph the middle of the tree at about eye-level, so the photo shows just a sliver of soil between the front of the pot and the back of the pot.

Now, the trees...junipers are classical bonsai subjects, and they are forgiving, but not very quick, and procumbens nana are not typically in the group of preferred junipers because of their tendency to stay prickly, and to sprout from the crotches, and shed older branches in favor of that new growth. If you are new, practice on these, and get a few other types of tree; boxwood or maybe some trident maples if they're hardy where you live. (you might want to add that to your profile)

The second tree looks like it can be a slant or cascade. When you prune this, do not prune out the interior branches to open up the tree...prune the exterior branches and chase back the growth closer to the trunk. You do not want to end up with a "poodle" look, like the first tree has.

The first tree needs to be given a more natural trunk line. Here are a couple shots of what I see in the first tree. If you're not experienced with wiring, find someone to assist if you go this direction.

Also, search for posts in the forum by October...Rob, if you're out there, maybe some links?...he's posted quite a few styling sessions with juniper nursery stock that have become quite convincing bonsai.
 

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atonalkeb

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Thx for the comments - lol I have a lot to learn :D
 

october

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Also, search for posts in the forum by October...Rob, if you're out there, maybe some links?...he's posted quite a few styling sessions with juniper nursery stock that have become quite convincing bonsai.

Thank you very much Brian for the compliment..

Hello and welcome to the forum Brian, Can you post some different angles of these trees. Perhaps step back so I can see the whole tree. Honestly, this is what we would call a problem tree. However, problem trees serve a great purpose in bonsai, they teach you how to deal with things that are considered flaws in the bonsia world. Sometimes these "problem trees" can become our greatest teachers if only given the chance.

Rob
 
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atonalkeb

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Thank you very much Brian for the compliment..

Hello and welcome to the forum Brian, Can you post some different angles of these trees. Perhaps step back so I can see the whole tree. Honestly, this is what we would call a problem tree. However, problem trees serve a great purpose in bonsai, they teach you how to deal with things that are considered flaws in the bonsia world. Sometimes these "problem trees" can become our greatest teachers if only given the chance.

Rob


I take pics as well as I do horticulture LOL - not well at all ;)

Well yes it is in our struggles that we learn how to move in the flow. I have this "I have to do it, and do it well" feeling with these Junipers, but I am hearing that this particular species of Juniper is not a good Bonsai subject. :(

I will learn!!!

Well this is what I did today with one of them:




Probably will fail as a cascade but at least I am actually working the tree instead of just letting it sit around.... Now to Jin that cut branch and prune the outside of the foliage - <-- does that make the foliage grow thicker?
 
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october

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Hello atonalkeb..Actually, this species can be a very nice bonsai.. I believe it is more of a problem with this particular tree.

Also, I would not do anything else to this tree. I would wait at least 1 year before doing any kind of work (wiring, pruning etc..) Sometimes junipers do not like all kinds of work being done to them at one time. Any more work and you may risk losing the tree.. I would take the next year to really get familar with the principles of bonsai, For example the 5 styles of bonsai and also basic wiring techinques. This way, when you go to work on the is tree next year or even in 2 years, you will be a little more knowledgeable and confident.

Much of the art of bonsai entails waiting. Waiting for the right season to do certain things, waiting for the tree to get healthy, waiting for the tree to adapt to it's new style etc...

Rob
 

atonalkeb

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Hello atonalkeb..Actually, this species can be a very nice bonsai.. I believe it is more of a problem with this particular tree.

Also, I would not do anything else to this tree. I would wait at least 1 year before doing any kind of work (wiring, pruning etc..) Sometimes junipers do not like all kinds of work being done to them at one time. Any more work and you may risk losing the tree.. I would take the next year to really get familar with the principles of bonsai, For example the 5 styles of bonsai and also basic wiring techinques. This way, when you go to work on the is tree next year or even in 2 years, you will be a little more knowledgeable and confident.

Much of the art of bonsai entails waiting. Waiting for the right season to do certain things, waiting for the tree to get healthy, waiting for the tree to adapt to it's new style etc...

Rob

Thx Rob :) -- I just got through reading (Sunset) Bonsai and gezz I found that I had no idea whatsoever about anything that I though I had an idea about. This book has enlightened me tremendously, down to the color and size of the pot you should pick for your tree!!! Awesome book!!! Just hate that I have done everything just like I shouldn't have..... but at least I am learning the correct way for my future trees. :)
 

jk_lewis

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The first tree goes off in at least two different directions, and you get wall-eyed looking at it that way. You should choose the side the you like best and work with that. You have the makings of either a cascade or a shorter informal upright -- but not both.
 

october

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If you are really serious about progressing in bonsai.. It is always good to try to find a bonsai nursery and study with a good teacher. Also, probably the 2 greatest books ever written on the art are by John Naka. They are titled Bonsai techniques 1 and Bonsai Techniques 2. Practically everything you would need to know would be in these books. They can be pricy, but are absolutely worth it.

Rob
 

Bill S

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A bit late, but I once watched Roy Nagatoshi turn a handlebar juni into a very nice cascade, not unlike the one you show. Used both side of the handlebars too.
 

atonalkeb

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The first tree goes off in at least two different directions, and you get wall-eyed looking at it that way. You should choose the side the you like best and work with that. You have the makings of either a cascade or a shorter informal upright -- but not both.

I went cascade and thank you :)


A bit late, but I once watched Roy Nagatoshi turn a handlebar juni into a very nice cascade, not unlike the one you show. Used both side of the handlebars too.

Thinking about it now I could have repotted and turned the base too have both sides going cascade.... live and learn :)



If you are really serious about progressing in bonsai.. It is always good to try to find a bonsai nursery and study with a good teacher. Also, probably the 2 greatest books ever written on the art are by John Naka. They are titled Bonsai techniques 1 and Bonsai Techniques 2. Practically everything you would need to know would be in these books. They can be pricy, but are absolutely worth it.

Rob

Thx for the advice Rob. I will b looking for those books. I just read the Sunset Bonsai book - learned quite a bit from that book :D
 
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