Another Shimpaku semi-bunjin


Drop Branch Murphy
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SE MI- Bonsai'd for 12 years both MA and N GA
This is yet another tree of mine collected from the bowels of New England Bonsais' world famous summer sell down sale (I paid maybe 60 bucks for it). Of course, it didn't look anything like this. The trunk was almost straight upright out of the pot, it had several more branches with yellowing foliage at the ends, and little deadwood. Still, it was an older shimpaku with a nice trunk, and the price was right. I spent the next year improving its' health, then started styling. The more prominent jins were branches that needed to go, and some of the shari was created by me. The rest was discovered as I cleaned up the trunk. The lower eft branch is a tough one...I like it as is, but I think the bunjin image would be enhanced without it. I'd love to hear any thoughts. Thanks,

I'm embarrassed to admit that the tree had spider mites all summer...I had never seen them before and didn't realize it until late August:eek::eek:. Anyway, the mites are gone and the tree is recovering, though a bit weaker then it should be right now. The only thing done to the tree this year was de-wiring. I plan on getting it into a smaller round nanban in 1-2 years. Thanks



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Good potential for an outstanding price!

I like all your trees and I'm a huge fan of bunjin which we all know take many years to refine. This one does have potential and I will enjoy seeing future development. But my only comments now are these. Please take some more pics, but with a smooth clean background. The stucco is distracting , as is the coloration of the pot.

Thanks for sharing your tree projects. They inspire.
Thanks, guys. Yeah, the stucco is distracting, but it's the only monotone background I have at the moment. Someday, I hope to set something up that would be more suitable and permanent for photagraphing my trees in my garage.

I found some older pics of this tree. The first is right after purchase...look at the great pot it came in:rolleyes:. The next two are showing the tree after it's first styling and I was still trying to decide what the best placement would be for that lower branch. Thanks,



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Dave, nice tree and progress. I think you would have a nice bunjin-like tree if you removed that lower branch, right now they (the two parts of the tree) seem to be at odds a bit. However, sometimes I like the real drastic approach to create something real dynamic. So, you may mant to save that branch for a bit if you feel like going for perhaps a more aggressive approach.



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Hey, Dave. Thanks for the comments and virt. I would like your idea alot if the top on this tree was boring or if the branching looked forced. As is, the top is pretty good, so I think I'll keep it...Still sitting on the fence concerning that left branch, though:). Take it easy,

Hey Dav4; I really like the fact that you posted the "work in progress" photos of the tree, because it helps me understand what you were thinking.

I have a feeling that if I had your tree at the same point, I would also have started with the left branch down. However it cannot work given the line of the trunk - so you have to take it up :) Perhaps I can suggest something. Right now the left branch is conflicting too much with your primary right branch. The trunk leans right, but your two low branches are fighting with each other for visual precedence. In this design, the left branch HAS to be the priority. I think the general line is ok, but the left branch needs to be larger, longer, and needs to dip back down so that it balances the lean of the trunk. To do so, it needs to dip below the branch on the right.

I will do a virt when I get a break.

BTW I agree the tree is weak. You need to bulk that sucker up! Compared to earlier photos it does not have nearly the same strength.
Thanks Greg. I was tempted to re-wire this month, but am holding off for now. I think I know what you are tailing about, but I'll wait for the virt.

What a price!!!

Sixty Bucks ? What a bargain. Very nice tree. I wish I had known about this sale. I need to keep closer track of their website and what they are offering. Dave / Colorado Springs :cool:
Sixty Bucks ? What a bargain. Very nice tree. I wish I had known about this sale. I need to keep closer track of their website and what they are offering. Dave / Colorado Springs :cool:

They start their summer sell down sale every June...2 large tents outside with one for tropicals and the other temperate trees. Discount starts at 40% off and increases by 10% every few weeks. I have purchased 2 yamadori Rocky Mountain Junipers off the table at 70% off. The thing is, you have to walk thru the front doors and see what is available...the stock on the tables changes on a daily basis, and I don't think it is ever advertised for sale on their website. If you plan on vacationing in southern New England next summer, it's worth it to spend a half day visiting.


The tree is gaining strength again, though the spider mites are more then likely going to be a yearly issue. I wired out the larger branches this past winter to tighten things up somewhat. I like the current image with the lower left branch...hopefully it will continue to strengthen, as it seemed to be the most affected by the spider mites.


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Hello Dave, I really like this tree. I think I actually remember this tree from the sales benches. I actually contemplated getting it. That is, if it is the same one I am thinking of.

As far as the mites go .. I am dealing with some pretty heavy juniper scale this seaon. Actually, it seems to rear it's ugly head at least once a season anyway.

Have you tried the homemade stuff... 1 table spoon of cooking oil, 1-2 table spoons of dishwashing liquid mixed with a gallon of water. Then pour the mixture in a spray bottle and add one capful (the alcohol bottle cap) of alcohol to the spray bottle and shake well... I know that this stuff works wonders for eradicating scale. I am not sure about the mites. I bet it would work on them as well. I usually hose the tree off after the stuff has been on there for around 18-24 hours. If needed, I will spray again in 2-3 weeks.
Hey, Rob. I'm using several different insecticides, including insecticidal soap and dormant spray. I've knocked them back, but I'll be spraying continuously throughout the year.
Hello Dave, I have mostly all junipers and when ever I water my trees I water the foliage vigorously. I use a multi (5) setting water nozzle from Home Depot set to flat. I spray the entire foliage mass especially from underneath the branches on all the junipers and I never ever have had a mite problem!Done regularly, they will never get established on healthy trees. In fact using the white paper method and shaking the foliage, I never even see the stray spider mite!
Thanks for the tip, Mark. Until moving from MA to GA almost 2 years ago, that was how I always watered. With the move south, I have avoided wetting the foliage regularly, except for the hottest summer days, because of the increased risk of fungal infection...I diagnosed 8 of my junipers with cedar-apple rust a year ago. In 11 years of growing bonsai in MA, I had never seen this stuff. Just 10 months in GA and 3/4 of my junipers, including a very old RMJ yamadori, come down with the rust infection :mad:...then spider mites :mad::mad:. I stopped watering the foliage a year ago, and this year, only one juniper developed the rust fruiting bodies. Of course, that's when the mite infestation developed:eek:. Oh well, maybe in another 10 years I'll have it figured out.

ps Rodney Clemons, a bonsai professional in Atlanta, is the one who recommended my current treatment regimen.
It's funny you mention cedar apple rust Dave, one of my junipers had it this spring. We have had a really rainy spring. I never wet the foliage in the evening, only mornings and when the sun comes up the foliage is dried quckly and so far (knock on wood) I haven't had any fungal problems. By the way, your juniper and all the trees that you post are excellent!
Go all the way

If you're going to go Bunjin (in my humble opinion) don't get stuck in the middle (between Moyogi & Bunjin), go all the way! Don't start the foliage until after the major change in trunk direction. Please excuse the terrible virtuals.



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Thanks, JC. I'm going to try to refine the current style and create a finer, lighter canopy within the existing branch structure. Eventually, I may lose that left branch, but not right now. I don't think, though, that I would reduce the branches as drastically as your virts suggest.
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