California Juniper; 1 year progression

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Shohin
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The CA Juniper was collected from Mojave Desert, Jaw Bone Canyon 1999. It has been in a 40 gal plastic pot until I got it in June 2013. Here's the tree as received, initial pruning and some dead wood cleaning, late summer 2013:
 

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Shohin
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Bending Primary Branches; late December 2013

The weather here in Santa Cruz has cooled off and I can now add some movement into these branches. CA Juniper branches are brittle, turnbuckles/guy wires were used to advance the bends gradually. I did not wrap the raffia tight enough in places and I cracked/damaged some branches.
 

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Shohin
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Fianl initial styling; April 15th, 2014

This is the 1st Juniper I've styled; could have gone many directions, and will probably go in another direction after the tree rests. The result is a decent start, but man these things are hard to work with - foliage is very brittle.
 

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dinh

Yamadori
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Very nice. Good work.

--Dinh
 

ChrisV

Shohin
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Nice tree. But why don't you remove the whole apex? It kinda goes in the opposite direction of the movement of the rest of the tree.
Especially with the large jin pointing to the right side.
Removing it will make it more in balance with the trunks movement too. And will make the tree more compact and mature.
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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Agreed Chris...maybe something like this. Good foliage on this tree.
 

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Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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Should be just fine to work now...I've been working junipers and pines pretty hard over the last few weeks.
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
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Irrespective of the deadwood, I think there is an upright tree in there. Not that this semi cascade is not good, it just seems too contrived for my taste. Before I would cut off an apex I would challenge every aspect of the trunk and turn that thing about 50 ways to Sunday.
 

ChrisV

Shohin
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Yes I agree with Brian working on junipers is just fine in fall.
I wouldn't be too worried about the sparse foliage. They grow very hard during the growing season and you will have a lot of dense foliage in no time if you prune it right.
Another pro is that the new shoots will become branches closer to the trunk which will give the tree not only a more compact, but also a cleaner appearance.
Because you won't have to split or make strange looking bends.
Time is the key here.
It's nice to gets close to a finished image fast, but sometimes patience pays off in the long run.
 

Vin

Imperial Masterpiece
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Agreed Chris...maybe something like this. Good foliage on this tree.
Brian, I like your image but something will need to done with the long horizontal dead branch in my opinion. For me, it's very distracting but I probably wouldn't want to remove it. Do you agree?

For that reason, I'd look at changing the angle or front or both before committing to anything. Just some food for thought..
 

Vin

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Yes, the horizontal deadwood, coupled with the current horizontal pads is too much. By rotating the planting angle to the left, or flattening the planting angle, the deadwood would ascend at a slight angle. The profile could remain the same, see what I'm saying? Basically the foliage will remain in place and then bones will rotate underneath...counterclockwise. Hell, I just need to finish styling this thing
Sounds like it should work. I notice this because I have a Juni that has the same issue and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I've kept some foliage on the very end just to keep the wood green until I make up my mind. I'll probably end up cutting it way back and carving some shape into it. Is there any bend in the wood when looking at from top down? I must say though, you've done very well with the tree.
 

Vin

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Somewhere between these 2 will likely be the new front, not as sever planting angle. This new front will give the trunk line a sinuous profile, and the current apex will need little manipulation
For me, the image in number 2 looks better than anything else so far. Once you bring some of the foliage around toward the center and right of center it will look even better. Just my opinion though.

Also, the piece of deadwood in the center would look better if it was a bit shorter.
 
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