First juniper styling. A penny for your thoughts.

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#1
Well hello nuts. Did my first heavy duty juniper styling today while waiting for a pot to dry.
It's an 'old gold' bought last spring, transplanted in good soil without much root disturbance.
Today I thined about 1/3 of the foliage and did the first structural styling. Sadly I don't have thin enough wire around to do the tertiaries.
Need some feedback if you'd be so kind.
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0soyoung

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#2
In looking at your pix, @Mihai, I notice interesting jins low and on the trunk and foliage way up there. It all looks good, but 'what do you want me to look at?' (I ask rhetorically). I think you want to get the foliage down, quite a bit lower, so that it complements and frames the trunk features and focuses attention there. Plus, smaller and squattier = more 'powerful' bonsai.

Now I've given you my two cents worth for a penny! o_O
 
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#3
Quite a transformation so far. I like it. Maybe just reduce the length of those jins and you really have something here.
 

defra

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#4
Good first attempt!
I see raffia but i dont see wire on that part?
First raffia then wire!

I like where you going at for now its good let it recover from this round and then after it is recoverd the next round as @0soyoung says try to compact it some more.
Putting more bends in the branches (left, right, up and down) will get the foliage closer to the trunk also changing the planting angle to either left or right and then bending the upper portion in the oposite direction might help to get it more compact but for now good start and play the waiting game!
 
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#5
Hey guys. Thanks for the feedback! You're awesome.
@0soyoung i see what you mean! Next year i'll try to get it even more compact. Was afraid go go full on apeshit on it from the first try.
@Bananaman thanks mate!
@defra. About the rafia; there's a 5mm wire under tha rafia. Had to split the branches in order to move them and reinforced them with a wire 'backbone'. Wrapped rafia over that. When i tried to bend it held so well, I didn't see the need to add another wire on the exterior. Dunno if it has any impact or not.
Next styling I'll try to go for more of a 3d movement in the branches :).
Anyhow, for my absolute first juniper work i'm pleased how it turned out. Problem is I'm getting trigger happy and will probably buy a few more :)).
 
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Warrenton North Carolina
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#6
I would get that raffia off the wire. 5mm wire isn’t going to have a lot of give if that branch grows. You could wind up with some nasty grooves since you can’t see under the raffia.
 
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#7
Hey @Silentrunning! Sorry but I didn't explain it propperly. The wire isn't wrapped around the branch under the rafia. It's laid alongside it, on the exterior side of the bend, where the heartwood was split. The rafia keeps it flush with the remaining branch half. I tried to draw it below :).

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#8
Hey @Silentrunning! Sorry but I didn't explain it propperly. The wire isn't wrapped around the branch under the rafia. It's laid alongside it, on the exterior side of the bend, where the heartwood was split. The rafia keeps it flush with the remaining branch half. I tried to draw it below :).

View attachment 200603
I like that better than what I imagined. ;)
 

Adair M

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#12
Now we wait to see if it lives. The reason I say this is because the work you did was performed at the wrong time of the year. Doing heavy bends on juniper in the summer runs the risk of delaminating the live bark and cambium away from the actual heartwood. Because the tree’s wood is satuated in water during the summer. In the fall and winter, the tree dedicates itself in preparation for freezing weather. The cambium and bark become very tightly bound together. So, a bend is less likely separate the layers.

But the deed is done. You did a pretty nice job of styling! Patience!
 
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#13
Now we wait to see if it lives. The reason I say this is because the work you did was performed at the wrong time of the year. Doing heavy bends on juniper in the summer runs the risk of delaminating the live bark and cambium away from the actual heartwood. Because the tree’s wood is satuated in water during the summer. In the fall and winter, the tree dedicates itself in preparation for freezing weather. The cambium and bark become very tightly bound together. So, a bend is less likely separate the layers.

But the deed is done. You did a pretty nice job of styling! Patience!
A very clear explanation. Thank you for a very informative post.
 
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#15
So crappy job kept me busy and I forgot to update on this one.
@Adair M after finally reading up on juniper (after mauling this one of course) I wholeheartedly agree with you. The bastard has a will to live though. Only one branch succombed and it's actually for the best. Picked a new front and tightened the foliage a little more after @0soyoung 's comments.
@ManSkirtBrew :))). No need to appologise. That straight piece of deadwood is history... thanks for the motivation to take it off :D

Here's how it looks today.
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Sacramento, CA
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#16
Thanks for posting this update. I picked up an Old Gold at Home Depot this weekend, and this is giving me ideas for styling mine.
 

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