Juniper chinensis Blaws

John Hill

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Ok I am posting this juniper that I started working on in 2004. It was sorta of a mess potted way to high exposing and killing alot of the surface roots. I had to pot it into a deeper pot to try and get more surface roots so I can get it into a much shallower pot when it is ready. The first pic is when I started work on it. The second pic is last year in the deeper pot. So I know it needs a different pot that will come when ready.

So let me have it!!

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

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JasonG

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Hi John,

Good tree! I think the current pot isn't that bad. To me it balances the thick heavy foliage and looks pretty good. I understand it isn't the final pot but I do like the optical balance it provides.....

I think if the foliage was thinned out a bit more it would accentuate the heaviness of the pot and be out of balance a bit.

Nice tree, I like it :)

Thanks for posting!

Jason
 

Vance Wood

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Not only does the foliage need to be thinned it needs to be cut back. The problem most of us have with trees like this is that we tend to let the branches get too long, or we neglect to cut them back short; a kind of cowardice on our part. Been there done that, or should I say not done that? You should also open up the views of the trunk where possible.

Looking at this tree and the other tree like it on the Black pine post you have reached a stage or stair step you seem to be hesitant to take. You have at least two trees that could be dramatically improved if you took that step and realized in bonsai sometimes less is more.
 
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Bonsai Nut

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I am not so sure with this tree. The upper half is so much better than the lower half. The nebari is not strong and the lower trunk is straight without taper. Personally, I would consider something more dramatic - like an airlayer just below the first branch. Then I would arrange a nicer nebari and let the first branch grow freely as a sacrifice.
 

John Hill

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Thanks Jason for the kind words. This tree is just starting its development. I had a large tree branch fall and broke the top of it and it has just this year regained the strength back in the top. I have a ways to go with this one as so many others.

I am not so sure with this tree. The upper half is so much better than the lower half. The nebari is not strong and the lower trunk is straight without taper. Personally, I would consider something more dramatic - like an airlayer just below the first branch. Then I would arrange a nicer nebari and let the first branch grow freely as a sacrifice.
Hey Nut,
I am not sure about layering this tree. The first branch is a sacrifice branch for now. It will be removed when ready. This year probably.

Not only does the foliage need to be thinned it needs to be cut back. The problem most of us have with trees like this is that we tend to let the branches get too long, or we neglect to cut them back short; a kind of cowardice on our part. Been there done that, or should I say not done that? You should also open up the views of the trunk where possible.

Looking at this tree and the other tree like it on the Black pine post you have reached a stage or stair step you seem to be hesitant to take. You have at least two trees that could be dramatically improved if you took that step and realized in bonsai sometimes less is more.

This is true Vance,
How long did it take for you to make this step? Remember you was where I was at, at some point. This I know is hard to teach and has to be learned by doing it. I know I have to many trees and I need to get rid of alot of them and concentrate on a few. Not enough time in the day. I will have the time when I retire;)
I posted this tree awhile back and had some suggestions and they were close to what I had planned for this tree. It is in good health now and the work will begin.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

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Tachigi

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Hi John, Blaws is one of my favorite junipers, my friend and partner in crime Ianb. Has over on BT displayed a few of his Blaws and they are as a subject awesome when brought to a maintenance stage. I don't want to cast a negative shadow here, and please don't take this wrong. The virt you did with the lower branch removed makes this tree very uninteresting, the trunk is very long and straight and with out interest, it is uncomfortable to the eye to view. I'm not saying that keeping the lower branch is the answer to this trees problem either. I'm not sure air layering is a solution to this problem also. Perhaps a shari hollow would break up the long visual line between the nebari and the your first chosen branch. I would say no matter what, that this tree will be a pretty good challenge to bring it from so-so to a good presentation. I hope this didn't come off to negative, is not my intention.

Caveat: I probably should of waited to post this. Its still relatively early and the Starbucks hasn't kicked in. So take what I say with a grain of salt ;)
 
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Bonsai Nut

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Hey Nut,
I am not sure about layering this tree. The first branch is a sacrifice branch for now. It will be removed when ready. This year probably.
This is what I think when I look at your tree:



It is a different style and has a different look certainly. However I personally can't get past the long straight trunk and then the crooked apex. It feels to me like the tree is struggling to decide whether it is a formal upright or... something else. I think the changes being recommended on this thread IMPROVE the tree, but they don't CHANGE it. I think this tree could use some changing :)

But it is all in the eye of the beholder :) I happen to look at nebari and trunk first. It is too easy to get distracted by the apex, when the apex is really just the cherry on top of the sundae :)
 

John Hill

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Tom,
No offense taken at all, that is why we post our problem trees to get the opinions.

Bonsainut,
This is a very nice change on this tree. I now see where you are coming from. May have to consider your option for sure. Like I said the top was broken last year and is now healty enough to do something with it.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

Bonsai Nut

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John;

I'm gonna step in here and comment so that this thread (which I think is cool) doesn't start down a slippery slope. Two general rules on Internet community sites:

1) Don't be offensive
2) Don't be offended

If you don't like someone's opinion or suggestion, please just say "Interesting..." and move on. Part of the whole bonsainut community is offering trees up for criticism. Some criticism will be accepted, some will not be. However take criticism as a person's opinion, and NOT as a personal attack. Normally I would send this via a personal email, but I want EVERYONE to read it so we can maintain the positive energy on bonsainut that we have created so far.

Cheers! Feel free to look at some of my trees and rip 'em up if you feel frustrated :)

- Greg
 

John Hill

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Greg you are right so I deleted it. I am not usually like this but I finished a whole bottle:D
So I am sorry and it won't happen again.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 
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John,
I usually don't say this, but...I doubt I would change much of anything about this tree. It has a naturalness and quiet balance about it that all the virtuals seem to take away. This is a stately tree, and it gives me a sense of grandeur. I don't claim to understand wabi and sabi, so I don't use the words generally. Perhaps someone who thinks in Japanese can tell me if they might apply here. I can hardly express how much I like this tree.

Perhaps the foliage could be a little closer to the trunk, but in my view that might make this tree look younger. I'd have to sit with this tree a long time before I would consider changing it.

Wonderful tree, John, one of the best I've seen.
 

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