Juniper design assistance please!

Nelis

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Hi Nutters.
Need some help on the design of this (unknown) juniper. I bought it exactly one year ago. This is what it looked like then.
 

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Nelis

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It was repotted last year and took well in the new soil. This is how it looks now.
 

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Nelis

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This is my first juniper, and it will be my learning material, so I'm not too worried about stuffing it up, but if possible, would still like to create as good a bonsai as possible from this. I think I have the hang of deciduous tree design, but Junipers is a different story. I have been looking at this tree for one year, and still can't decide where to go.
 

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Nelis

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The tree definitely has some character and potential, I just need to unlock it's potential.

The first picture is my current perceived front. My current idea is to jin all the thick branches, and to wire and bend the more slender one in the middle, leaning forward and to the left.

Anything better that I can not see?
 

Shibui

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Go with your current plan. There are always other options but procrastinating won't make any of them come to fruition. Far better to pick any good option and start work.
Make sure there is some foliage left to make branches and keep the tree alive and healthy. Often it is better to do juniper work in several sessions over a year or 2 rather than all in one go.
 

Forsoothe!

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Next time style the tree before potting. You can do more drastic reduction when the roots are undisturbed and have a better feel for what kind of pot to shop for.

Nobody online can see enough into the tree with only two dimensions to tell you much on styling. I would (always) wire everything and then you can move branches around to form a shape. You will gain some familiarity with what you have to work with while you are wiring. You can chop here and there to suit after wired and moved, but you can't choose a longer length after you make a chop. Look at pictures of styles while you are doing this. It will help you "see" some similarities in your branches and help you see options you have.
 

sorce

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I wouldn't "jin" any of the long branches, it doesn't seem it would make much tale sense anywhere.

I think the lowest 2 trunks can be omitted from the design but should be left for health sacrifice.

I'd probably cut back the other 2-4 trunks to the closest healthiest first couple 3 branches and focus more on compacting it first. Growing out branches properly for wiring in a couple few years.

Seeing how they react to a severe cut will help you choose which are worthy of keeping.

Sorce
 

Esolin

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The color and arching growth habit reminds me of a Tam juniper, maybe? Regardless, I agree with Shibui's advice to style it slowly, especially if you don't know what you want to do. Start with one or two branches you know you absolutely don't like or feel are way out of proportion and shorten them. Then look at the tree again for a few days (or weeks) and see if anything else stands out that you don't like and reduce or remove that next. When I don't know what to do with a piece, I approach it slowly like this. It's sort of an extension of the axiom, "If you don't know where the front of your tree should be, find the back. Your front's gotta be on the other side." And doing a little work at a time is less stressful for the juniper too.

For certain, reduce any junctions with multiple branches down to just two, so those spots don't get thick and produce ugly inverse taper on your trunk. If you have a lot of long, leggy growth, then maybe start with slowly pushing it back at the tips to encourage backbudding on the interior. Just don't remove all the heatlhy green foliage from a branch you want because it will die. Reduce, wait for it to backbud, then when that growth is strong, reduce some more.... Good luck and have fun with it. Sometimes you've just got to jump in and try things. I butchered several cheap nana junipers before I started to get some feel for designing them. Still learning.
 

bwaynef

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I'd start with this. Then wire remaining branches into position (For now, pull 'em down if you don't know what to do with them and so that they get light). Once branches are in position, keeping anything you're not sure of, clean foliage that's hanging down and w/in ½" of crotches. Keep crotch growth that you'll eventually reduce back to.

I'm a bit concerned that this foliage isn't going to cooperate with the size of the trunk.
 

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Vance Wood

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Bonsai is an exercise in illusion where the proportions of an adult tree are represented by a particular set of dimensions. The height of the tree should not be more than three times the width of the trunk (Diameter) at the base. If you are not happy about this dimension you heed to let the tree grow out and gain mass, or you need to cut the top of the tree down to fit the dimension, or ignore all of this and forever more have a crappy bonsai that never seems to attract attention, even your own.
 

Potawatomi13

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Actually developing great trunk for several years IS great fun and most satisfying once done☺️.
 

Forsoothe!

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And developing everything else is also fun. Precluding any part of the process misses the point of bonsai: it's a hobby, a way to spending your time creating what YOU want. That's different from a job where someone tells you what, where, when and how to do something. That's a job.
 

Vance Wood

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And developing everything else is also fun. Precluding any part of the process misses the point of bonsai: it's a hobby, a way to spending your time creating what YOU want. That's different from a job where someone tells you what, where, when and how to do something. That's a job.
Most people that follow a hobby will want to succeed at it quickly, not have to wait twenty years to see results. Most people wanting to do painting with oil or water paints will obtain the proper tools and stuff and read a book, watch a lesson on Youtube or even take lessons. I don't understand why, when a question is asked about bonsai with a hopeless tree; when a perosn offers a cogent answer that is the truth their response along with themselves get piloried. Why don't we have a section for Woke Bonsai only, The truth does not matter lies only will be acceptable as a response????? It's a good thing the poster is not trying to learn how to fly an airplane. You may not like me but I will not lie to you, or kiss your back side just to keep keep up here.
 
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