Juniper Procumbens - What would You Have Done?

Thomas J.

Chumono
Messages
520
Reaction score
1,070
Location
DFW area
USDA Zone
7
The first two pictures shows one of my first procumbens junipers pretty much finished with the way I decided to style it. I've had it now for over five years and couldn't believe how fast it began to take shape. There was one year where I pinched too hard and really weakened the left side so much that I thiought the tree was a goner. But it came back and is now one of my favorites.

My question is, would you have styled it with this heavy growth or kept it back and be more open as was some of the many suggestions I received when I first posted the tree right after purchase. A few of the virtuals I received back then looked convincing, but if you'll notice the trunk in the last pic, you'll notice that it's not anything to brag about. In fact it's quite the contrary, wanting to hide it. I'm not sure what I saw in this juniper when I bought it. I'm kind of wondering how many would've just walked right by it and not gave it a second thought, or would have bought it and maybe kept the foliage thin and not so full.:)
 

Attachments

  • update.jpg
    update.jpg
    68.1 KB · Views: 175
  • updateII.jpg
    updateII.jpg
    69.3 KB · Views: 167
  • bef and aft.JPG
    bef and aft.JPG
    46.3 KB · Views: 232

Rick Moquin

Omono
Messages
1,245
Reaction score
14
Location
Dartmouth, NS Canada
USDA Zone
6a
Thomas,

I have always enjoyed this tree and yes it looks a little full. Having said that in the end you only need to please yourself, which, I believe you have done.

I also believe you are looking for direction with this tree, based on your comments and tone. I can see why you are hiding the trunk. Virtuals are great things, but trees are designed in person. I believe this tree has tremendous potential. Although, you have the horticultural aspect down path and have a good eye in selecting stock, I believe like many of us you do not possess the artistic talent to take it a step further. The latter comment is not meant as an insult but a mere honest observation.

Many enthusiasts are or will be in the same predicament you face at the present time. Only 1% of the populous has what it takes to create "grandeur" out of seemingly "plain" trees for the lack of a better word. This is why we will often see some beautiful bonsais that lost their flair over the years because the artist couldn't or didn't know how take it to the next level. We often see this where, some of the "masters" of our craft often exchange trees or yet give them away to individuals that can take the tree where it needs to go. Do I mean you should get rid of this tree? No!

But I believe you are at an impasse with this tree and it needs to be re-designed to bring out it's true beauty. This is the type of tree IMO that could/would be suitable for an advanced styling workshop. Just take a look at what young Mario did with his latest Juni. How many saw that tree from what was offered in the before picture? I know I didn't! I believe Mario is truely amongst that one percent I was referring to earlier. Where does that 1% come from? The application of the golden rule.

The golden rule impacts everything in life, well it is my belief anyway. 65% are average, 25% are superior and only 10% are outstanding. Now apply that rule to the outstanding individuals and only 1 out of 100 is truly exceptional.

Please do not read more into this post Thomas than what is written. It is a tree I would enjoy on my bench. But I believe in all honesty that you are seeking and require asssitance to take it further. I don't believe than thinning out this tree is really an option. This tree is at a juncture IMO where it needs a re-style to bring out its true beauty.

Kindest regards,
 
Last edited:

Tachigi

Omono
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
36
Location
PA.
USDA Zone
6b
Hi Thomas,
While this tree seems to be in superb health. It is not one of the better ones you have shared. I personally would have kept it more open. Hiding the trunk, which is wanting as you stated, in plain view. Perhaps with a long large shari to induce some taper and a different planting angle. The "finished" image shows a rather large section of the trunk in a horizontal position. This is distracting to my eye and does not help the image.

Juniper Procumbens in my opinion can be a difficult subject to pull off convincingly. Due to their horticultural habits. Even pole grown they can be a challenge. So would I have walked right by it? Good question, one that I don't know if I could answer. I guess it all depends what stage of development I was at when I saw it. You obviously at the time thought it worth the effort to create to create an image.

I guess the bottom line is not what we think or like. It pleases you which makes our comments a mute point. As always Thomas thank you for sharing some of your wonderful images.
 
Last edited:

Brent

Mame
Messages
210
Reaction score
220
Location
Lake County, Northern California
Not that it matters a lot to the discussion, but this doesn't appear to be J. procumbens, but rather J. chinensis of some sort. To the best of my knowledge J. procumbens never forms adult foliage.

I think this tree may be improved with a restyle, but the options appear limited. If I am seeing the tree correctly, it appears to have no branching except in the crown. While it may be possible to induce lower branching or graft it, I don't think the trunk has enough character to warrant such a massive project.

It might be fun to see what could be done if it were opened up and we could really see the branching better. But I see the real possibility though that the result may be worse than what what you have now, which is a very pleasing tree if you don't look too closely.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,577
Reaction score
19,883
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
The canopy is about 65 percent too large for the trunk.


further...the trunk line at present with it's branching so high might make a more convincing literati while also combining reducement of all that foliage.

Also the overly large pot accentuates the thinness of the trunk by being large enough for the present canopy but overshadowing the trunk size. The pot needs to be about the size of the root mass protruding above the soil line and the canopy brought down to the size of the latter pot size.

I know of another popular tree that suffers from the same problem.
 
Last edited:

Thomas J.

Chumono
Messages
520
Reaction score
1,070
Location
DFW area
USDA Zone
7
Hmm, quite a bit here to comment about.

I also believe you are looking for direction with this tree, based on your comments and tone

No not really Rick.:) Because of the situation with the trunk as everyone agreed, I can't see where else this tree could go. I think Brents comments pretty much summed it up really good. To open up the foliage would lessen what I now have in the way of overall appearence.

Smokes comments about the crown being overly large for the trunk are true, except i'm not trying to make a tree be in proportion with the trunk on this one, mainly because of the trunk. Let's admit it, the tree has it's eyesores, but for my pleasure I tried covering up the main one and that being the trunk and dedicated my time to working on and improving everything else.;)

The only thng I will concentrate on now will be to divide the foliage up more into likeable pads.:)

this doesn't appear to be J. procumbens, but rather J. chinensis of some sort. To the best of my knowledge J. procumbens never forms adult foliage.

Brent,
Your not the first to think this, but yeah they will put out adult foliage that looks almost identical to shimpaku. It usually takes a few years of work but they will turn, sometimes around 98% worth and sometimes only about 65% worth. Look at the two pics below. The first one was taken around 2001 with no adult foliage, and the second around 2005 with almost all adult foliage. A lot of them will try and revert back to juvenile foliage and that's where you have to really keep up on your pinching, but with caution because too hard pinching will cause problems too as I'm sure you probably already know.;) I learned the hard way on a few of my procumbens that I really wish I hadn't. In fact I'll probably start another thread on one of those trees as before and after, asking whether the old look was better or the new look after having to completely redesign the tree:)
 

Attachments

  • jun7-07#9.jpg
    jun7-07#9.jpg
    19.6 KB · Views: 86
  • jun79II.jpg
    jun79II.jpg
    34.2 KB · Views: 92

Brent

Mame
Messages
210
Reaction score
220
Location
Lake County, Northern California
That's interesting. I have some enormous J. procumbins that are probably around twenty years old, not bonsai, but have been in the same container for more than ten years, never pruned and neglected. These are all conditions that you would expect to form adult foliage and I have never seen a single instance of it. 'San Jose' on the other hand begins to form some adult foliage around fifteen years after cutting propagation. I have seen many examples of that, including my own.

Brent
 

Ross

Shohin
Messages
347
Reaction score
160
Location
Dallas, TX
Thomas, how do you know when you are pinching too hard in a certain area? Is is just a lack of vigor as compared with the other branches?
 

Thomas J.

Chumono
Messages
520
Reaction score
1,070
Location
DFW area
USDA Zone
7
Thomas, how do you know when you are pinching too hard in a certain area? Is is just a lack of vigor as compared with the other branches?

Hi Ross,
You'll know when you start to get a little die back and no new growth. If the branch doesn't fully die it will come back but will take some time.
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,577
Reaction score
19,883
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
I get adult foliage on both nana and the full size procumbens. Not nearly as much as what Thomas has been able to achieve but I do get branches that will go all adult over about two and half years if pinched lightly.
 

waltr1

Yamadori
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Location
Doylestown, PA USA
USDA Zone
6a
I get adult foliage on both nana and the full size procumbens. Not nearly as much as what Thomas has been able to achieve but I do get branches that will go all adult over about two and half years if pinched lightly.

I have a small procumbens (could be a nana) with a little adult foliage and a few flowers only on this foliage. I got this as a young cutting (think mallsai shape and size) in 2004. I went to take a picture today but the batteries in the camera died. I'll try to get a couple of shots to post.

Ok, I have the picture.
 

Attachments

  • 2008Apr13 004 (Small).jpg
    2008Apr13 004 (Small).jpg
    47.8 KB · Views: 32
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top Bottom