Juniper restyle

Smoke

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Many here will remember this juniper from the 20.00 contest at bonsaiTALK back in 2003. I did an article on how I styled the tree here.

The tree sat around for a while and I pinched and pruned. Last year I think it was knocked off the bench by some squirrels and fell on the top of the tree breaking off about three inches of the top. At this point I was pretty miffed. I lost interest in the tree and it sat around all last year and this year till today. While feeling inspired with all the trees seen in Santa Rosa, I began thinking about something to do in the back yard since the race at Bristol was last night.

I looked over the benches for a project that wouldn't take too much time and found this rats nest. If I was going to get anything out of this it was going to be a miracle.
 
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Smoke

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The first branch on the old tree was a drop branch. It bent down to the left and was now too large for the tree. The foliage had doubled and the branch had elongated too far as well as grown in girth outgrowing the trees trunk too much. It had to be removed.

After removing the branch, I decided that I might take a moment to prune it up and show how a juniper branch should look after four years of wire and what it should look like if freshly pruned.

The sequence shows the face, the back, thinning, pruning, removing the dead needles from the interior and the final branch. A good sillouette for a juniper branch. If this branch were still on the tree, air and sunlight would now reach the interior and it would back bud profusely in my impending second spring this month. Some of the twig ends would have been wired to match the shape of the rest of the twigs.
 
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Smoke

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The rest of the tree was thinned and pruned. I did not pinch but rather pruned hard all the twigs on the tree. If I am to induce back budding on this juniper to further improve it it will need budding further back in on the branches. The tree was wired and bent into its new shape.

After bending and final adjustments, the tree was slip potted into a smaller Sara Rayner bunjin pot. Even though the tree is 9 inches tall, it still fits the Shohin catagory due to the pot size and bunjin shape. Bunjin are even allowed to be as tall as two feet at Gafu as long as the tree is proportionate and the pot is shohin sized. The photo does not show the depth of field very well as the first branch is the back branch which is very much in the back of the tree. When viewing the tree from the front the main canopy fills the scene with the back branch offering support. The photo does not convey this very well.

Comments welcome, Al Keppler
 
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As I said in chat, over at BT, great job on this one. It really looks so much more sizable than it is. I imagine that this is due to the carefull detail work, both in the deadwood, and in the living branches and foliage.
Also, I don't think you could have made a better pot for this tree. Kudos to Sara, as if she needs my kudos.
 

irene_b

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Nice job Al!
Thank You for the pics and the narrative.
Mom
 
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Nice Job Al.

In my opinion, the tree would gain much by losing the first jin on the left side. it is busier than the others and tends to hold the eye. I understand that due to the root mass size, this tree may have needed to be planted on that huge mound, but a lessor mound or none at all would benefit the visual impact. For now having moss instead of the added soil around the trunk (looks like it is hiding something) would be an improvement. The moss as is looks simply like it was added to prevent erosion and not as part of the visual design.

I also thiunk the glazed pattern pot is not the right choice, not to say Sara isn't a talented artist, just that the pot selection could have been better. There is a reason that unglazed pots are traditionally used for pines and conifers, although a matt glaze (instead of high gloss) can work with junipers. Also, when using a three legged pot, either one leg should be shown dead center, or two legs.

Lastly, the slab is too dark for this display as shown.

You have brought this tree a long ways, I do like the direction you have taken with it.



Will
 
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This is one case that I think a virtual could be very useful, since the tree is styled so that we can actually see its structure. Also, the changes will be minimal, so there's not so much guesswork involved. Here are two views with some jins removed.

I would agree with Will about the glazed pot, and suggest a nanban pot for your wonderful tree.

Fantastic job on this, Al!
 

Dwight

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One way to improve it .....send it to me !! Very impressive Al.
 

Smoke

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Thanks for the comments and now for the replies.

I can't disagree with any comment made about the tree,except to say wait till about February for the complete picture. As the tree is now is temporary and just to check proportions. This is just an interim shot to see where I am.


*The jin of the left side while weird in the photo is awesome in person. Due to the twisting motion of the jin in a photo it shows itself in a weird and bad way. Too remove it based on a photo would be sacrilage.
*I have a perfect pot for it now except that it is the same size as the one I took it out of. The correct pot will be a no brainer.
*The tree is on a mound now because the tree was slip potted from a 10 to 15 percent larger pot. All that soil and roots had to go somewhere. And yes the moss is there to help with erosion. Hey its 103 degrees today, I couldn't transplant at this time and risk losing all I have done to this point. The root system would snug down in the smaller pot with no problem and no hill.
*The Sara Rayner pot was the correct dimensions, just not the right pot. Jim Gremel can whip me out a pot in no time for this one. I also have a local potter that is pretty keen and can make some fairly interesting things.
* Actually this pot has four legs. The tree was actually repotted and tied in before the branch placement were made due to the tree falling over in the previous pot and growing at that angle. Before I could style the tree I had to stand it vertically to see where I was. Due to tweaking and adjusting angles the feet may be off, but since its temporary I could care less. All will be cherry when its time to launch the ship.

Keppler
 
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Then we are in agreement on most the problems with this tree as presented in the photograph shown. I am happy to hear why some of this was done and that you have a plan.


Will
 

Smoke

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Thanks, I was just bored...
 
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