Juniperus x Pfitzeriana "Sea of Gold" nursery stock

Venrus

Seedling
Messages
23
Likes
10
Location
Nashville, TN
USDA Zone
6b
#1
Picked up this 5 gal juniper from the nursery a few weeks ago and did quite a bit of cleanup and repotted into a 3 gal training pot yesterday.

I've been staring at it since I got it and I'm stuck on the style I want to move forward with.
 

Attachments

Venrus

Seedling
Messages
23
Likes
10
Location
Nashville, TN
USDA Zone
6b
#2
After finally picking a front (complete opposite of what I was looking at before) I did some wiring & additional pruning, but ran out of daylight before I could take any pictures. I'll get pics up as soon as I can...
 

Venrus

Seedling
Messages
23
Likes
10
Location
Nashville, TN
USDA Zone
6b
#3
Rough styling and wiring. Left a few branches on as I'm still not 100% on the direction for this tree. Going to let it do it's thing for a year or two then re-visit for additional styling..I think it's got good potential though...
 

Attachments

Messages
4,406
Likes
2,258
Location
Virginia
USDA Zone
7A
#4
Be careful, it looks like you've got bar branches in a couple of places. I'd fix those before letting it grow wild, they'll cause reverse taper.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,271
Likes
24,548
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#5
I'd keep that energy for now....
I don't think your design will come from up there....

The trunks do something nice....

I would like to see the whole tree...
Where there is no current foliage.

Nice....
Don't know how this got totally skipped.
I was coming back after someone else replied.....do I gotta bump everything?

Lol.

Sorce
 
Messages
1,578
Likes
2,227
#6
Hey Venrus... That is an admirable job of wiring...I can see you took a lot of time and were careful and neat in how you applied it...that is important in my estimation. That said, I bet you were frustrated because most of it wouldn't hold a bend??

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind for the next time...

1. Use larger diameter wire...I hate to say it but 90% of the wire you put on this tree was much too small and functionally useless. Some offer the advice to select the size wire that you think will bend the branch and then use the next size up....pretty good advice.

2. Extended your coils some. It is hard to tell and perhaps it is only because you were running two wires out some branches, but your coils seem a little tight...if you will extend them a little it will increase the holding power of the coils. Too much like a spring and that is lost.

3. No need to wire anything you are not bending or that is not serving as an anchor....two complete wraps is typically plenty for anchor.

4. Try to mimic the existing features, or desired features, as you are wiring the branches...the lower part of your tree has some nice graceful movement...put that same kind of movement in all the branches(that is why we wire)...sometimes even a little more exaggerated than the trunk works well.

5. I can't tell from the picture if you used aluminum or copper wire? I suspect its Al. I would typically use copper on a tree like this because ultimately it offers more holding and bending power in a smaller diameter. You can certainly use Al but you will need to use larger diameter wire(more difficult to apply) to achieve the same results.

6. This one is a little harder to describe but generally it is preferable to have branches that don't extend so far from the trunk...perhaps some compacting would be useful...we often use wire to add a bunch of bends to shorten the length of a branch...thus keeping the foliage more in relationship to the trunk.

I suspect at some point you may also find the foliage on this species of juniper to be a little course and harder to manage....although it is certainly better than many types!

Good luck with your tree!
 
Messages
12,103
Likes
12,279
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
#7
I know the last thing in the world you probably need right now is one other "Mr. Knowitall" telling you what you should or should not be doing. I would just like to offer a bit of a guideline to be considered. The idea behind a Juniper bonsai is to depict an old tree and as such the existence of long straight branches are out of character. I agree with the assessment on your wiring it is not heavy enough to get the job done and give you the freedom of knowing when you bend a branch into this position or that position the branch will stay there. You're headed down the right road.
 

Venrus

Seedling
Messages
23
Likes
10
Location
Nashville, TN
USDA Zone
6b
#8
I'd keep that energy for now....
I don't think your design will come from up there....

The trunks do something nice....

I would like to see the whole tree...
Where there is no current foliage.

Nice....
Don't know how this got totally skipped.
I was coming back after someone else replied.....do I gotta bump everything?

Lol.

Sorce
Here's some close-ups......
 

Attachments

Venrus

Seedling
Messages
23
Likes
10
Location
Nashville, TN
USDA Zone
6b
#11
Hey Venrus... That is an admirable job of wiring...I can see you took a lot of time and were careful and neat in how you applied it...that is important in my estimation. That said, I bet you were frustrated because most of it wouldn't hold a bend??

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind for the next time...

1. Use larger diameter wire...I hate to say it but 90% of the wire you put on this tree was much too small and functionally useless. Some offer the advice to select the size wire that you think will bend the branch and then use the next size up....pretty good advice.

2. Extended your coils some. It is hard to tell and perhaps it is only because you were running two wires out some branches, but your coils seem a little tight...if you will extend them a little it will increase the holding power of the coils. Too much like a spring and that is lost.

3. No need to wire anything you are not bending or that is not serving as an anchor....two complete wraps is typically plenty for anchor.

4. Try to mimic the existing features, or desired features, as you are wiring the branches...the lower part of your tree has some nice graceful movement...put that same kind of movement in all the branches(that is why we wire)...sometimes even a little more exaggerated than the trunk works well.

5. I can't tell from the picture if you used aluminum or copper wire? I suspect its Al. I would typically use copper on a tree like this because ultimately it offers more holding and bending power in a smaller diameter. You can certainly use Al but you will need to use larger diameter wire(more difficult to apply) to achieve the same results.

6. This one is a little harder to describe but generally it is preferable to have branches that don't extend so far from the trunk...perhaps some compacting would be useful...we often use wire to add a bunch of bends to shorten the length of a branch...thus keeping the foliage more in relationship to the trunk.

I suspect at some point you may also find the foliage on this species of juniper to be a little course and harder to manage....although it is certainly better than many types!

Good luck with your tree!
Thanks Johng! Definitely took a long time as this was actually my first time wiring a tree. I was removing branches as I went and had to take a lot of time to stare at the tree and decide if I wanted to keep or cut a branch...Almost all the branches are holding their bends with the exception of the 2 I had to use the twine on due to running out of thicker wire and wanting a more extreme bend than what it was initially holding...

The wire is Copper...I purchased this set as I wasn't sure at the time the diameter(s) I'd need. Now I have a better sense of the sizes and when/where to use them..

As I said, this is my first wiring and I'm still not sure on the direction of the tree I want to go with, which is why I left a number of branches I may remove later. I wired with some styling in mind. The nice thing about living in SoCal is I'm not far from a plethora of inspirational "wild" Junipers in the mountains, desert and coastal areas, all of which grow so different from each other. I plan on a lot of hiking trips over the next year on which I'll be keeping an eye out and photographing as many trees as I can....

I definitely appreciate all the advice/tips you provided and will keep them on hand for the next styling/re-styling of this, or future trees, no new trees for a while though - the wife says I have too many right now o_O and we're planning on moving by the end of the year.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,271
Likes
24,548
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#12
At first I couldn't figure why you quoted me with the pics! (appreciated!:))
Possibly this?
I would like to see the whole tree...
Where there is no current foliage.
What I meant was, I would like to see you get your whole tree design, inside the area bare of foliage now.

Like here aviary-image-1452898793396.jpeg

That's why....
I'd keep that energy for now....
I don't think your design will come from up there....
In regards to worrying about the bar branches....And keeping them for energy.
If anything, keep em to practice bending that wire!

I don't I.ow if you would have to graft this....(argh:eek: for me!)

But those trunks DO do something interesting.....
Way more interesting the pics of the base....Lotta design options IMO.
Lotta good opportunity for crazy live vein and dead wood interest. Different!

I'm not the guy to say how or when....
@markyscott has a wicked grafting project.....
And others can help better....

I just LOVE these trunks!
Very interesting interplay!

Keep it healthy!

Sorce
 

Venrus

Seedling
Messages
23
Likes
10
Location
Nashville, TN
USDA Zone
6b
#13
At first I couldn't figure why you quoted me with the pics! (appreciated!:))
Possibly this?


What I meant was, I would like to see you get your whole tree design, inside the area bare of foliage now.

Like here View attachment 91859

That's why....


In regards to worrying about the bar branches....And keeping them for energy.
If anything, keep em to practice bending that wire!

I don't I.ow if you would have to graft this....(argh:eek: for me!)

But those trunks DO do something interesting.....
Way more interesting the pics of the base....Lotta design options IMO.
Lotta good opportunity for crazy live vein and dead wood interest. Different!

I'm not the guy to say how or when....
@markyscott has a wicked grafting project.....
And others can help better....

I just LOVE these trunks!
Very interesting interplay!

Keep it healthy!

Sorce
Hahaha! Yes, that was indeed why I quoted you with additional pics....I was wondering why you would want to see "the whole tree, where there is no foliage".....thought maybe you were going to suggest something really cool I didn't know about.

I'd definitely seek assistance from the local Bonsai nursery or the local Club before I attempted any sort of grafting. I'm assuming markyscott's project you mention is the Twin Trunk Sierra Juniper thread?

Not sure if you can see in the second pic of my first post, but nearly everything in the areas you recommended was either dead or dying. There was only a few tiny spots with new growth that low, but a lot ended up coming off during clean up either by accident or removed by me on purpose....hopefully by letting it do its thing for a while, some new growth will pop up down there and I'll then leave it be if that design still looks do-able in a few years time...

I picked this one out specifically because of the trunks, something about them kept drawing me back to it. I initially saw it a few months prior to purchasing and when I went back in hopes it was still there, it was:D..I had the same thought about future deadwood/live veins..
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,271
Likes
24,548
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#14
..thought maybe you were going to suggest something really cool I didn't know about.
Damn! You don't like that virt!
I forgot the
(imagination required)
Label! Lol...

Really though....
I detest grafting....but markyscott and them make it look so easy!
I would even consider it to make best use of those trunks. And by that I mean saving money to have someone come do it!

Seriously digging it!
Glad it was still there for you!

Sorce
 
Messages
3,195
Likes
4,926
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#15
This juniper is young enough, you might get lucky and get enough buds to sprout in the bare interior to do something like what Sorce suggested.

Do take John G's compliment on your wiring to heart. For a first attempt you did a very nice, careful job. And you used copper. Excellent. If you had more of a 45 degree in your coils, rather than as tight, the copper would hold better. But for a first try, this is a very nice job. Better than my first try.

Grafting is more of an advanced technique. If avoid doing it if possible. Get this tree growing vigorously this summer, it may reward you by back budding in the interior. If it doesn't, you still have a tree with lots of options.
 

Similar threads