Let's try this again

subnet_rx

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I had lost most of that initial bonsai enthusiasm and was just watering/feeding most of my trees on a daily basis and moving on. This juniper project though has just stuck in my mind for the entire week though and I can't stand that I screwed it up. I need to learn how to see lines in trees somehow, and if it takes $100 in wasted material, then that's probably the same I'd pay for a bonsai class (no club within reasonable driving distance).

Anyway, here's two more junipers from the same group. Do you see good material here? What should be my first steps? I want to try to get this one right.

This first one has a lot of movement in the trunk. The line that you see continues out to a tip about 30 inches high right above the base of the trunk. Lots of branching, although a lot of the branching low on the trunk is suffering from being shaded from the higher branches.





The second one slants all the way with the main trunk line. There are several branches along the way that shoot straight up that could be reasonable apex candidates.



 

emk

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I had lost most of that initial bonsai enthusiasm and was just watering/feeding most of my trees on a daily basis and moving on.
I know *that* feeling. I bought a Shimpaku Juniper two years ago that I *still* haven't done anything with other than slip pot it into a training container. (A. It isn't fantastic material to start with. B. No nurseries in my area carry Shimpakus. The one I got was a fluke, so I'm afraid of messing up the only Shimp I may ever get my hands on.)

This first one has a lot of movement in the trunk. The line that you see continues out to a tip about 30 inches high right above the base of the trunk.
I've got a Parson's Juniper with a similar trunkline: nice movement, but not much taper. I jinned a low branch (about where a normal "first branch" should be, chopped off the main trunk about 3/4 of the way up and wired a thick branch (in front of the scar) to replace it, and pruned back most of the branches along the trunk very close to the trunk so I can develope foliage pads close in. Basically, since the strong trunkline was the only attractive feature of this $10 tree, I'm aiming to showcase it by keeping the foliage in tight as it spirals upwards towards the apex. I'll post a pic in 10 years when I can tell if the plan worked or not. :rolleyes:

...a lot of the branching low on the trunk is suffering from being shaded from the higher branches.
That's easy to solve! <chop><chop><chop> :D



The second one slants all the way with the main trunk line. There are several branches along the way that shoot straight up that could be reasonable apex candidates.
Well, I'm not much good at verts, but here's my offering. I'd jin that main trunk at the first major branch, which gives you a very evocative trunkline with a story to tell (the main trunk died off and the first branch took over). If you're adventurous you could have that turn into a shari wrapping down the trunk for a more striking image. You could probably do a better job with the foliage than what I show, but I think having a nice hearty pad that reaches out to the lower left (probably more so than what I show) is critical to visually balance the former trunk to the right.

Anyhow, good luck with the two of these. Oh, BTW, what kind of junipers are they?
 

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subnet_rx

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As far as species, I believe it is juniper chinesis. I have a parsonii and the needles on this are a different color and longer. As far as variety, I will probably never know. I find very few juniper chinesis varieties anywhere around here that aren't very upright in their growth pattern. I hate needle junipers, even though those are pretty easy to find. I've wanted a shimpaku for months now, and this group that I found at an out of the way nursery seems to be as close as I'm going to get.
 
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subnet, now you are reaching the place you need to be: a willingness to listen first. You may or may not get advice you will follow, but asking before cutting is the only way to learn more than you know now.

Your first order of business is to take off all the really fine dead stuff and clutter. Clean these out (don't take off any branches bigger than a matchstick for now) and give us a few photos in front of a plain background from various angles. You have some nice material here, and even if the foliage is not what you want, we can help with that, too.

Chris
 

subnet_rx

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Ok, just the dead stuff removed, here it is from all 4 side angles. I just had time for the first one. I guess it's just the light, but you can actually see the movement in the upper main trunk better in the first pictures I put up.







 

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I have seen worse material for sure, but this isn't the best either! What you have here is a long term project, and you will ahve to be bold and make some major cuts now so that it will be better in the future. If I have time I will do a little paint drawing of my ideas..... give me a day or 2.

Jason
 

Bonsai Nut

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Let me also think about it. Bonsai is all about patience. Either that, or bonsai artists are just really slow people :) As soon as I have some time, I will try to come up with some ideas. I will try at least one obvious one and one less obvious just to get people to argue with me :)
 

subnet_rx

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I'll post a cleaned up picture of the other one tonight. Maybe between the two, we can decide which is the best material to work with.
 

JasonG

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Here are two HORRIBLE paint drawings..... this is what I would suggest doing. Cut everything back very hard and let it back back but and fill in giving you many options to work with. We know that the first branch 1 and branch 2 are not in the final design, they are too thick and too straight. i would cut them off leaving a nice stub to jin later.

I vote for a major cut back of the long branches and let it fill in and style in 3 years. In the mean time do root work and get it into a pot.

Jason
 

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subnet_rx

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Here are two HORRIBLE paint drawings..... this is what I would suggest doing. Cut everything back very hard and let it back back but and fill in giving you many options to work with. We know that the first branch 1 and branch 2 are not in the final design, they are too thick and too straight. i would cut them off leaving a nice stub to jin later.

I vote for a major cut back of the long branches and let it fill in and style in 3 years. In the mean time do root work and get it into a pot.

Jason

Interesting, that looks like a good solution. Would you cut 3 now for for jin material or leave it as a sacrifice branch to jin in 3 years?
 

JasonG

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Branch 3 is the future tree! You are removing 1 and 2 inorder to refocus the trees energy into branch2. This will produce a ton of back budding giving you many more options for the future. 1 and3 need to go away.

Jason
 

weeble

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Psst, number check Jason... 1 and 2 go, and 3 STAYS, right?

Maryjane

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subnet_rx

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Here's the latest following Jason's advice.




And here's what I did with the other one. Both are going to be a wait and see game it seems.

 
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