My Cascade Juniper

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#1
View media item 3634View media item 3633
Hi all,
I am stepping off my safe cliff and starting a thread. It seems like I might have been a little aggressive with my posts on others threads so no one needs to hold back any lol.
As for the BonsaiNut gurus ( with their 1000's of posts and likes) I might have offended - I am sorry as my enthusiasm gets away on me and as some may already know, my 25 plus years plant/nursery/propagation experience doesn't mean I know everything!!!

Just wanting to clear the air before I get started.

My ground cover Juniper I am growing is only a few years old and I thought it was time to try a new experience - repotting, wiring, and posting a new thread.
I have done a bit research on growing media as I don't really like the media we use at work ( cheap 100% composted pine bark). So along the lines of 'Brent from Evergreen' my growing-on media consists of 80% composted pine bark, 10% perlite, and 10% pumice.

Well the repotting was more of a slip potting lol, as I trimmed a few straggling roots and potted on from a 2.5 litre pot to a 5 litre pot. I don't really want a bigger root ball as it might take a couple of pot-downs to get it into its Bonsai pot sometime in the future. I haven't decided on how long I leave it in a growing on size pot, realizing that once it gets squashed into a Bonsai Cascade pot the tree won't grow much etc.

As for the wiring, well a new experience for me. I have seen quite a few 'you-tube' videos but there is nothing like trying it yourself. I probably need to get some thicker gauge wire to bend out the first straight section, and after that I guess I wait for this little guy to grow so I can shape some more branches and enjoy thickening out the pads etc.

Lastly most/all of my trees I intend on posting will be trees for development as my plan is that this will be my retirement hobby in 15-20 years time.

I look forward to comments/suggestions/opinions on this tree/stick as I know I have a lot to learn about Bonsai and am thoroughly enjoying my journey so far.
Charles
 
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Location
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#3
I hate these Cuz they die on me.

So seeing em alive is always a treat!

I'd ditch that Wang Jin...

And cut it back to here when it can take it. View attachment 158381

Start shaping up them pads for a future.

Nice!

Sorce
Hi Sorce,
It looks like my Cascade idea just lost its head?

Would you be thinking of chopping this bottom piece to increase TAPER like with deciduous trunk chops?

I am guessing if I kept this long it wouldn't increase taper very fast?
Charles
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#4
It's kind of a game where you keep that long section of cascade going to thicken the trunk, while keeping them branches small and their pads tight but healthy...

Till some magic point where you throw it in a pot, and cut that part off sometime after the tree is growing roots in the new pot.

So yeah....taper!

Cascade....semi cascade....

What ever it ends up lending itself to when you pick a pot.

Sorce
 
Messages
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430
Location
New Zealand
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9a
#5
It's kind of a game where you keep that long section of cascade going to thicken the trunk, while keeping them branches small and their pads tight but healthy...

Till some magic point where you throw it in a pot, and cut that part off sometime after the tree is growing roots in the new pot.

So yeah....taper!

Cascade....semi cascade....

What ever it ends up lending itself to when you pick a pot.

Sorce
Thank you for your support.
I guess this little guy stays on the bench to grow lots.
I will post something else soon and see if others want to lend their opinions also.
Charles
 
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Location
New Zealand
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#8
It's kind of a game where you keep that long section of cascade going to thicken the trunk, while keeping them branches small and their pads tight but healthy...

Till some magic point where you throw it in a pot, and cut that part off sometime after the tree is growing roots in the new pot.

So yeah....taper!

Cascade....semi cascade....

What ever it ends up lending itself to when you pick a pot.

Sorce
Hi Sorce,
So I have had an OOPS moment and my wiring ( with wrong time of year I guess) has meant I broke the Cascade
:-(
I thought if I replaced the wiring with a better attempt it would work out ok. Lol, didn’t. And bent the wire round the stem the wrong side of the bend I think. Back to wire school.
Charles

 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#9
Nice!

When my pitcher's(baseball) come off a few balls, and throw a strike....

I tell em....

"Same feeling"

Like down to the toes on the mound.... To the fingertips.

You . .

"Different feeling"

But remember it!

Now you know when to stop when they say ...
"Bend it till right before it breaks"

Only one way to own that info!

Congrats!

Sorce
 
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#10
Can I share with you from personal experience? I have found that the cascade is one of the most difficult styles to pull off successfully. At first it seems simple, you bend a branch or trunk down over the side of a tallish pot and there you have it. Try it that way and let me know how that goes for you. You have to understand that the cascade has two apexes more than it has one. I suggest that you get hold of Kimura's book, the first one and study his cascades. He demonstrates both the two apex and dual apex cascades and it important that you get a feel for how these trees are constructed. It is kind of like designing a tree upside down and backwards.
 
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Location
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#11
Can I share with you from personal experience? I have found that the cascade is one of the most difficult styles to pull off successfully. At first it seems simple, you bend a branch or trunk down over the side of a tallish pot and there you have it. Try it that way and let me know how that goes for you. You have to understand that the cascade has two apexes more than it has one. I suggest that you get hold of Kimura's book, the first one and study his cascades. He demonstrates both the two apex and dual apex cascades and it important that you get a feel for how these trees are constructed. It is kind of like designing a tree upside down and backwards.
Hi Vance,
Thank you for your wise advice. I think this and many of my babies need some wise words and lots more (loads of) study by the owner.
I will search out the book, that and John Naka’s books on Bonsai design and principles.
It seems like such a long road ahead but hey anyway , was going to ask you about your grow boxes as mine seem big and chunky ( as per photo below).
Would you mind if I asked you the dimensions of the 2 pieces of wood for both sides? Trying to not sound rude in my attempt to copy some of it sorry.

 
Messages
478
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430
Location
New Zealand
USDA Zone
9a
#12
Nice!

When my pitcher's(baseball) come off a few balls, and throw a strike....

I tell em....

"Same feeling"

Like down to the toes on the mound.... To the fingertips.

You . .

"Different feeling"

But remember it!

Now you know when to stop when they say ...
"Bend it till right before it breaks"

Only one way to own that info!

Congrats!

Sorce
Hi Sorce,
I am sure many more branches will break before I even get close to understanding how to wire a tree properly. Clip and grow looking like a best friend #2 option lol.

The funny thing was right before I broke the trunk/branch I had it set real nice, but NOOOO, I had to perfect the bend again, forgetting I had weakened this bend already lots. Hmmm, I remember some wise guy said to bend the branch once cause if you RE- bend a branch it gets weak.
Ooops, yep I achieved a homer.

Don’t do baseball in NZ, but have seen enough USA movies/tv to understand your story.
Charles
 
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Location
Michigan
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#14
Hi Vance,
Thank you for your wise advice. I think this and many of my babies need some wise words and lots more (loads of) study by the owner.
I will search out the book, that and John Naka’s books on Bonsai design and principles.
It seems like such a long road ahead but hey anyway , was going to ask you about your grow boxes as mine seem big and chunky ( as per photo below).
Would you mind if I asked you the dimensions of the 2 pieces of wood for both sides? Trying to not sound rude in my attempt to copy some of it sorry.

You don't have to follow a demension that I used, make what's appropriate to your needs.
 
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Location
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#15
Update time-

So with the broken length of the cascade I let it grow all summer and I was pleased with the growth it pushed.
I tried my wiring skills again, forgetting @sorce and his diagrams, and forgetting to watch the Colin Lewis wiring lessons. Go me and broke another branch. It is the bending the branch after I have wrapped the wire but that I need to get better. I have now watched Colin in action and I will attempt to practice some more soon - no knack 😔
As per picture below I have changed my cascade design totally and gone for a more informal upright of sorts.
And yes, before I get hauled over the coals for pinching I want to see how the tree responds. Also I now read from this site to stem shorten Junipers, not pinch.
109B60A0-F2C6-4E3C-AAB5-9E2F84882629.jpeg
F06C5B5F-30D6-44CE-877D-8ECD1CC8E34A.jpeg
So the pinching is not dramatic. Maybe it was another nana that I practiced on.
It looks like I have forgotten to wire the right branch. I might pluck up the courage this weekend.
There seems to be a design flaw in my creation with the “pigeon breast” curve. Is this bad? Also I have my guy wires in place to bend the trunk some more to get away from this rather half moon curvey thing.
I welcome critique, ideas for design going forward,
Charles
 
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#16
Hi Sorce!
Meant to leave you this from Boon via Adair.
Sorce
On second attachment... are they your daughter and son? o_O
This boy is gonna get on so high that you are gonna admire and bend :eek:

Off topic... Sorry Charles :oops:

However, I think I can contribute a little bit to the thread by saying that I have read on the forum recently that you can kill juniper branches by wiring at the wrong time of year.
The cambium is separated from the rest of the branch resulting in death of that branch. (I'm sure it was posted by @coh )
 
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Netherlands
#17
It's winter/early spring in NZ now, Alexandra, the juniper should be fine I think.
@KiwiPlantGuy, your tree is probably in the first two branches, if not just the first one. If you try bending the first branch up instead of down you'll create a new trunkline that is pliable enough to bring some curving into it. The tree seems rather small and young, so there's probably a lot of possibilities still.

You are in the southern parts of the Northern Island, right? Do you know Samuel Brierley? Sam's a absolutely top guy and also owner at Eudai Bonsai in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty. He organised the Lake Taupo bonsai weekend the other day. If you have the chance, go work together with him (and others) sometimes. There's guys closer to your area, but I forgot their names, sorry.
 
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Location
Western West Virginia
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#20
Hiya Charles!
Understand what @Tentakelaertje is saying. Excellent!

Keep your plan to go cascade :) That's my input and I'm sticking to it.

The small branch atop the main trunk line will become upper trunk/apex. Let it grow grow grow
and start gently nudging it up, and forwards now.
Just changing the planting angle more forwards will bring the new apex upright without wire
as the tree grows and gets repotted, or a combination of both wire and planting angle later on.
So you don't have to push any limits bending it really. Just gently wire it now. Bend more another season.
Pot another year. So sorry you lost the original lower apex/cascade.

I am not digging that big elbow, I think you're referring to as a pigeon breast?
It's too un-natural, BUT!...provides a cool easy peasy jin right off the bat so to say.
You don't need to jin it next growing season, but eventually. Just keep its' growth in check
as well as the cascade to be somewhat, to distribute energy to the upper apex.

Oh, and that planting angle, will also throw down that left branch into a cascading position.
Then you can start selecting branches to throw off into the curves, to be.
Then when you get better at wiring, you can rotate the cascade branch as well as bend it
towards the desired position.

Here's an important question. How many procumbens do you have Charles?
The reason I ask, is if you only have a couple, 3 or 4, get more! Buy more wire
and put the tutorials to use you're scoping out now.

Let the soil/roots DRY mostly, prior to bending ;)
 

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