My Hollywood Juniper

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
20,339
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
This a juniper I picked up 4-5 years ago. It had a great trunk, but the design wasn't great. The current front was shifted about 90 degrees, and the canopy is now entirely comprised of what was the lowest branch on the old left side. I've reduced and refined the deadwood (still working on it), as well. I finally found some time in September to start fine-tuning the branch structure. I still need to wire the smaller branches. It's planted in a nice chinese pot which is too shallow for the trunk, I think. I have two tokoname pots that I am considering for next years' re-pot. Comments?

Dave

PS The pics make it look like the jin and apex are at the same level...they aren't. The apex is about 3" lower the the jin
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
9,041
Reaction score
16,334
Location
Charlotte area, North Carolina
USDA Zone
7B
I like where you are going with this tree.

I think you need to pick an apex (deadwood or live foliage) and define the tree around the vision. Right now both apex are the same height.

You will want to work on the knot/bulge in the middle of the tree, and you need to introduce more taper into the deadwood design. However do some virts first before you start carving so you know what you want to end up with.
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
20,339
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
Bnut, thanks, and great comments. Like I said in the first post, the deadwood is higher then the foliage. However, after looking at the pics I posted, I decided to pull the top of the foliage down a bit more, compacting the foliage mass and, hopefully, eliminating the image of both the foliage and deadwood competing for the top. As for the knot, I do need to carve it up a bit, but not right now. The cambium over that knot comprises a fair amount of the lifeline feeding the canopy, so I'll need to reduce it carefully and slowly. I've been carving/reducing the deadwood periodically since acquiring the tree. I can't say I've ever felt really great about the results...I usually stop carving after a while because I'm concerned about taking too much away. Then I stare at it for 6-12 months, then decide to take it back a bit more. I'll definetely look into thinning out the deadwood to get more taper.

Dave
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
11,690
Reaction score
31,337
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
I like the second pot quite a bit. The color seems to compliment the bark nicely, and the size and proportions are right-on.

I like where you're headed with the design, and agree with Greg, that you'll want to lighten the shari through carving. I'd also recommend that you close the gap between the deadwood and the new live portion to compensate for the youth of the live portion until it thickens up.

Good stuff. I've been very curious as to the potential of Hollywood Juniper as bonsai material.
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
20,339
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
Hey Brian. Yeah, I'll be working the deadwood over again for sure. By the way, when you say 2nd pot, do you mean the brown or grey one? Thanks,

Dave
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
11,690
Reaction score
31,337
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
Brown...definitely!

What would the tree look like if you moved the live leader over to slightly obscure the shari at several points along the way up...or pulled it way over to the left like 20 degrees to create some visual imbalance?
 

bonsaiTOM

Mame
Messages
210
Reaction score
1
Location
Cedarville, NY, USA
USDA Zone
4
I'm voting for the grey pot - love the pale color with the deadwood. I'm a real novice but I think that the deadwood on the lower right side is a bit too busy. Some branches angled upward, some down, different colors - too much going on here. Don't get me wrong though. I really do like deadwood and enjoy studying your image. Guess I favor simplicity?? Nice job, Dave.
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
20,339
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
Thanks again, Brian. I'm partial to the brown, as well, though the grey could be nice, too. I've tried to pull the canopy over to the shari, but, atleast from the current front, it looked artificial. I'll take a look at this again and see if there are any other options along that line.

Bonsaitom, you're absolutely right about that part of the trunk. I had two small branches growing there untll the most recent styling. Now, I've got to decide which jin to keep and which to reduce or remove. Thanks, and I'm glad you like the tree.

Dave
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
20,339
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
Better? I reduced both the shari and the jin "pile up" on the right side, pulled the canopy down a smidge, and over toward the deadwood trunk. I definetely see an improvement
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
11,690
Reaction score
31,337
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
Yes, definitely an improvement. I think the problem (and again, not a bad tree...at all) was that the balance was "too good"; the apex and shari leaned away from each other at exactly the same angle from vertical, and my eye wanted some tension, imbalance, nature. You're going to find it...one day as you're watering and not expecting it at all, it will hit you and one tiny tweak will make it perfect.
 

Si Nguyen

Omono
Messages
1,046
Reaction score
183
Location
Lake Forest, CA
Hi Dave! nice tree! But I think you ought to commit yourself and go bunjin all the way with this one. The 4 pads just look a bit too pom-pom-ish. Here's one option for it. It would require you to split the live vein a little bit, lean the tree a lot , and use some roots for shari.
 

Attachments

Si Nguyen

Omono
Messages
1,046
Reaction score
183
Location
Lake Forest, CA
Here's another option. This would require you to split the live vein and reduce the top deadwood by a lot. Personally, I don't care for all that deadwood on this tree, but that's just me. Just drawing for fun, because it is raining and I can't get out.
 

Attachments

DaveV

Shohin
Messages
408
Reaction score
54
Location
Nebraska
USDA Zone
5a
I like Si's 2nd drawing very much. That is where I would go with this tree.
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
20,339
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
Thanks guys, and Si, thanks again for your drawings. I have been "married" to creating a candlabra style upright bonsai since I started working on it. It will be hard to move away from it, but, as usual, your suggestions intrigue me. I agree about the pads being too regular. I initially had a much more irregular, zig-zagging array of pads, but it didn't seem to suit the ramrod straight trunk....and I like the image as it is right now. thanks again, something to think about.

Dave
 

plant_dr

Chumono
Messages
844
Reaction score
751
Location
Orem, UT
USDA Zone
5
I really like Si's 2nd picture too.
 

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,371
Reaction score
3,584
Location
Port Orchard, WA
USDA Zone
8
Great tree, Dav4! And greatr work on it as well.

My preference, FWIW - which may be very little to most folks here :D - would be to go for a bit more naturalistic look to the foliage, especially the lowest foliage area. An ancient survivor of the sort you are trying to portray otherwise with this tree would have a more sparse and unstructured look to its foliage in nature. Done up that way, it would be a killer specimen IMHO. Fine, fine work!
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
10,896
Reaction score
20,339
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
Thanks Will. I appreciate your input. The foliage/canopy has been a bit of a frustration, I'll admit. I agree with your assessment of the trunk's story, and getting the foliage to "fit" that story is a sticking point for me. I am considering grafting shimpaku onto it if I can't get the foliage where I need it to be. Thanks again,

Dave
 

Stimmie1

Sapling
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Its looking better Dave, but I think you could reduce the deadwood (jins) in the middle even more, just looks like too much for a tree that has so much deadwood on the trunk. In Nature, if that much of the trunk has been "weathered" the branches would be pretty much just stubs if not hallows.
I do like the tree and what you have accomplished.
 

mcpesq817

Omono
Messages
1,809
Reaction score
477
Location
VA
USDA Zone
7
I like the candelabra style a lot and would go that direction with your tree. I think you'll need to considerably reduce the profile of the foliage though - visually, I think your problem at the current stage is that the foliage mass is competing too much with the dead apex. The challenge will be to push it back a lot closer to the trunk and thin in out as grouper52 mentioned.

Take a look at Harry Harrington's site - go to the very bottom for an example of a bonsai in that form, as well as a tree in nature in that form:

http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_StylingForms.html
 
Top Bottom