My Shimpaku

Thomas J.

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I've been working on this one for a little over two years now. I feel it's coming along pretty good. I still have a ways to go on the pads, they're still not what I'm look for in completeness. Just wondering if anyone would have maybe done something different with the styling? Maybe it looks too manicured for some, or maybe not enough for others? How about the pot, maybe a better choice rather than this round one?:)

The second pic is where this one eventually came from.;)
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Quite an improvement. Here are my comments - I hope others chime in as well:

1) Do you have a plan for your tree? If not, try to create one visually - either via a sketch or a virtual on the computer. This may help you to work on the tree with a specific goal in mind.

2) You are making great strides in terms of tightening up your foilage pads. You will need to continue to work to clean them up some more - making sure that the foilage is where you want it, and just as important - that it ISN'T where you don't want it.

3) You need some more work around branch placement. Several branches you will want to pull down from where they are, and you will want to work to separate branches that are too close together. Whether or not you have wired your tree, it kinda has that "I haven't been wired" look to it. The first branch on the right almost looks like a second trunk, so you will want to make sure that you treat it almost the same as you would your primary apex and make sure that it is separated from the other foilage of the tree.

4) Love the pot, don't love the gravel. I don't know if that is decorative, but replace it with some neutral colored gravel and try to place moss on top so it does not compete with the tree for visual interest.

5) Next time you replant in the pot, consider shifting the tree to the right a little more.

I like it :) And just because I had some time on my hands, here's a quick virtual of where you might take it in another year. It is not a final design, but I think it works a little better for you. There is still way too much foilage in this virtual for my taste, but you can slowly wean it over time and tighten up the design.

 

Tachigi

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Thomas, as always very nice. The thin feminine serpentine shape is pleasing. I wonder though (based on the picture) that it isn't a bit of over kill and is exaggerated by how tall it is. Based on this picture I might of shortened it a wee bit. I also am not a big fan of upward reaching branches on junipers or for that fact most any conifers. A personal preference I guess. The only other point at this time would be the pom pomish looking foliage pads.

For two years work, great job, looks like its coming along nicely. The pot color is right for me, the shape or perhaps size seems to overwhelm a bit. However I suspect you'll fine tune that. Thanks for sharing.
 

John Hill

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Hi Thomas,
You have brought this tree from the pic two years ago a long way. It is definitely headed in the right direction in my opinion. I Know some like the (don't know what you would call it but maybe the wild look)
and some like the refined look. I really like both. This tree is going for more of the refined look. I have trouble keeping the shimpak's foliage in check and they seem to go right back to the rounded type foliage pads. Maybe it is just I get a little lazy at times and don't keep up with the trimming. So I pinch until the pads get to thick and then go in and trim out and thin the pads and start all over. Maybe some others will chime in on their secrets of keeping those pads in check.

I know some shimpak's, like the Blaauws I have will throw out a lot of juvie foliage if I thin and trim to much, but will through out buds further back on old wood. I have one that I am trying to get the foliage closer to the trunk and further back on the branches but some will through buds back where I want them and some of the branches don't. But I keep trying. ;(

But you have done a nice job and I know you will get to where you want it. I played around with your tree tonight and moved some branches down and shortened some also put s little more growth on some. And this is what I came up with on this tree that definitely leans to the more refined look.
I like the color of this pot also Thomas.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

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Thomas,

You have brought this tree very far in two years, great work. It brings to mind the towering tree styles I have seen. The lava rock (?) is too close in color to the pot, I agree it is distracting.

I envy your photography, beautiful picture!



Will
 

Bonsai Nut

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Actually, since John was so kind to post his virtual, it created an idea of hosting a "virtual" contest where people post their design plans for various bonsai. No votes or judging, but rather an opportunity for people to share, discuss and learn. I'll have to think more about this...

In the meantime, John I agree with you, I love shimpakus, but as much as you try to tame them they always want to come out with rounded foilage pads. I have done better with mine in direct intense sunlight; in fact, I keep them with my black pines now. Other than that my care seems to mirror yours. They start out looking scalped, then they look great for a few months, then they get overgrown and I have to scalp them again. This happens while I am still pinching them to restrain them somewhat.
 
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Good idea on the contest Bnut. Maybe just one tree and one requirement, it must be feasible?

It would be interesting to see the direction each person from a group of individuals would take with the same material. Could even be educational.



Will
 

Thomas J.

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I'm glad to see this post sparked a little interest in a few of you, so much so to even go out of your way to make a few virtuals. The two different virtuals shows just how much different our tastes can be for what we like in a styled tree. I myself would prefer the one John made because it leans more to my taste in what I see there. The one BNut did has more of a wild look and that's not bad either for those who like that look.

The tree is wired up in areas where it needs it and I'm pinching and pruning foliage where it needs it also. I'm striving for the look you see in the pic below. I myself am more into the manicured look and like to see the foliage pointing upwards on my junipers.:)

As for the look of the soil, it's akadama and that's the only color I could get at the time. I now have a brownish color one and will see what it looks like when I repot in the spring.;)
 

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Rick Moquin

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Nicely done Thomas and I also prefer John's virt. As far as soil colour goes, moss or a top dressing will do nicely if/when the tree is displayed.
 

bonsai barry

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Wow! Five years worth of work in the span of two years. Nice. I really like the lower right branch, but it does contrast greatly with the soft shape of the rest of the tree. I'd like to see the rest of the branches wired and pruned in a style to similar to that first branch. For me, that branch is the unique charateristic that separates this tree from any other juniper.
 
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Yes, the lowest branch is crucial to the value and styling of this tree. It could be made more compact by bringing the branches down more, including the sub branches of the lowest one.
 

What210

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I have this tree now and It doesn't look like this anymore.
 
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