Never really styled a tree before

Iowa newbie

Sapling
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Bought this from a local nursery about 2 months ago, fertilized it, lots of growth, probably hold off on the repot til next year, I think its a daubs frosted juniper. Most of the growth is pretty long and needs to be condensed. Its a good inch and a half trunk, love the movement.

First question I have is...do I take the entire right side of the structure off and repot this with a big tilt clockwise? Leave a big jin there of whats left or start an airlayer? Is it too late to do this in the season?

246770
246771
 

Japonicus

Omono
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Western West Virginia AHS heat zone 6
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Unfortunately on the most interesting part of the juniper, there's no interior growth.
I know what I would do if there were, but since there's not, a better look at the right side perhaps?

You could probably get away with wiring the longer bare left side branches down and in somewhat
but hard to say not in front of us at this point. I personally would jin the straight bottom left branch
that exits in the curve, and hope to be able to work with what's left above.
I cannot speak for the right side given the picture. Definitely lose the cascade as a starting point.
Free to move onto styling currently, would hold off on potting up 2 years, or reverse that...sort of,
potting up early August and styling in 2 years. Still losing the cascade now either way with some cut paste.
 

Iowa newbie

Sapling
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Location
Dubuque, Iowa
USDA Zone
5a
Unfortunately on the most interesting part of the juniper, there's no interior growth.
I know what I would do if there were, but since there's not, a better look at the right side perhaps?

You could probably get away with wiring the longer bare left side branches down and in somewhat
but hard to say not in front of us at this point. I personally would jin the straight bottom left branch
that exits in the curve, and hope to be able to work with what's left above.
I cannot speak for the right side given the picture. Definitely lose the cascade as a starting point.
Free to move onto styling currently, would hold off on potting up 2 years, or reverse that...sort of,
potting up early August and styling in 2 years. Still losing the cascade now either way with some cut paste.
I'll try and post some additional pictures, airdrop isnt working. There isnt any interior branching but its starting to backbud in other areas which is encouraging. This is some practice stock for me to work with, I just didnt want to mess anything up in this first round. This should probably be in the beginners thread
 

Shibui

Chumono
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Always start from the roots. It is no good designing the most fantastic bonsai and then finding there's another 6" of trunk under the soil. Roots will also let you know if tilting the trunk is feasible or impossible. Roots will usually look better from some angles than others = desirable front(s).
Then look all round to find the best view of the trunk = desirable front/angle. Also look for any other acceptable views of the trunk = possible front/ angle. Remember to tilt the tree to different angles to see if trunk flow is improved by tilting the whole tree.
Check to see which branches look good and from which view you can the best flow of branches. see if that view corresponds to any good trunk angles.
Check for any features you'd like to show and any faults you want to hide
Don't worry too much about bare branches yet. Junipers will often back bud, especially when the tips are cut back a bit.

The straight section right at the base of the trunk may be an issue. This is common for wired junipers where the producer could not get low bends when the trees are initially wired. How much of an issue depends how far down the roots are.
Initial look I think the curving trunk is better possibilities than the thick right branch.
See if tilting the tree 45deg or more to the right gives a better looking trunk following that curved section.
juniper  .JPG
 

Iowa newbie

Sapling
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Dubuque, Iowa
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Always start from the roots. It is no good designing the most fantastic bonsai and then finding there's another 6" of trunk under the soil. Roots will also let you know if tilting the trunk is feasible or impossible. Roots will usually look better from some angles than others = desirable front(s).
Then look all round to find the best view of the trunk = desirable front/angle. Also look for any other acceptable views of the trunk = possible front/ angle. Remember to tilt the tree to different angles to see if trunk flow is improved by tilting the whole tree.
Check to see which branches look good and from which view you can the best flow of branches. see if that view corresponds to any good trunk angles.
Check for any features you'd like to show and any faults you want to hide
Don't worry too much about bare branches yet. Junipers will often back bud, especially when the tips are cut back a bit.

The straight section right at the base of the trunk may be an issue. This is common for wired junipers where the producer could not get low bends when the trees are initially wired. How much of an issue depends how far down the roots are.
Initial look I think the curving trunk is better possibilities than the thick right branch.
See if tilting the tree 45deg or more to the right gives a better looking trunk following that curved section.
View attachment 247002
Thank you for the advice, I agree tilting it clockwise reveals some really nice movement and I agree it should back bud easily. Is it too late in the season to repot this? Should I whack off the right side or air layer it? I know this isn't an expensive piece of stock but turning it into two trees is always a plus. But at the same token, if the trunk and nebari are terrible whats the point. Im really tempted to pull this tree into the workstation and get started seeing whats beneath the surface
 

Shibui

Chumono
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I would not recommend a full repot now but removing the surface soil is not repotting. Even if you break some fine roots while excavating down to the main roots there are enough roots down deeper to maintain a healthy tree. There are many trees being developed in pots chocked up on one side while waiting for appropriate repotting time.
Don't make any changes to this tree until you have seen the main roots (not just the first tiny white ones - real solid brown ones). That could change the entire plan.
If you do decide to layer redundant branches please leave enough of a stub for a jin. Dead wood is considered to be a real feature of junipers because conditions where they live are harsh so many wild trees exhibit dead wood. In many cases, layering only defers the real work of styling the main tree but in this case, layering the lower branch will not stop other work on the main trunk if that's the final design.
 

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