New RMJ

Dwight

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I recently acquired a Ronky Mountain juniper from Andy Smith at Golden Arroe. It's between 150 and 175 yrs old , has a 2.25 " trunk caliper and is about 28" tall. Compared to many RMJs we see on the web this guy is sorta plain. The trunk looks very straight and botreing in the pics. What doesn't show is the 360 degree + twist in the trunk. I'm intending to gradually extend the two small shari near the base of the tree upward so the spiral shows up better givibg the trunk more interest. The branches at the top are also long enough to be pulled down past the middle of the tree which should also help. It's an extremely healthy tree and in the two weeks I've had it has shown visable growth. The only thing I plan to do this year ( if anything ) is to extend the shari upward. The tree was collected a year ago but looks like it has been in a bonsai pot for three or four years.

Suggestions are welcome as are virts ( I still can't do these damn things ). I'll keep updating this thread over the years till I kill it or get it looking like a bonsai.

BTW , that goofey looking jin that seems to be off in a world of it's own looks really good in person.
 

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Dwight

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Heres one more pic. I think that makes all four sides
 

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october

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I like the first pic as the front.. I like the jin that runs up the trunk and also the slight curve the trunk has.. Is it possible to give the rest of the trunk a slight curve to match the one at the bottom?

I think this tree has major potential.. When all those branches get some movement put in them and wired down, this tree will really be something.
 

Brian Underwood

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Nice one! I like the first pic as well, but rotated slightly clockwise off that front right corner of the pot. I also like your idea of extending the shari further up the trunk making the twist stand out, and giving the trunk more interest. This will definitely be a great tree, and I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
 
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Dav4

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I agree with the first pic, though you will need to reduce that jin. The fourth front has potential, too. RMJ is one of my favorite subjects for bonsai. I would consider all possiblities with this one before doing any major work. However, I would suggest that cleaning up the trunk/removing the outer layer of bark should be the first thing to do. As Brian suggested, the presence of lifelines and shari will play into what front you choose, and they are hidden by the bark right now. Have fun with this one,

Dave
 

Dwight

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Thanks guys. I'm glad to hear my ideas arn't nuts. The first three pics are pics Andy sent me and the last is the one he had on his web site. That long jin can probably be reduced by half when the tree is wired. The upper part will be hidden anyway.

Dave , I've already started working on cleaning up the bark. Shortly before the tree arrived I broke my right leg/ankle and I really havn't been able to do much but sit by the tree and pick at the bark. So far my sittin and pickin has identified two large live veins and possibly a third smaller one. Thats why I'm thinking of starting with the existing share and just extending them till I have a pair of narrow shari lines extending up and around the tree. I can then widen them slowly over the years so the branches can adapt.
 
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Dwight

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Slowly finished some shari to emphasize the main live vein and to show the twist of the tree. It seemed to like this treatment
 

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jason biggs

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how would you age a tree like that?? excuse the ignorance but isn't it kind of thin to be 150 years old...
 

Dav4

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how would you age a tree like that?? excuse the ignorance but isn't it kind of thin to be 150 years old...

Most of these collected RMJs grow in extremely hostile climates...semi-arid hot summers and long winters with sub freezing temps and constant wind. This environment naturally stunts these trees by keeping them under constant stress. My understanding of growth rate for these trees is that they might put an inch of girth on their trunk every CENTURY, give or take a decade. Plant it in a more hospitable environment and it would double it's girth within a decade or less, I'd bet.
 
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rockm

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"excuse the ignorance but isn't it kind of thin to be 150 years old..."

A tree's size really has nothing to do with age. A juniper that's growing on a punishing hill side for 400 years may only be four feet tall and a foot wide, while its brother, who was fortunate enough to have his seed land on the leeward side of the same hill might be 40 or 50 feet high...

I've seen this repeatedly when collecting deciduous trees too. I once collected a four inch diameter cedar elm that was only 15 feet tall. When I chopped the top out, I counted over 60 annual growth rings in the trunk...It was overshadowed by taller trees that had likely prevented it from getting any taller.
 

amkhalid

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150 years is reasonable for that tree. Andy knows what he is talking about. He has looked at many cut trees and has a good idea of the radial growth rate for junipers in the environment where he collects.

Any juniper with natural deadwood like that is an instant sign of significant age. It probably takes a couple decades just for the live part to die back and the elements to remove the dead bark. Anyone who has had to scrape dead bark from a long dead conifer branch knows that stuff doesn't come off easy.
 

greerhw

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I recently acquired a Ronky Mountain juniper from Andy Smith at Golden Arroe. It's between 150 and 175 yrs old , has a 2.25 " trunk caliper and is about 28" tall. Compared to many RMJs we see on the web this guy is sorta plain. The trunk looks very straight and botreing in the pics. What doesn't show is the 360 degree + twist in the trunk. I'm intending to gradually extend the two small shari near the base of the tree upward so the spiral shows up better givibg the trunk more interest. The branches at the top are also long enough to be pulled down past the middle of the tree which should also help. It's an extremely healthy tree and in the two weeks I've had it has shown visable growth. The only thing I plan to do this year ( if anything ) is to extend the shari upward. The tree was collected a year ago but looks like it has been in a bonsai pot for three or four years.

Suggestions are welcome as are virts ( I still can't do these damn things ). I'll keep updating this thread over the years till I kill it or get it looking like a bonsai.

BTW , that goofey looking jin that seems to be off in a world of it's own looks really good in person.

Sweet tree, buddy !!!

Harry
 

Dwight

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Here's one more from a different angle. The shari actually goes all the way around the trunk. Just canb't photograph it with this damn Brownie
 

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greerhw

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Here's one more from a different angle. The shari actually goes all the way around the trunk. Just canb't photograph it with this damn Brownie

Get out the rebar and lets put some movement in that trunk. Thats what your old buddy Kimura would do.

Harry
 
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Dwight

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My old buddy Kimura knows how ! Just the idea scares the s--t outa me. I might try a block and tackle arrangement or maybe use the cherry picker from the shop.

Anyway where would you or Marco bend it ?
 

greerhw

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My old buddy Kimura knows how ! Just the idea scares the s--t outa me. I might try a block and tackle arrangement or maybe use the cherry picker from the shop.

Anyway where would you or Marco bend it ?

Can't say for sure where Marco would bend it and I can't do a vert with this new Mac, still learning. I would continue the bend in the first picture, all the way to the foliage, so I could style the foliage under the apex, kind of like a lamp, does that make any sense ?

Harry
 
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Dwight

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Like this >
 

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jk_lewis

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Very nice tree, but that jin is simply too low down on the trunk to be attractive (or realistic) at any length.
 

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