Old san jose juniper

Mike Page

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This juniper came from old 10 gallon nursery stock that I acquired about 16 or so years ago. It's purpose was to harvest cuttings from, so it was continually fed and watered.
The "stand" is the remains of what was to be a huge olive bonsai, but sadly, it expired. The upper part is the trunk, and the "legs" of the stand were 2 trunks coming out of the base. A lot of work cutting and sanding, and it lives on. The height of the stand is 16 inches and the height of the tree is 21 inches including the pot.
I've been involved in a major redo of the tree. It will take a couple of yers or more to develop the foliage pads to meet my vision of it. Any virtual artists are wolcome to have at it.

Mike
 

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Hi Mike,

I'm just not seeing it, sorry.

For starters the stand is really wrong for the tree and I'm not a big fan of the tree/pot combination either.

The tree itself is visually unbalanced, the center of gravity appearing to be at the uppermost bend. The flow to the left, coupled with the slope of the pot gives a sense of unbalance as well. The sudden drastic change of taper is award and accented by the stubby jin on top of it, I think a carved shari would serve much better at this point...what exactly is going on at the soil line?

Do you have design changes in mind?
 
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Mike Page

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Will, you are soooooooooo conservative! So be it. Attached is an older version of the tree.

Mike
 

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Klytus

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The awkwardness of your stand hurts my eyes,the 'boot' at the front is unnattractive.

The pot only halfway satisfies the visible roots,and it's colour is off.

The trunk is what it is and leaves,like MacArthur,shall return.
 

amkhalid

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Hi Mike,

I have seen a few of your junipers posted on various forums... 2 cali junipers, I think, and this san jose.

All three seem to have something in common - the lonely tufts of foliage.

After seeing these similarities between your trees, I am now under the impression that this is 'your thing' i.e. a way you like to style your junipers.

Am I correct to think this?

And if so, this leads me to wonder: can you elaborate on what inspired you to style your trees like this? It is definitely not a conventional way to style a bonsai. Nevertheless, when I see one, I know it is a Mike Page tree...

But of course (or maybe not of course...) being unconventional just for the sake of being unconventional has little worth... I am assuming you like what you are producing, even if it is occasionally met with raised eyebrows (ahem... *national prize winning JBP* ahem :))...

so again, what has inspired you to style your junipers like this?

Cheers,

Aaron
 
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Will, you are soooooooooo conservative! So be it. Attached is an older version of the tree.

Lol, well there is no fooling you. ;)

Now I remember this tree, I liked it better then, but I believe I thought the pot was too busy then.


Share your thoughts on the decision to make a design change Mike, what am I missing?



Will
 

Attila Soos

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All three seem to have something in common - the lonely tufts of foliage.

Actually, I think I've heard somewhere that Mike would like to eliminate the foliage alltogether, and show only the trunk. But the technology to keep the tree alive without any green is still in development. So, for the time being, he left a couple of needles on.:)
 

Mike Page

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Attila
I better get busy trimming this big oak!!

Mike:D
 

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Hello Mike....I have followed your work for about 3 years now and I will say that soemtimes, being unique is good....This tree will need to develope more as you stated. You may have had better luck keeping it the way it was and restructuring the interior by wiring. Just my opinion though...

There is one question that I have wanted to ask you over the past few years though. I have noticed that many, many of your trees do not have an apex. Is this on purpose, kind of like your trade mark? I have seen you post beautiful trees where everything was seemingly in place, throughout the tree. Then, at the top, it looked like it was just cut off or not developed at all, in respect to the other parts of the tree. I believe you have/had a very nice cedar, that had no apex...

Rob
 

Mike Page

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Hello Mike....I have followed your work for about 3 years now and I will say that soemtimes, being unique is good....This tree will need to develope more as you stated. You may have had better luck keeping it the way it was and restructuring the interior by wiring. Just my opinion though...

There is one question that I have wanted to ask you over the past few years though. I have noticed that many, many of your trees do not have an apex. Is this on purpose, kind of like your trade mark? I have seen you post beautiful trees where everything was seemingly in place, throughout the tree. Then, at the top, it looked like it was just cut off or not developed at all, in respect to the other parts of the tree. I believe you have/had a very nice cedar, that had no apex...

Rob

There are many mature trees that don't have an apex, especially a juvenile apex. You mention my cedar. If you were,for instance, to tour the Pacific Coast near where I live and look at the cypresses, you would see many old, very mature trees that are flat topped. The coast live oaks are another example. There is a gentle roundness to them that could be called apical, but nowhere near the apex of a juvenile pine, for instance.
You could make sort of a rule here. The older the tree, the less apical it is. Alos there may be die-back at the top which diminishes the feeling of an apex. The atached image is an old coast oak bonsai I've owned for 25 or so years. It is fairly typical of many coast oaks in the wild.
If you're interested, I may go though my files for more examples.

Mike
 

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october

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Yes, that is what I thought.. I have noticed that many very older trees in nature have no apex. I knew that there was probably a method to your styling. I justed wanted to know if what I was seeing, was part of your style. I would enjoy seeing some pics of your other trees. I have admired many of them over the past few years.

Also, I believe in penjing, well, certain aspects of it, apexes are almost completely flat. I saw a docmentary from, I believe china. They showed an artist at work and his trees had very flat tops. To mimic nature....

I, personally, am really big on the apex of a tree..... I strive to get great apexes on all my trees... If one of my trees has a bad apex or a apex where I have to grow it from practically a bud, it bothers me... Simply because the last thing you view on a tree as the eye follows the composition is the apex. If the apex is not good. It leaves me with a sort of void or negative feeling and I would not want that to be the last thought of a specific tree that I just viewed. Once again, these are just my opinions.

Rob
 

amkhalid

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So Mike, is what Attila said true or is he joking...? Do you style your junipers like this expose as much of the trunk as possible?
 

Mike Page

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So Mike, is what Attila said true or is he joking...? Do you style your junipers like this expose as much of the trunk as possible?

I think Attila is having some fun here. Which is good. Some folks are getting too serious about some topics.
With some trees I like a long line and sparse foliage to contribute to the appearance of age. This San Jose could be hanging off a shear cliff.
The procumbens nana I'm posting has a long line, but plenty of foliage. A younger appearance.
 

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october

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lol......... Training one almost just like it Mike. However, I was lucky that there are beautiful branches exactly where I need them..This treee is being allowed to grow out, When Igot it, it seemed to be in so so healthy. However, it has become really healthy in my care over hte last 3 1/2 months.

Rob
 

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Attila Soos

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lol......... Training one almost just like it Mike. However, I was lucky that there are beautiful branches exactly where I need them..This treee is being allowed to grow out, When Igot it, it seemed to be in so so healthy. However, it has become really healthy in my care over hte last 3 1/2 months.

Rob

Gosh, why does your tree look so familiar?

Is it possible that I saw it at one of the Descanso club meetings about a year ago....or maybe even earlier? Possibly Walter or Marco worked on it?

I may be totally wrong, it's just a suspicion.
 
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Mike Page

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Gosh, why does your tree look so familiar?

Is it possible that I saw it at one of the Descanso club meetings about a year ago....or maybe even earlier? Possibly Walter or Marco worked on it?

I may be totally wrong, it's just a suspicion.

Attila, I don't think it's possible. I've owned it or 2 or so years, and a friend owned it for a few years before that. However, I am sure there are many similiar procumbens out there.
 

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