PA's Juniper enigma

parvae_arbores

Yamadori
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Hillsborough, NJ
USDA Zone
6b
So once upon a time about 5 years ago I dug up a juniper tangle and got this side branch to live that has a long slender trunk with a tuft of foliage at the end (Photos 1 and 2). Challenge accepted I thought and I left in pure pumice to grow doing very little to it except fertilizing and spraying for pests. Fast forward about 3 years and I am ready to work this tree so I took it to a workshop at Kifu and worked it with Bob Mahler. Bob forced me to do the thing I needed to do which was pick a branch since there were too sides to the tree and that turned out to allow me to start seeing the tree inside. Photos 2-7 are my first attempt at styling this tree, which at least got me to start getting the foliage into pads but I have been supremely unhappy with how it turned out because it looks like a lawn topiary. This year I decided to turn it around because I like the front and I have started redesigning the tree. I have unwired everything (photo 8) and spent last night wiring the bottom branches for structure (photo 9). The new front of this tree is somewhere slightly to the right of the last picture and I would like to compact the foliage mass more. My major question here is about how to wire the bottom branches.

I have two large branches, that split to 4 more t split further from there. Should all of these major branches be on the same plane when I wire the pads but be distributed around from front to back or should I look to have different heights to make the bottom pads more interesting? Any suggestions on how to make this tree stop looking like a lawn topiary?
 

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BonjourBonsai

Shohin
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Location
Maryland, USA
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I think the photos where the trunk leans right, instead of the last few photos, shows the better front. In that view, the overall triangle needs to be tightened up. There are 3 branches that each form part of the triangle but they need to work together. I'll try to do a sketch. It's a cool looking tree and you've done well getting it this far.
 

parvae_arbores

Yamadori
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Location
Hillsborough, NJ
USDA Zone
6b
Here is how the second styling turned out. Overall, it's coming along but it needs to grow vigorously this season. The top branch that is used to create the apex needs to be pulled down to compact the tree's foliage even more so I put a guy wire on it for now and next season will rewire and bend it more drastically down and to the right.
 

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BonjourBonsai

Shohin
Messages
495
Reaction score
502
Location
Maryland, USA
USDA Zone
7a
I think the photos where the trunk leans right, instead of the last few photos, shows the better front. In that view, the overall triangle needs to be tightened up. There are 3 branches that each form part of the triangle but they need to work together. I'll try to do a sketch. It's a cool looking tree and you've done well getting it this far.
What about something like this?

I would consider jinning the left branch.
 

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