Progression - Juniperus c. 'Wintergreen'

BonsaiRic

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I thought I might share a progression of a 'Wintergreen' Juniper I bought last fall. I like this juniper as it has mature foliage similar to a Shimpaku. Even when I trimmed it back hard I got very little juvenile growth. It responded with a great flush of foliage when I hacked it back to establish the primary branching. As you can see from the photos, I chopped the top into a "v" and used the stub to pull the new top upward from a former branch. The stub will become a future shari once the new apex is set.
I found inspiration for my tree from a picture in Andy Rutledge's online book Artistic Foundations of Bonsai Design. The photo is originally from Bonsai Today so I'll link to it here. It is the 2nd picture down on the page.
What style would this tree fit into? Informal Upright? It reminds me of the tall evergreens in Washington State near Seattle.
 

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BonsaiRic

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This virt is where I'd like to go with this tree next spring. The third virt (pic) is with the top of the tree straightened out more
 

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Ashbarns

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Good work on the virt Ric, looks achieveable, which should give you a nice formal upright.

Ash :D
 
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The tree you linked to in your post is a needle juniper, if I am not mistaken. Your tree actually has more potential as a formal upright than that one for one reason: that tree, despite is excellent condition and care, has a bow in the trunk that will probably never be overcome. I like the strength and straightness of your tree's trunk. Keep us posted.
 
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BonsaiRic

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Update

I left extra foliage on the top of the tree to help set the original chop. in the pics I've covered the top with a black piece of fabric.

pic 1 with top uncovered
pic 2 front
pic 3 right
pic 4 back
pic 5 left


I plan to remove the top next spring...leaving a stub to make a jin. This jin will have to be made the proper size to keep it in scale as if this tree is a massive Washington state Spruce or Fir seen from a distance (like the one here). There are other branch stubs on the trunk that I'll have to jin keeping them in scale as well. More refinement of branching is needed.

Repot into a bonsai pot in 2009 or 2010?
Suggestions on shape/ color/size of pot?
 

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BonsaiRic

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Update

Wanted to show a quick update on this tree. The apex is beginning to develop and I will consider repotting next spring as the top growth is rapid in the nursery pot. Thinking about an oval shallow pot in a dark brown color - planting it slightly off-center. I want to use Boon's technique to thin foliage pads instead of only pinching tips.

I did a virt of one of my pot choices (shallow oval). Another choice would be a shallow round pot. A third choice would be a slab but I want to reduce the root pad slowly over several repots so as not to be too severe and risk killing it.

There is a flare to the nebari area that is not apparent in the photos which will give the tree more appearance of age and a feeling of stability.
 

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rockm

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Very nice work. This is a nice rugged wild image. I would not use an oval container with it, The smooth lines of an oval work against the uneven, wild nature of the tree. It's not a maple :D.

I'd got for a container with a little rugged individuality. Look at the junipers and their roundish semi-glazed pots here:
http://www.albrightpots.com/gallery.htm

Dale Cochoy makes terrific "slump" pots with spectacular glazes for trees like yours. You can seen his work here (scroll through the entire thread and you will probably get some ideas):
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/pots-f3/some-pots-for-the-new-gallery-t249-165.htm
 

BonsaiRic

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Thanks Rockm for the great links and ideas! I'll have all winter to dream and analyze which color and style might work best.

In a round pot, what would be the best tree placement? centered?
 

rockm

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You can center the tree in a round pot with no penalties :D Really the only way to use a round pot is to put the tree pretty much in the middle. Things can look a bit off if planted too much off center.

Of course all this depends on the root mass being pretty even all the way around. There's nothing like planning to use a particular pot, then at repotting time, discovering a huge dominant root on one side of the root mass forces you to re-think things...:D
 

BonsaiRic

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Thanks Rockm. I was looking through Bonsai Focus mags last night and saw what you are describing.

Should the height of the pot lip roughly match the thickness of the trunk?

I suspect from lightly digging around the nebari area that the roots may be stronger to one side. Spring may bring an interesting dilema indeed:). Will update then.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

rockm

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"Should the height of the pot lip roughly match the thickness of the trunk?"

The depth of the pot depends greatly on a few things---the first is the aforementioned root mass:D The shallower, the better. Slab might even work with this tree...

A pot's lip shouldn't overpower the trunk--this is a very subjective thing, though.

I would tend to go with a wider round with this tree. Its trunk is not "literati-ish" enough to pull off a pot with a tiny diameter...
 

BonsaiRic

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Found an amazing rock I think I'll use for this tree. If it doesn't work for this tree it could hold a small juniper forest. The rock may compliment the "wild" feel of the tree. Rockm what do you think? Does this rock fit the tree?

It is 28" across, 16" wide and has a slight scoop where the tree will be planted. It even has three natural looking "feet" that it sits on. In the pics I've included you can see the arrow where the tree will be planted. As soon as I get the chance I'll do up a virt with tree and rock together...(or if someone else wants to try a virt, be my guest ;) )

I'll drill some drainage and wire holes in the bottom when I get a chance.
 

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BonsaiRic

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Quick virt
 

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Tachigi

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I disagree Greg, if his intention is a single tree landscape then he can get a way with this. Reference John Naka's book and you'll see what I'm talking about.

All that rock lends itself to a scene and helps in a minimalistic sense with the over all presentation of the tree. If you can't tell...I like it. What a great slab!
 

greerhw

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I disagree Greg, if his intention is a single tree landscape then he can get a way with this. Reference John Naka's book and you'll see what I'm talking about.

All that rock lends itself to a scene and helps in a minimalistic sense with the over all presentation of the tree. If you can't tell...I like it. What a great slab!

No disrepect to Mr. Naka, but there are other bonsai artist besides John Naka. Every body quotes him, he Is just another bonsai artist, like Joe Montana was another quarterback.

keep it green,
Harry
 

Redwing

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I disagree Greg, if his intention is a single tree landscape then he can get a way with this. Reference John Naka's book and you'll see what I'm talking about.

All that rock lends itself to a scene and helps in a minimalistic sense with the over all presentation of the tree. If you can't tell...I like it. What a great slab!

I'm afraid I'm with Nut here. The rock is indeed much to heavy (visually) for the tree, and in addition the position to the right (instead of at the left, counterbalancing the rise in the rock) knocks the whole composition off balance.

-rw
 

BonsaiRic

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Thanks everyone for the input. The differing points of view give food for thought.

I was going for a look similar to an area I visited in Washington state where grand spruce or fir trees are growing on a rocky base. Many of the trees I saw there were strong and healthy completely to the top without major dieback that we would represent with a top jin. In this regard, what Tom and Vance said would fit the story I'm trying to create. Greg, I'll have to check and see if the two pieces of my combo virt (tree and rock)are in proper scale.

In regard to Redwing's thoughts, could the tree be shifted slightly to the left, more over top of the the rock "foot" underneath, and provide more balance? With the tree too much toward the center I believe it might ruin the effect I was going for. My original thought was to place the tree more upslope to give it a position of strength and dominance.

Again, thanks for your thoughts.
 

Ross

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I don't know who took this picture, who owns the bonsai, or where I got this image originally, but I think your slab has similar possibilities so I post for inspiration only. If anyone can fill in the details please do. I had it labeled as Hinoki Cypress.
 

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