Progression of my first Shimpaku shohin

Discussion in 'Junipers' started by parhamr, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. parhamr

    parhamr Chumono

    Messages:
    666
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    This thread will track my progression of Shimpaku juniper nursery stock into an informal upright shohin bonsai. I'm targeting a final height of 6–8 inches and I'm planning to grow almost an entirely new canopy. This is a multi-year project.

    Obtained June 2015 in a 1-gallon nursery pot for $19.99:
    IMG_7613.JPG

    I gently repotted and did some minor cleanup summer of 2015:
    IMG_7927.JPG

    February 2016, showing the likely front of the tree:
    IMG_8738.JPG

    Foliage and pollen cones, close up:
    IMG_8866.JPG

    October 16, 2016; I finally felt ready to perform the first significant styling:
    IMG_9768.JPG

    I'm confident about the selection of the canopy and upper right branch. My plan is to grow them out into a beautifully ramified and triangular canopy.

    The bottom right and left branches will likely be removed. The bottom left branch I am going to keep for another couple of years to thicken the trunk. I'm likely to put a little twist into the trunk for motion and to reduce the height.
     
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  3. Smoke

    Smoke Imperial Masterpiece

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Nice. Now go buy 19 more and get 20 going. You will find new tricks with wire. You will find as will many people here that the more you wire the more you learn. The first 50 arrowheads an Indian chips all looked like a sixth grader made them. All of a sudden 51 looks pretty damn good.

    These are the posts that blow my skirt up. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. parhamr

    parhamr Chumono

    Messages:
    666
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    The tree grew quite vigorously over the past year so I had another go at the foliage. I’m mostly thinning out the crotch growths and keeping length and thickness in check.

    442C9F36-6B2D-488A-9AF1-40B5C87A1E98.jpeg
    (Forgive my shitty camera; the color of the plant is as vibrant as before)


    I also removed the bottom right branch and clipped branches from the bottom left branch. I’m using the bottom left branch for sacrificial thickening of the base. It extends a full 24 inches outward and has heavy foliage.
     
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  5. parhamr

    parhamr Chumono

    Messages:
    666
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Tree misted, lower branches tweaked, additional lighting, and colors edited:

    AE112FB6-9FCA-43CC-B143-732424E9F085.jpeg
     
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  6. Adair M

    Adair M Imperial Masterpiece

    Messages:
    7,607
    Location:
    NEGeorgia
    So, it’s been two years. I think what you find is the foliage will fill out quite nicely, but the trunk won’t thicken.

    I created this shimpaku out of a 3 gallon can! The foliage was about 3 feet tall! After three years:

    12E40574-568B-48C2-8FDE-52D8DDF8CF97.jpeg

    Believe me, it’s much easier and faster to take a big tree and make it small than it is to take a cutting and grow it out.
     

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  7. herzausstahl

    herzausstahl Shohin

    Messages:
    465
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin
    What's your preferred method to grow out the tree? Ground? Potting up? At the risk of starting something, do you use your regular soil mix for trees in development that you are still growing out or something more water retentive? And lastly do you do any wiring, styling while growing stock out or just fertilize & let it run free? Thanks in advance for the answers!
     
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  8. Giga

    Giga Masterpiece

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    Location:
    Virginia beach, VA
    Have to agree with this
     
  9. Adair M

    Adair M Imperial Masterpiece

    Messages:
    7,607
    Location:
    NEGeorgia
    Let me just say that I don’t grow out the nursery stock myself. I don’t have the patience for that! But I am will to pay others for their time and efforts. My tree was grown from a cutting by Jim Gremel, in the ground. Then dug and put in a 3 gallon nursery can for a year. Then half bare root repotted into a terra cotta flower pot. Which is when I bought it. Jim had 20 years in making it. It was still a bush. I bought it for $200. A deal, if you ask me! That’s $10 a year.

    Then, it’s taken me 3 years to become something worthy of showing at the National Shohin Show!

    9D4A7EAE-5219-4586-A0C7-479CED1213BD.jpeg
     
  10. GrimLore

    GrimLore Imperial Masterpiece

    People look at me odd when I tell them I often buy various Junipers and have them sent directly to a Southern grower. I find it cost effective especially for trainers I give away.

    That's a damn nice plant Sir! Thanks for sharing as it is my favorite variety as well :)

    Grimmy
     
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  11. Adair M

    Adair M Imperial Masterpiece

    Messages:
    7,607
    Location:
    NEGeorgia
    Well, Gremel lives in California, and he has all kinds of stuff growing. That said, I don’t think he sells raw stock anymore, he gives them a bit of styling for a couple years and sells them for big bucks! He’s at the big shows. I saw him st the Redwood Empire Show in August, and his styled shimpaku like mine had prices of $1200 to $1500!

    My local bonsai shop had a grower in Florida who would start about 200 Procumbens for him every year. And he would buy the ones the grower started 30 years ago! So every year, he’d Get a fresh shipment of a couple hundred 30 year old Procumbens. It’s been his “stock in trade” for years. The grower has decided to retire, so all the stock has been shipped to Plant City forThe Sea of Junipers.

    He used to sell these for $100 each. I think now they’re $120 to $150. The younger ones are less, obviously. He will ship. If anyone is interested:
    Www.plantcitybonsai.com

    Tell ‘em that Adair sent ya!
     
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  12. GrimLore

    GrimLore Imperial Masterpiece

    Thanks for sharing, although I was on board several years ago it is great info for others. Currently I now have 75 Junipers growing like crazy in GA and AL primarily for workshops here at home. Last year was a comeback after two years of down time, had several spend days. This coming 2018 will be far more busy so plants are a must even though we normally work and train others on whatever they bring. I still require they work on at least a couple and take them along.
    If anything although I am no master it is a pleasure to share and work with others and always will be - great Community :)

    Grimmy
     
  13. herzausstahl

    herzausstahl Shohin

    Messages:
    465
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin
    Lol good point. You state often enough that you prefer refining. Right now we are short staffed at work & my kids are still younger so good time for me to grow out nursery stock. Mostly I'm working on learning to keep the trees alive & recognize what has potential & what doesn't. And start keeping track of what I'm doing to trees & they're responses so I can learn by doing.
     
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  14. Adair M

    Adair M Imperial Masterpiece

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    Well, this isn’t refining! This was taking raw material purpose grown to be good bonsai material and starting a bonsai. Gremel had pruned it several times over the years to keep foliage close to the trunk, and kept the low branches healthy. Actually, the biggest low branches I chopped off, then jinned and stripped down the bark below them for Shari.
     
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  15. Adair M

    Adair M Imperial Masterpiece

    Messages:
    7,607
    Location:
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    Here are the before and after pics of the first styling:

    F95F8B29-B9E4-4CEA-9395-F07F97B1BE41.jpeg

    1D0ED3F8-4D07-4A4F-BCAB-B9B1C98B5D17.jpeg
     
  16. herzausstahl

    herzausstahl Shohin

    Messages:
    465
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin
    This is what I'm looking for. Try to prune & shape as I grow out raw stock. May take awhile but the idea is to practice & learn on other trees while the stock is growing out. Also start with nursery stock as it has years of growth already & what's easily available to me. There is a nursery near me that sells 2-3 year old (guessing age) white cedar & spruce varieties of which I have some & possibly will get more to grow out as stock as well. I usually tend to have the most fun in the doing. Probably why I usually tinker with my ponds/garden instead of just sitting by it enjoying it. lol I need to learn to do that too. Everyone has goals in this hobby & right mine are to learn & enjoy the journey. My goal this past summer was to become more focused/involved in this hobby. Unfortunately work commitments & family didn't allow that to happen to the extent I intended. So this fall will be more research but hopefully some wiring & possible pruning to see the effects it has on growth this spring. Like a lot of you say, best way to learn is doing it. I'm always appreciative of the advice the more experienced members share here.
     
  17. herzausstahl

    herzausstahl Shohin

    Messages:
    465
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin
    By the first pic it's easy to see the tree is healthy by the long whips, correct? Is the second pic right after you finished the first styling? Or the result of a few pruning? I know people tend to say don't remove more than a 1/3 of juniper foliage at one time, is that correct? Or was the vigor of the tree such that you felt safe removing that much at one time? Any special aftercare you gave it? These are the things you guys can share here that the books never can.
     
  18. herzausstahl

    herzausstahl Shohin

    Messages:
    465
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin
    And @parhamr hooevim not hijacking your thread! Hoping to help us all learn something. I've got 2 shimpaku that were 1 gallon plants sold in 3 gallon containers & priced as such, double yours. Lol so into a grow bed they both have gone. The nursery I got them at usually had appropriate sized shimpaku in the past but not this year. Unfortunately only nursery around here to carry them. Has anyone had any luck with Juniper Chinesis 'Sea Green'? I had some of both & at first couldn't tell a huge initial difference, owing mostly to my untrained eye I'm sure. Curious what someone with more experience thinks.
     
  19. Adair M

    Adair M Imperial Masterpiece

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    7,607
    Location:
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    There’s two hours time lapse between the two pictures.
     
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  20. Giga

    Giga Masterpiece

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  21. wireme

    wireme Masterpiece

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    No doubt. But still someone's got to do it sometime. If Jim Gremel wasn't doing it you wouldn't have had the opportunity to make that great little tree from great stock. I hear ya but the more people starting long term projects from nothing the better I think. If we want to have really good stock to work with in the future without relying on yamadori collecting people should be starting stock now with the idea of just conscious development growing for 20years like yours. Or even better 40yrs. The thought of doing that does appeal to some people luckily.
    If I could find a shimp start like yours for 200 I'd be all over it of course but I'd still want a space to grow out smaller younger stuff. If I had to for some reason chose to have/do one or the other it would not be an easy choice.
     

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