Question on Technique...

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Shohin
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I would ask your man Suthin - he is the master of it, at least appears to be from his website.

I would suggest wiring whips with 3mm aluminum and sticking them in the ground for a long time - 12to 20 years, based on size/dimensions. I would guess the wire would come off before it cut in, but after it set, unlike working with pines where you want it to cut and/or leave it in place. Don't forget to twist the trunk, in addition to bending it. But - that is a guess, as I have never done it in person.
 

Attila Soos

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It is a "secret" technique that nobody talks about, and it leads to those spectacular results that you see on the pictures.

I started describing it in this post, but then I've changed my mind (wait a minute, are you sure that you want to give it away just like that?)

I wonder how many of you guys know about it?
 

Attila Soos

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At first I was going to post an angry and hurt retort...then I realized what you meant.
I know, you have the right to demand that I share with the world everything I know...:D


This is a truly fascinating technique, and I have found out about it by accident, not so long ago.

I can tell you that, although wiring young whips is the technique that comes first to mind, the one I am talking about can be done even on 1-inch trunks, creating coils so tight that wiring would be impossible.

This technique is worth a lot of money, so I will let you guys hold your breaths for a while...just for my pleasure.:D
 

Attila Soos

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...looking at your picture in the first post, I can tell you that a combination of wiring, and my "secret technique" was used to achieve the final result.
 

Smoke

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man, I'm steaming to know what the secret is...
 

irene_b

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...looking at your picture in the first post, I can tell you that a combination of wiring, and my "secret technique" was used to achieve the final result.

Come on Atilla, pretty please?
Mom
 

Attila Soos

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I was expecting a drove of insults and a long speech from someone about how this forum is to share information and such.

But since you guys are so unbelievably nice, I can't resist but give away the "secret". After all, you can't abandon you friends, can you.

So, the key word in this technique is "bark stripping".
I am not going to do any drawing here, use your imagination. But the essence of it is that you take a young juniper (but not too young, the lower trunk should be about half an inch thick), and remove a wide strip of bark from the nebari and upwards (about 50% of the bark). You do this in an irregular corkscrew fashion, like an upward spiral. It has to look natural, so the coil that you create is at some place looser, at other places tighter. You don't want to make it like a candy-cane, but more natural.

What happens is that from the time you removed the strip of live bark, the trunk will start growing only along the live vein. As the vein thickens, the whole trunk will take on the shape of those coils that you see on those marvellous shohin and mame junipers in the Japanese catalogues.

In addition to this technique, you also wire the trunk, adding additional curves to it. But you do the wiring at the beginning, and strip the bark later, when the trunk has somewhat thickened already. You don't want to do the bark-stripping on very thin trunks and branches, they need to have some volume to work on.

I became aware of this technique about 6 months ago, after watching Linsey Farr's video series on the Internet. In one of the episodes (don't remember which one), a professional Japanese shohin bonsai grower was showing his little junipers, and kept mentioning over and over the technique of bark-stripping on the lower trunk of his junipers. I don't remember that he described the technique in detail, but that's when the lightbulb came on in my head. I've been playing with this idea for a long time, and I remember talking to Mas Ishii about his little contorted junipers, but he never really gave away his technique. Lindsey's video helped me to figure it out.

I have about 15 little shimpaku stock in my possession right now, so this winter I will apply this on all of them. Then they will all go back into the ground for 4 years worth of thickening.

There you have it,
I just gave away something that could have made my fortune. You guys can start sending me your checks at your earliest convenience.:)
 

Attila Soos

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Thanks, excellent technique!
You are welcome.

By the way, just as a side note, this is exactly what is happening on those contorted California junipers that we admire. It is not that the juniper grows in such a contorted fashion, but parts of the tunk start dying, and the live vein grows around the deadwood, creating the contorted appearance.

The problem is that we can see this phenomenon mostly on large junipers. You would never see this on a mame-sized juniper. But knowing what is happening, you can re-create it on mame and shohin sized trees as well.
 
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BY saying "so the coil that you create is at some place looser, at other places tighter" you mean wider at places and narrower at others, correct?



Will
 

Attila Soos

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BY saying "so the coil that you create is at some place looser, at other places tighter" you mean wider at places and narrower at others, correct?



Will
No, I mean some places it may look like a coiled snake, other places like the snake that is only partly coiled, with some loose curves in between.

But, as you said, the live strip should also vary in thickness, at some places wider and other places narrower. In a word, you need to factor in some randomness in the equation, in order to avoid too artificial-looking trees.
 
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Oh, I understand, thanks Attila, now delete your post describing this technique, I have it committed to memory. ;)



Will
 

Smoke

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Attila, Have you ever seen this technique done before?

You would do yourself a favor and make a trip to Jim Gremels place and see "exactly" how this technique is done. Jim has perfected this technique and I have taken many workshops on making Yamadori style junipers. In fact Jim has become very well known the world over for his technique.

When you see him at the convention ask to see his "book". You will see many rows of shimpaku in the ground in all stages of garlyness. It is not started on stock 1/2 in diameter. The whips are stripped on one side but they are bent and contorted and made to look like this. They do not grow into this shape around shari.

A sampling of Jim Gremels work.
 

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irene_b

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I was expecting a drove of insults and a long speech from someone about how this forum is to share information and such.

But since you guys are so unbelievably nice, I can't resist but give away the "secret". After all, you can't abandon you friends, can you.

So, the key word in this technique is "bark stripping".
I am not going to do any drawing here, use your imagination. But the essence of it is that you take a young juniper (but not too young, the lower trunk should be about half an inch thick), and remove a wide strip of bark from the nebari and upwards (about 50% of the bark). You do this in an irregular corkscrew fashion, like an upward spiral. It has to look natural, so the coil that you create is at some place looser, at other places tighter. You don't want to make it like a candy-cane, but more natural.

What happens is that from the time you removed the strip of live bark, the trunk will start growing only along the live vein. As the vein thickens, the whole trunk will take on the shape of those coils that you see on those marvellous shohin and mame junipers in the Japanese catalogues.

In addition to this technique, you also wire the trunk, adding additional curves to it. But you do the wiring at the beginning, and strip the bark later, when the trunk has somewhat thickened already. You don't want to do the bark-stripping on very thin trunks and branches, they need to have some volume to work on.

I became aware of this technique about 6 months ago, after watching Linsey Farr's video series on the Internet. In one of the episodes (don't remember which one), a professional Japanese shohin bonsai grower was showing his little junipers, and kept mentioning over and over the technique of bark-stripping on the lower trunk of his junipers. I don't remember that he described the technique in detail, but that's when the lightbulb came on in my head. I've been playing with this idea for a long time, and I remember talking to Mas Ishii about his little contorted junipers, but he never really gave away his technique. Lindsey's video helped me to figure it out.

I have about 15 little shimpaku stock in my possession right now, so this winter I will apply this on all of them. Then they will all go back into the ground for 4 years worth of thickening.

There you have it,
I just gave away something that could have made my fortune. You guys can start sending me your checks at your earliest convenience.:)

I find this fasinating....
wonder if can be done on much smaller stock (younger) or if it would interupt life.
Thank You Attila for this.
Mom
 
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Jim has perfected this technique and I have taken many workshops on making Yamadori style junipers. In fact Jim has become very well known the world over for his technique.

You have done this technique before then? How quick did you notice appreciable results?



Will
 

Smoke

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You are welcome.

By the way, just as a side note, this is exactly what is happening on those contorted California junipers that we admire. It is not that the juniper grows in such a contorted fashion, but parts of the tunk start dying, and the live vein grows around the deadwood, creating the contorted appearance.

The problem is that we can see this phenomenon mostly on large junipers. You would never see this on a mame-sized juniper. But knowing what is happening, you can re-create it on mame and shohin sized trees as well.

I can tell you from experience that this is not how these junipers grow. You only get twisted gnarly junipers by hiking to the parts of the mountain that recieve the wind. The junipers that grow in the gaullies and revines do not get twisted or sharied. I have seen many twisted and gnarly junipers with no dead wood on them. These trees on the wind side sometimes get battered 24/7 by 75 mile an hour winds for months at a time. The best junipers are from the face of the Tehachipe mountains that have the wind machines on them. It is a long hike and one that is very treacherous due to rock and terrible footing. We start digging at about 6:30AM and Harry wants most of the people out by 2PM. There is just not time to do that hike. Harry goes alot with just personal friends and digging companions for Convention Material. This is when he spends the time to go where the prizes are.

I am just wondering if you have been on a dig to Mojave. If you have you could not even remotely make this statement. Are you just making this stuff up?
 

Smoke

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You have done this technique before then? How quick did you notice appreciable results?



Will

None. All of mine have died due to seperating the bark from the wood. I have had some go for a year or two but thay almost always die. Jim plants out about 300 at a time and gets about half that make it. This is not a technique for a one tree project.

The best way to get one is just to buy one. Jim sells them fairly inexpensively and you know your getting a piece of stock that is past the danger stage. The key is the whip. It has to be small to take the abuse and what abuse it goes thru. BTW Jim will reinforce the shari three to four times during the grow out portion of the project. It's not a one time deal. As these junipers grow the shari will close up in one season on a small whip.

This is the last one I did. The poor thing is gasping for breath as we speak. The bout of 106 temps in July and August are too much for this technique here. I will start again in winter this year.
 

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Smoke

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I have one that I nearly killed last year by over fertilizing. This year I did get some new growth but the canopy is very nasty right now. I am nurseing it back to health. It is time for a restyle and it needs to get some new foliage back in. I did thin it about a week ago and it has responded OK.

For those that need to know...$350.00.

I'm sorry...it's a shame to let a good tree like this get so poorly.
 

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