RMJ Yamadori Windswept Cascade

grouper52

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I collected this RMJ in Wyoming a year and a half ago. I was along on a collecting trip with Dan Robinson, but this was the first yamadori I collected all by my lonesome - a humble little ground layer with a questionable future but with that interesting little configuration down low on the left.

It burst forth with new whips this past spring, and I repotted without setback in the late summer into this oversized pot, obviously anticipating a cascade.

I started to play with about ten days ago, and the idea of this windswept cascade started to emerge. So here it is at the end of the initial styling, with more to do obviously, but with some of the lines well delineated at least.

Enjoy.
 

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october

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Hello grouper52.....................This is an absolutely incredible piece of collected material........... I can already see....extremely clearly....the future, exhibition award winning masterpiece..I hope the tree sees the same thing.......lol........ Man, if this material can become really healthy and start growing like crazy...... You will have a possible world class specimen.. As soon as I saw it.. I didn't see it in it's current state, but rather all healthy and structured, but sill holding on to its wild past aesthetics..

Rob
 

Attila Soos

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To add a little more interest and tension to the windswept scene, I would try to play around with hat little branch on top. Istead of wiring straight to the right (as it is right now), I would move the foliage to the left side of the trunk, and then turn the end of the foliage back towards the right (in the direction of the wind). This would suggest that the tree was trying to send some growth against the elements, but ultimately had to give in to the greater force.

Of course, only you know if this can be done without seriously jeopardizing the health of the branch. I don't know how flexible is the branch, but Junipers usually are reasonably flexible.

(I remember that the teachers of Chinese school of penjing suggested somewhere that when you go left, do a small move towards the right first, and when going up, do a small step down first. This will enhance the effect. In your case, there is no sign of any struggle, everything goes straight to the right, thus diminishing the drama. With windswept, there is always a dramatic element that should be considered).

Great material, I really like the possibilities of this little tree.
 
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grouper52

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Thanks guys.

Rob: It grew much better than my other collected trees from that trip - hardly set back at all, as can be seen from all the healthy young whips from last season. Even after its first styling, here, it certainly shows a lot of promise. It's got an exciting energy, if I can just bring it out to its maximum.

Atilla: your points are well taken. With the basic design becoming clear, I was already anticipating the need to design a bit more interest into the windswept design, as you said. I took this by and showed it to Dan yesterday, and he had similar comments to yours. That top branch shows a very robust life line, and should bear some manipulation over time if done carefully. Some of the smaller branches down low need to be wired in a similar fashion, showing less of a lockstep direction.
 

Smoke

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Really interesting material. You gotta wonder how and why that trunk made a u-turn and so tight!

Can't wait for the pics down the road, such a dynamic piece.

Al
 

plant_dr

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Although Wyoming is very windy, I don't think that's the whole story of this tree. I see the top of an upright tree that eventually succomed to it's harsh environment(maybe wind) and died back, leaving an older branch near the bottom and a younger branch near the top. Heavy snow loads put pressure on these remaining branches, eventually kinking them sharply in closer to the trunk. It has started pushing the trunk into a more horizontal position as well. I don't see the it being shaped by wind pressure rather than intense weight pushing downward by heavy snows that stay on for over half the year in the Rockies. Awesome tree!

Zach
 

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I'm not going to be quite as romantic as Zach ;). I think it succumbed to a dirt bike or 4 wheeler early on, fractured and grew out like this.

This is a nice piece and see incredible potential your a lucky man to make a find like this. My one and only piddly suggestion would be to lose that tuft of foliage on top near the bend. It seems visually disconnected and out of place. I think a deadwood extension from the bend running down the tree would be more suitable for the windswept image your trying to achieve. Then again that might be the martini speaking.
 

grouper52

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Thanks, Al, Zach and Tachigi.

Believe me - No dirt bikes or four wheelers could ever have gotten anywhere close to this guy!

It was actually just a ground layer a bit uphill from the large mother plant on a little ledge about 100' up a 300' 45-60 degree sandstone cliff/ridge. It was originally lying almost flat to the left, connected to the mother tree through that little wavy root peaking out beneath the main trunk. There are some ground layered roots there, and more extensive ones at it's current base. The current cascading trunk was facing slightly upwards, and there was another one closer to the apex, now cut off, that was more close to vertical. My guess at it's origins, which could be entirely wrong, are a combination of the tendency for a lot of the juniper branches there to grow along the ground, and the part that heavy snows have to play in keeping them pinned down. The wind probably played little role, despite the tree's current configuration.

That little S-shaped figure-of-8 flourish is what attracted me to the tree in the first place, and it should show off even better after I clean up/strip the bark a bit in the near future - I'll post again then. But I have no clear idea at the moment what forces are responsible for its formation.

Tom, that upper foliage pad may indeed go, though I'm going to try to keep and develop it into something a bit more interesting first.
 
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Attila Soos

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Tom, that upper foliage pad may indeed go, though I'm going to try to keep and develop it into something a bit more interesting first.

No way senor! That's one of my favorite feature of the whole tree!...beside the trunk, of course.
 
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grouper52

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For those interested, here are four close-up views of the cleaned up base, starting with the front and circling clockwise.
 

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grouper52

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Well, one major decision made.

I may try to graft it with Shimpaku either this season or next, although I like the sparseness the way it is. :)

Getting several pot thoughts in mind, probably for next season as well.
 

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