Sabina Juniper

Alex DeRuiter

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Here's another Sabina I rescued from a lanscape nursery last week. It wasn't in the best soil, but it's a terrible time to repot...so I put it in a smart pot with a ton of turface in hopes that it'll recover well. I did very minimal trimming and it was mostly just dead stuff anyway. I wired up a new leader, but the tree has a bit of an odd shape. The large branch on the left is actually a second trunk sprouting from the base and twisting around the main trunk. Any ideas for styling? I was considering making a jin of that second trunk, but it seems like it would leave too much empty space on that side of the tree. The nebari is another issue with one or two crossing roots, but this seems like it could be easily remedied -- I feel like either one could be removed, really, but I'm leaning towards chopping the smaller root and slightly repositioning the large root.

What say ye? I'll start chopping back a bit next year to promote some back budding. And in case your wondering, yes, the bar-branching will be addressed -- just at an appropriate time and assuming the tree is in a healthier state next year. ;)




 
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John Ruger

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Nice pickup axxonn. I've picked up 4 different junipers from local nurseries in the past couple of weeks. Now's a good time since many are having 40-50% off sales. The ones I picked up cost around $15 a piece, but it did take a bit of searching to find nice material.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Yeah, this time last year I got some pretty amazing deals. This particular tree cost me $10.
 
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just a personal opinion... If it was me I would not wire and repot at the same time, I find it usually puts to much stress on the tree. I think you have some very, very good potential here, but I also see quite a bit of dying foilage. I would spend a year, or so just nursing it back to health and little by little bringing the foliage back in. Would recommennd no drastic changes until then... I know it is hard, but a little patience will go a long way!
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Ah, I forgot to clarify. lol -- It was more of a slip-potting. I didn't disturb the roots at all -- just surrounded it with turface.

As for the yellowing, I was going to put it in a less sunny spot soon, I just have to section off a couple parts of the lawn to accommodate for a few new trees.

I definitely hear you though. Putting a tree through as little stress as possible is the best and fastest way to get it to a workable state.

PS- Momma didn't raise no fool. lol :D (Edit: I hope that doesn't sound arrogant or anything...just trying to be funny. lol)
 
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Alex DeRuiter

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So I cut back a bit today and took off the wire. It turns out this tree had a lot more potential than I thought initially -- or at least that's what I think now. What do you guys and gals think? I definitely like this new front more. I have to push some growth in towards the trunk, but otherwise I think it has a nice line. Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions? Warm towel for your hands?

The pictures differ very slightly. In the first you can see the nebari a little more clearly, but the second shows a wider shot.


 

Ang3lfir3

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the lower branch (I can't tell if its connected to the trunk or not) needs to turn 180deg to the left given this front... hopefully its not attached and some seriously large wire and careful coaxing can convince it to move.... otherwise its got to go.... this is one reasons why the "no crossing trunk" suggestion exists ... as you can see it disrupts the trunk line and moves the eyes abruptly in that direction... leaving you hanging out there with the foliage....

nice tree with potential in those little branches
 

Alex DeRuiter

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I was just looking at it a minute ago. Yes, that branch is a hefty bastard and is crossing the trunk. I don't think heavy wire will work, really...it's going to have to go. I think it might be salvageable if I remove it, though. Do you? That being the case, I'll probably jin that little piece of trunk that's connected to that branch. The dead remnant of a branch just above it might add some balance. . . .
 

Ang3lfir3

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you can always start by leaving a jin .... its always possible to reduce a jin... not so easy to put it back (not impossible :p )
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Lol, good point. I took the branch off last night after reading your response. I left a good-sized nub so I'll have a good amount to carve away at.
 

october

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Nice material.. Good base.. What about something like this.. Very simple foliage and jin composition.

Rob

 

Alex DeRuiter

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Hey Rob, thank you for taking the time to make that virt. I like that look and it's along the lines of what I was thinking of as a final image. I was thinking something a little fuller with less space between the pads, but pretty much the same thing.

However...it turns out that branch up front (pictured below) was coming off of the trunk in a very awkward spot. At this perspective, it crossed the trunk and no matter how I bent it, it looked terrible. Hard to show that in the pictures, but I'm including one pointing out the branch, and one with it removed.

At this point, I'll be leaving the tree to grow fuller and hopefully sprout some usable branches. I may have to graft, but we'll see in time. The final image has been postponed by quite a bit with this, but I think taking the time to make it look right will be worth it in the end.

Thinking about it a bit more, I'll probably remove and replace that little cluster of branches on the left as it's lacking taper. . . .




**EDIT: This tree now almost looks like a clumsy waiter falling over backwards while holding a pizza. . . . lol
 
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Alex DeRuiter

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Quick update on this one. Lots of new growth! :D

I've been pinching back somewhat regularly on that bottom right branch to try and pop some buds a lot closer to the trunk, but no luck just yet. We'll see how things go for the next couple years, but I think it's looking pretty decent.

 

october

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Hello Alex. It's looking good. One thing, pinching makes a tree weaker in that section, not stronger. I would not do any pinching on this tree for a while. Generally when a juni is intially cut back and styled, it is left to grow. Then, after it grows out and gets strong again, it is cut back to the original style. After this point is when pinching comes into play.

Rob
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Thanks, Rob! I was curious about whether or not I was helping the tree by doing that. I know it makes it weaker, but I thought it might help with back budding. Is my assumption incorrect? Do you think I'd be better off if I just grafted a branch there?

I suppose another option would be to wire one of the other branches down instead of relying on that ugly straight branch on the right. Hmmm. . . .
 

october

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Generally a bonsai is not pinched until it is finished or near finished. After this tree is restyled, then allowed to grow a bit into it's future shape. Then you can pinch. Basically you are probably a couple of years away from pinching this tree. Pinching will encourage the foliage to grow tighter and more compact. However, this is only useful if the tree has it's final form. Cutting tends to promote back budding. Many times when a branch is cut, the tree will back bud around that area. Pinching just makes little tiny buds right at the foliage area that was pinched. Too much pinching can weaken and even kill that area though.

As far as styling options.. I think maybe let it grow for another year and then decide. One option would be to cut off that straight up branch on the right.Then make just work with the left section. This would give you a shorter more compact tree. Here is a virt of what I was thinking.

Rob

7-20-12028[1].jpg
 

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