Shimpacu/prostrata

Dwight

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Here's a shimpacu on prostrata stock I picked up at Chikugo-En this weekend. The shimpacu was grafted on many years ago. All Gary could remember is that he and Mas have had the tree for at least 40 yrs. some of the grafts are an inch in diameter. As with all their trees the grafts themselves are invisable. The tree is 26" tall ( from the soil line ) and has a 3" primary trunk. The daughter trunk is 2" so its been around for a while. It has some nice natural shari on the daughter trunk. Here's the front with a coke can and a close up of the nebari and trunk detail
 

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cquinn

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If you don't mind me asking, what was the price tag? I'm just comparing prices on the East Coast in comparison to the West Coast.
 

mcpesq817

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Great tree Dwight! I would have been tempted to snatch that one up had I seen it when I was at Chikugo-En last fall :)

Cquinn, these trees aren't particularly cheap. The one I got from them has a smaller trunk size, and it was still pretty pricey. Then again, they are grafted with kishu shimpaku and have good movement - all things you pay a premium for (and worth it in my opinion).
 

Dwight

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Let me just say it was more than my first car. Wait , thats no help.....my first car was the ranch jeep and was free. How about four figures and the fiorst one was a one.
 

cquinn

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About tne same here then, although we don't have many grafts to choose from. Most in this part of the country are sitting on their own roots.
 
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Dwight

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I think LA is the land of grafts , at least as far as junipers are concerned. They graft onto San Jose , prostrata , and Cal all the time. Gary is convinced the result is stronger than either tree by itself.
 

cquinn

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I've got a good trunk that I'm considering grafting Shimpaku to next year. Just can't beat that foliage.
 

greerhw

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I'm glad it got there safe and sound, nice material, keep us posted.

keep it green,
Harry
 

grouper52

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Great material, Dwight. So Cal is certainly the hot-bed of shimpaku grafting. Rocky Mountain and Sierra junipers - both incredibly nice and sought after trees for collectors up here - are desert trees that do poorly over time in our wet climate West of the Cascades - grafting Shimpaku, a moisture-loving plant, is the answer, of course, but the growth is slow here, and it can take 2-3 years for an approach graft to take, with the tree sometimes going south before the graft takes hold. Many folks here, therefore, take or send them down to Califonia where the heat and long growing season are ideal, and the grafts usually take within a single season.

I imagine they graft the Shimpaku foliage onto California and other juniper stock down there simply to get more attractive foliage, which it certainly is.

Great tree. Keep us posted as it develops.

Will
 

Dwight

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Hay Will , long way from gettin blasted for cutting off a branch don't you think. I was told they graft mainly to get better foilage but especially with Cal junies , it also results in a much stronger tree. Roy Nagatochi ( sp? ) told me he sends grafted trees all over the country and they have way fewer problems than non grafted trees. Gary Ishii said their grafted trees also grow faster than either tree alone. Both Roy and Gary have done grafts for you gill breathers.
 

Dwight

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You nkow it would be nice if anyone has any suggestions for this guy if you would speek up. I know my photography sucks and the tree seems pretty obvious to me as to what it wants to be but I still consider myself a beginner so ideas are always welcome. Hows that for a run on sentence ?
 

grouper52

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You nkow it would be nice if anyone has any suggestions for this guy if you would speek up. I know my photography sucks and the tree seems pretty obvious to me as to what it wants to be but I still consider myself a beginner so ideas are always welcome. Hows that for a run on sentence ?
Well as a run on sentence I think it's reasonably good maybe 5 out of 10 but that doesn't excuse the fact that it fails to tell us HOW exactly we're supposed to offer a virt or suggestions given the sucky quality of the photography which tells me little more than two trunks and nice foliage and what you've been drinking recently which might not even be the best drink to inspire you to make this tree something other than that which is pretty obvious which we can all see but even less than you can see there in person Dwight so I guess my question back to you is what do you think is its obvious direction for you and can you post a pix with a better view of the stuff we need to see to render some opinions and as a last question would you prefer that these sorts of run on sentences go the final step into incoherence by having me post it in moronic text language like I'm used to on the sorry newby forum I recently quit when I just couldn't take it anymore or is your hi-def digital rat's-ass locator failing to register any hot leads towards finding one you could give to this question?

Will
 

Rick Moquin

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You nkow it would be nice if anyone has any suggestions for this guy if you would speek up. I know my photography sucks and the tree seems pretty obvious to me as to what it wants to be but I still consider myself a beginner so ideas are always welcome. Hows that for a run on sentence ?
Dwight,

IMHO, you will never amount to nothing if you constantly seek how someone else will/would style your tree(s). Now that is a pretty harsh statement and it was meant to be.

I have followed you for some years now from being an impatient neophyte to actually acquiring decent material. That in itself should say it all.

Walter and others say that a bonsai becomes a bonsai when it has soul. Who's soul theirs or yours?

Robert Steven conveys that message quite clearly in his book.

So I'm not going to sit here at my laptop and waste time doing a virt for you, as it would accomplish nothing towards your advancement in bonsai. It's time you yourself grab this bull by the horn and create something that comes from within you after many hours of dialog with your newly acquired specimen. That is how bonsai is created.

You have fought the urge to create bonsai overnight, now sit and contemplate until a vision comes to you. The fact that you paid over $1K for this material will undoubtedly provide you with the patience necessary to extract all the grandeur that this tree has to offer.

Bonsai is not created overnight, you are hereby ordered to sit and contemplate for as long as it takes to see where this tree needs to go. If after numerous hours/weeks have gone by and still no vision. Sit and contemplate some more.

I have not seen this tree in person but have a good idea of where it may go, even from the lousy photograph LOL. One thing to keep in mind, whilst most people tend to create twin trunks with a twin trunked tree, is that the best option. Will it add to the credibility of the finish project or diminish the overall beauty. These are urges, one needs to fight with when contemplating.

I was harsh here but I believe my ramblings are better than any virt I could haver provided you with. Now sit, contemplate and create booboo.
 

mcpesq817

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Hey Dwight,

I've never done a virt, so can't help you there. What you might want to do is let the tree rest a bit, clean up the foliage (cut off some of the downward growing branches) and take a picture against a neutral background. I think that would help more experienced people than myself see the branch structure a little better and be able to help.

As for the twin trunk generally, I personally would keep it. Twin trunked trees are one of my favorite forms, and tend to be a bit rare, especially with junipers. It looks like Mas and Gary developed this tree with the twin trunk in mind, so I think I would try to work with that design in mind. I'm also assuming that the twin trunk was what attracted you to buy the tree?

One thing to consider - I don't know if you have bought trees from Mas and Gary before, but the soil they use is a very sandy soil. It works for them in their dry climate, but here on the East Coast with all the rain we get, I was pretty sure that my trees would have problems. So, this spring I repotted the trees I bought from them last fall in a very well draining mix. If you are going to repot into a new mix next spring, you might want to let your trees rest this year and not style them too much, just so they are strong for next year's repot.

In any event, you've got a really great tree there, and I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun developing it.
 

grouper52

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You know, Dwight, my own little tongue-in-cheek run on sentence should have had a smilie with it :)D) to differentiate its tone clearly from that of Rick's, but he's merely spelling out, in his own direct style, what I alluded to in part of my ramble, which asked where YOU saw this tree going. It may be the end of our friendship, but I have to say I think Rick gave you the better answer.

I've been involved with bonsai four times as long as I've been involved with bonsai forums on the internet. I've often publicly stated that I seriously question whether such forums are a useful way to learn or teach anything truly helpful about this endeavor, be it a hobby or an art. Bonsai info - perhaps. Bonsai knowledge or wisdom - not a chance. I've also often publicly stated that I can't recall more than a handful of instances where such forums have taught me anything worthwhile about bonsai beyond the occasional technical tidbit, and this of course led me to wonder, then, why I have spent so much time involved in these forums.

The answer is complex, but reflecting on it has led me to conclude that one major reason I post relates to the fact that my trees and my eye and my skills HAVE improved in ways that might not otherwise have been the case. But the improvement has not been because there was any DIRECT learning from the feedback or advice given: it has been because the very act of posting my trees has spurred me on to make them the best I can, whether others appreciate my styling and process or not.

Especially during my tenure on BSite I tried to made it increasingly, stridently clear that I was almost never asking for advice or virts or feedback, positive or negative, when I posted trees or progression photos. I'm never looking for others to tell me what I should be doing with my trees - I do exactly what Rick recommended you do, and for the same reasons he laid out.

Steinbeck, in his wisdom, said, "A boy becomes a man when a man is needed." You have been doing this for a few years now. You have purchased some worthy material. It is now incumbent upon you to step up to the plate, study this tree carefully on your own, and create the bonsai that attracted you to this tree in the first place. Another man of great wisdom, Winston Churchill, once said, "Play for more than you can afford to lose and you will learn the game," so take that expensive bad boy and start playing! Whether you think you've botched it or not, post it again when you're well on your way - I for one would love to see it no matter what, and I'll rejoice in your efforts. THAT's how you'll learn from here on out, Dwight.

Will
 

Dwight

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Well at least you didn't just write one long rambeling runon sentence criticizing my immaturity and lack of taste when it comes to the intake of mind altering substances.

Anyway Rick , I think you're absolutely right. I can see what I think the tree wants to be but without much experience my paranoia acts up a lot with this tree. Gary and I spent about an hour talking about the tree and he brought up the idea of jinning the daughter trunk also. The more we talked the less we liked the idea as the daughter trunk already has a bunch of dead wood and one strong and obvious live vein.The main trunk ios pretty empty on the " inside " all the way to the top of the daughter trunk which implies to me that the daughter trunk can contribute more than dead wood. After I posted yesterday I went and visdited with the tree for a couple of hours and did the same this morning. I'm even more sure of where I think it wants to go so I don't want any more opinions aftera all. Now if I can just do it correctly.
 

Dwight

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Just noticed I cross posted. The above is for that schoundrell Rick !

And will , you're right as well. See , I am learning.
 
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Dwight

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MCP , you've read my mind. The soil on this guy is basically garden center top soil. It will be repotted into an akadama/pumice mix in March. Till then we'll just visit.
 

mcpesq817

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Well at least you didn't just write one long rambeling runon sentence criticizing my immaturity and lack of taste when it comes to the intake of mind altering substances.

Anyway Rick , I think you're absolutely right. I can see what I think the tree wants to be but without much experience my paranoia acts up a lot with this tree. Gary and I spent about an hour talking about the tree and he brought up the idea of jinning the daughter trunk also. The more we talked the less we liked the idea as the daughter trunk already has a bunch of dead wood and one strong and obvious live vein.The main trunk ios pretty empty on the " inside " all the way to the top of the daughter trunk which implies to me that the daughter trunk can contribute more than dead wood. After I posted yesterday I went and visdited with the tree for a couple of hours and did the same this morning. I'm even more sure of where I think it wants to go so I don't want any more opinions aftera all. Now if I can just do it correctly.
Hey Dwight,

I'm pretty new to this bonsai stuff as well. I'm sure that Will and Rick meant well, but I have to say, it's not like you're asking for help with a piece of stock that's $25. If I bought stock that cost what your tree cost, I sure as hell would be soliciting viewpoints. I think with more experience, you develop an "eye" for what works. That's what I'm working on, and I find listening to what other people say and "seeing" a tree as more experienced people may see it has helped me come to a better understanding about what tends to work for nice bonsai and what doesn't.
 
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