Shimpaku design help

discusmike

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This is a shimp i recently purchased,ive done a little bit of work to the tree,im still unsure which way to go with it,should i use the first branch on the left as my new leader,or grow out the original main trunk line?I was thinking of jining the main trunk and useing the firt branch for the new trunk and apex,any kind of help would be appreciated,especially a sketch,thanks.
 

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discusmike

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I just dont have much of a design eye for junipers yet,please help.:confused:
 

treebeard55

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I think I would use that branch on the left, in the first photo, as the new leader. That gives you some nice taper.

What you do after that depends on how big you want the finished tree to be. If you want it much bigger, I would let it grow for a couple of years, keeping the present leader alive to nourish the tree. If it is now at the size you want, the next question is whether you want a slant-style or moyogi. Those are the two styles I see in it, as it is right now.
 

discusmike

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any better??
 

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discusmike

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If i go for a slant,how much branching should i use?
 

discusmike

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What would you do treebeard would be a better question,i trust your judgement,i dont feel im getting the right movement out of the new leader,and id like to keep it the size it is now,and just work on some branching and jin,but i think it looks to plain the way the leader moves now.
 

treebeard55

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DM, I think that whatever style you choose, this tree needs to grow out some: you don't have a lot to work with yet, unless you want to create a bunjin. But remember that while it's easy to create a bunjin, creating an outstanding bunjin is difficult.

I would preserve all the branching I could for the next couple of years, so that you have as many options as possible. The only time I would remove a branch is when there are two or more emerging from the trunk at the same point. When that happens, it's best to choose one and remove all others, or you risk a reverse taper.

Yes, I'm talking at least a couple of years before you style it. But I believe it will be worth it. That tree has nice potential, and patience will pay off.
 

discusmike

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TB,im gonna take your sound advice.Thanks again for your help.
 

treebeard55

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...i don't feel i'm getting the right movement out of the new leader,and i'd like to keep it the size it is now...

I didn't see this right away, DM. If you want to add some movement to the new leader, now may be a good time: the thinner the wood is, the more easily it will bend. But I would study it first to decide just what movement you want to add.

As for the "right movement" -- right for this tree -- that's a perception to be learned, and I'm still learning it myself. I start by studying the tree to see what movement is already there; then I try to visualize what I'll have if I simply accentuate what's already there. Sometimes that's enough. Other times, I decide it needs more, and that's where one must develop whatever eye for art one has.

One thing that helps a lot is a good photo-editing program. (I use Photoshop, but there are many others.) Photoshop lets me "try out" various ideas without actually doing anything to the tree.

I'm in the process of that right now, as a matter of fact, and also with a shimpaku. I've worked up 3 virts so far, and am working on 2 more. Once I'm done with all 5, I plan to post them here on B-nut and ask for feedback. Give me a few days, and then you'll be able to see an example of what I'm talking about. And feel free to give feedback; there's always the chance you'll see something I don't. :)

One more thought. Whenever you are ready to actually bend the new leader, I would wrap it in raffia first. That will lessen the chance of what one friend of mine calls "accidental pruning!" You don't always need raffia, but this is your future leader.
 

shohin kid

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Right now this is a stick with some foliage on it. It needs t develop more. You cant talk about styling it when there is nothing to style. What I would do is put it into a large growing pot and feed aggressively. It needs to develop branches, so leave it alone for about five years. When branches start to develop you can wire some shape in them, but leave options open. This shimpaku just needs to grow.

Please don't take offense to my comments. Everybody has or had trees like this. I just bought a satsuki whip yesterday and wired it. I fully understand that it needs to grow for at least 10 years to become something decent, but have the time to grow it.
 

Vance Wood

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DM, I think that whatever style you choose, this tree needs to grow out some: you don't have a lot to work with yet, unless you want to create a bunjin. But remember that while it's easy to create a bunjin, creating an outstanding bunjin is difficult.

I would preserve all the branching I could for the next couple of years, so that you have as many options as possible. The only time I would remove a branch is when there are two or more emerging from the trunk at the same point. When that happens, it's best to choose one and remove all others, or you risk a reverse taper.

Yes, I'm talking at least a couple of years before you style it. But I believe it will be worth it. That tree has nice potential, and patience will pay off.

This I totally agree with. The trunk is good and the nebari is good and the tree seems healthy, you just don't have much other than a trunk and base to work with. That's not bad, it's just not enough at this point. An attempt to make a bonsai of it now will be an exercise in futility because; beside the one obvious branch, the rest of the growth is too young to do anything with at this point. No matter which direction you go at this point, to cut back and make a Shohin, to make a windswept, anything, a three to five year wait is going to be the outcome.

Allowing the tree to develop for a few years unhindered will open the door on some design options you do not now have. Do the smart thing and let it grow out and find another tree to experiment on.
 

discusmike

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Ten four Vance,i guess im thinking to far ahead now,i put the tree with my others im growing out.
 

discusmike

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I take no offense Shohin,but i would not call a three inch base a stick.
 

Mike Page

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DM
Here's a virtual illustrating how I would handle this tree. I think it's doable. Vigorus feeding and cutting back to encourage lower growth will eventually give you a shohin bonsai that has some power to it.

Mike
 

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treebeard55

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Hi, DM, those virts are posted. Look for a new thread entitled "Shimpaku, future options."

I think you'll see what I mean about being able to play with ideas without ever taking a blade to your tree. :D
 

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