Shohin Literati Juniper Chinensis

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Shohin
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I started out with three very, very similar junipers in one container hanging down in three different directions. They all basically looked like this about 2-3 three years ago. Just all straight with no movement.
2015-01-18 14.57.23.jpg
After deciding how to make them all look different. And facing the fact that the material was slightly below "good" material I decided to play with them. If they turn out nice, awesome. If they don't, they are practice trees. I trained it in to this:
2015-01-18 14.57.52.jpg
This particular one, after much sole searching, I decided to turn into a shohin literati. I like if and will now work on building the foliage pads and maturing it. This is it now:
Front
DSC_0293.JPG
Left Angle
DSC_0294.JPG
Top
DSC_0295.JPG
Right angle
DSC_0296.JPG

As it develops I will consider the exact planting angle and the final "front".
 

Adair M

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An update pic on this tree.
View attachment 174611
The ball of foliage is too heavy for the style you’re going for. It’s healthy, but you need to develop more defined branches and smaller pads.

Long term, you’ll want to select a much smaller, shallower pot. With a deep pot like that, and such a thin trunk, it makes the tree look very young. A literati should look old. Very old.

The “air roots” need to be pruned off.
 

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The ball of foliage is too heavy for the style you’re going for. It’s healthy, but you need to develop more defined branches and smaller pads.

Long term, you’ll want to select a much smaller, shallower pot. With a deep pot like that, and such a thin trunk, it makes the tree look very young. A literati should look old. Very old.

The “air roots” need to be pruned off.
Thanks for the comments. I agree with the foliage comment. Spring is just about here and I am planning to do it very soon.
As for the larger than needed pot. I did this as I had the smaller pot before but the tree was suffering. It gets to be 36C in summer (end of May to September) and the tree suffers. Also with summer down pours which are torrential, the tree gets knock over too often. Since using a slightly too large pot. It has fared and progressed much better.

I often see the suggestion of the "air roots" being trimmed off. Could you elaborate on the reasoning? Wouldn't it make the base look dead straight and less interesting?

I am not sure which line to follow but will have a closer look this weekend. Some quick virts .

JSL Virt 3.jpg JSL Virt1.jpg JSL Virt2.jpg JSL Virt4.jpg
 

Adair M

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Something along the lines of the second image would be nice.

You can tie the tree down to the bench to keep it from falling over. Standard practice in Japan.
 

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Think I am going to have a look at this tree this evening and see about bending those top branches down a little more. I think it will help the overall shape.

The straight trunk section will be dealt with/addressed in the fall.

Is the tree to small to be looking for live veins?
 

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Oh... one more trick: when a tree is at a severe angle like this. And tends to tip the pot, fishing weights in the pot can add to the stability of the tree/pot combo.
Now that is a tip I can take to the bank. Thanks!!
When I repot I will be sure to add some. Can anything else be used like iron? Or will the rusting affect the tree?
 

Adair M

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Now that is a tip I can take to the bank. Thanks!!
When I repot I will be sure to add some. Can anything else be used like iron? Or will the rusting affect the tree?
Iron will rust. John Naka used to put nails in the bottom of pots when he repotted trees. And they would be gone the next time he repotted. From that he assumed the tree absorbed the iron.

But, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose? If the iron slowly rusts away, the pot gets less stable over time?

I think you would want to use something inert. Like tungsten.
 

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Yes, the rusting away and getting more unstable makes sense.

Would there be enough iron in fertilizer if the trees in Mr. Naka's absorbed the iron form nails? Also, would this extra iron benefit the tree's foliage?
 

Adair M

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I am not advocating Naka’s nails technique. No one knows if the trees absorbed any iron or whether the rust just washed out of the pot.

My point was simply that the nails “disappeared”, so using them for ballast is not a good long term solution.
 

Clicio

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And tends to tip the pot, fishing weights in the pot can add to the stability of the tree/pot combo
@Adair M Sorry to ask, but I've been wary of using lead weights IN the pot since lead can be bad for the trees?
It's a genuine question, I need the weights it but I've been avoiding them.
 

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