Should I let this grow out?

Japonicus

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View attachment 370730I’m just looking for a little guidance on what to do. I’m leaning toward letting grow for a year or 2 before trying to work on it.View attachment 370732
Yes but what work you will do on this particular age of juniper will be minimal in a year or two.
You will need to do some to keep interior growth alive and strong, yet you want the runners to run
(new growth tips) . In a year would be good time to wire late Summer while it is easily manageable .

Whatever you do, do not remove interior growth that is promising to keep.
 

Shibui

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I’m just looking for a little guidance on what to do. I’m leaning toward letting grow for a year or 2 before trying to work on it.
It all depends what you want from your bonsai.
There is not much to judge size on in that photo and no sign of the actual trunk but going on the scale of the foliage I'm guessing the trunk is still pretty thin under all that foliage.

Some would rush straight into styling and potting the tree. They would be left with a skinny trunk juniper which will stay much the same for many, many years. If that's what you want then go ahead.

It sound like your vision is for a more substantial bonsai with a more impressive trunk. To achieve that you can either buy a better trunk or grow the one you have.
I would opt for getting as much growth for as long as it takes until the trunk is the size and shape I want.
Shimpaku is notoriously slow to grow and thicken so I am resigned to a 5-10 year growing period to get the trunks I need.

Note that normal shimpaku growth is long, straight shoots. If you want an interesting juniper bonsai trunk you should probably wire and bend while it is thin. Juniper is hard as it ages and very difficult to bend when the trunk and branches get thicker. i now start wiring right from year 1 to get best results.
 

hoodbonsai

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Yes I’m going for bigger. I would have got something bigger from the start but the prices are crazy!!! It has a little something under all that foliage but nothing too thick. Maybe half an inch wide or a bit less. If I wire now I should clean it up a bit first right? Like clear some of the foliage on the bottom to expose the trunk or wire as is? Thx!!
 

River's Edge

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Yes I’m going for bigger. I would have got something bigger from the start but the prices are crazy!!! It has a little something under all that foliage but nothing too thick. Maybe half an inch wide or a bit less. If I wire now I should clean it up a bit first right? Like clear some of the foliage on the bottom to expose the trunk or wire as is? Thx!!
I would not be overly concerned about keeping interior foliage at this stage, Shimpaku are so easy to back bud and graft. This is just a seedling, thin out, wire up and grow out.
If growing in the ground with good conditions you can expect considerable change in five years. If left in a pot or smaller container, not so much.
 

Forsoothe!

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If you buy small stuff to grow into bigger, you will discover that there is some dollar figure per year cost of the value of larger stuff for someone else to provide sunny ground space to water, feed, rough trim, weed, and protect from animals and disease. Pre-bonsai takes twice the man-hours and is priced accordingly. You save money in exchange for your time if you do that, or pay money for someone else's time, year-by-year if you buy better stuff. Meanwhile you sit on your hands waiting to work on it. There is very little magic involved. To enjoy bonsai to the fullest, many of us do all of the above rather than just buying cheap and taking forever to graduate to better stock. We collect and plant seeds, pull saplings, collect yamdori and yardadori, buy cheap and grow, buy older in stores, at auctions and online, and exchange with friends. That's nine ways to love bonsai! Come on in and join the party, -the whole party!
 

River's Edge

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Thanks for all the great feedback!! I will consider all of the advice!
One other option is to purchase a larger tree and air layer off several tree's. Shimpaku are easy to air layer. Here is an example. I air layered off four thicker branches and retained the parent plant for development. Three pictures. First shows air layers done in April 2016. Second shows roots developed Oct 1 2016. Third shows parent plant in centre of photo with the four offspring on the sides. From one larger tree to five in total. The other larger branches remain for design of the parent plant. This makes the initial investment moire economical and saves lots of time in development.IMG_0692.JPGIMG_0695.JPGResult.JPG
 

ShadyStump

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An often forgot strategy is guy wires. Simple way to add a bit of character in the year or two you originally mentioned without having to do any trimming at all if you don't want.
 

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