The California juniper after almost 12 years

coh

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Which view is your "front"? Assuming the first of the 6 photos take 9/11/20? I like the open structure too but find the last photo to be the most interesting.
 

bonhe

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Thanks everyone for your comments.

Wow I really love the open branch structure on this!
Thanks Greg. If you look at it in person, you will be much more interested. I can not create the 3D pictures to show off the branch structure!

I was wondering about that.
Is this a conscious choice? Or is it a part of the development phase this is in?
I found it a bit too sparse :|
You are right. It is just the initial phase of foliage pad creation.

Which view is your "front"? Assuming the first of the 6 photos take 9/11/20? I like the open structure too but find the last photo to be the most interesting.
This tree is very interesting because I can have 2 fronts. The 1st one is the first picture and the 2nd is the 5th pictures. I prefer the 1st to the 5th due to its incontinuous shari
IMG_3638.jpg

with its lowest end to which I consider the focal point!
IMG_3639.jpg

The 6th one has trunk line too straight!
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bonhe

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California junipers have naturally sparse foliage. It is hard to get balance tree strength, and development of tight foliage pads.
Yes, I agree.
Did you bring any California juniper with you there?
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coh

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This tree is very interesting because I can have 2 fronts. The 1st one is the first picture and the 2nd is the 5th pictures. I prefer the 1st to the 5th due to its incontinuous shari
View attachment 328943

with its lowest end to which I consider the focal point!
View attachment 328944

The 6th one has trunk line too straight!
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To me, the trunk in the first photo looks too angular - 90 deg bends, each section very straight, section 1/2 not much different in length. In photo 5 the trunk bends are softer-appearing, perhaps because of the placement of the branches at each.

I disagree about the trunk in photo 6. Yes, it does not have the same dramatic bends as photos 1 and 5. But, it has a lot of subtle movement which I find beautiful and which seems to relate better to the canopy. Photo 4 also has that subtle movement and both have interplay between the dead wood and live vein. I'd want to see what the trunk looks like in photo 1 if you rotate slightly to the left or right as I think that might decrease the sharpness and "in your face" feeling I get from the trunk but, I can only imagine what it looks like in person.

I also really like the more asymmetrical canopy structure in photo 5 and that might be driving a lot of my feelings here. Perhaps if the canopy in photo 1 was more asymmetric I'd prefer that? Just thinking out loud here.

Edit to add...if you ever get tired of it I'd be happy to see it in my yard!
 

Bonsai Nut

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Yes, I agree.
Did you bring any California juniper with you there?
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I left my big juniper for @Si Nguyen . He gave me some olives and pots because he is a nice friend, but he didn't have to. I am happy that he has it. Maybe he will move to North Carolina and I can see it again! My second California juniper died when I was moving it. It is the only tree I lost this year during the move. It was in the moving truck too long - ten days - during June heat in Arizona and Texas. When I opened the box half of the foliage was already dead even though the root ball was still wet. I am sad, but happy that I only lost a single tree!

It is very hard to move across the country with a lot of bonsai trees :)
 

sorce

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Seeing 10 years in 2 seconds is great!

Sorce
 

Mayank

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Gosh. Lovely tree. Love the sparseness. I think that's very typical of American yamadori material. It's this collected?
 

Adair M

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Gosh. Lovely tree. Love the sparseness. I think that's very typical of American yamadori material. It's this collected?
That’s typical of American yamadori material because it takes time to develop compact pads of foliage with a proper structure that will be sustainable for the long term. Most of our yamadori is still “young”, that is, they have not had enough time under proper management to build refinement. Give this another decade, and it will much fuller.

California Juniper is much coarser (larger) than shimpaku, and because of that, it takes longer to refine an image. That’s also why, especially for smaller specimens, a lot of California trunks get grafted with shimpaku foliage. And, once grafted, they’re more tolerant of climates with more humidity.
 

bonhe

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To me, the trunk in the first photo looks too angular - 90 deg bends, each section very straight, section 1/2 not much different in length. In photo 5 the trunk bends are softer-appearing, perhaps because of the placement of the branches at each.

I disagree about the trunk in photo 6. Yes, it does not have the same dramatic bends as photos 1 and 5. But, it has a lot of subtle movement which I find beautiful and which seems to relate better to the canopy. Photo 4 also has that subtle movement and both have interplay between the dead wood and live vein. I'd want to see what the trunk looks like in photo 1 if you rotate slightly to the left or right as I think that might decrease the sharpness and "in your face" feeling I get from the trunk but, I can only imagine what it looks like in person.

I also really like the more asymmetrical canopy structure in photo 5 and that might be driving a lot of my feelings here. Perhaps if the canopy in photo 1 was more asymmetric I'd prefer that? Just thinking out loud here.

Edit to add...if you ever get tired of it I'd be happy to see it in my yard!
Thanks for long detailed comments. I really appreciate it!
You made me to get out of house in the summer heat to carry it to the good place for photography and looked at it ! 🤣
You liked this one as the front
48C46777-8E13-4CE9-A6B5-2AD3598ADCB0.jpeg

Like I said, it is too straight for me. Besides it has jin poked straight into the viewer’s face
D514D811-6B2D-49E9-B7CC-955C16A36ADD.jpeg

It also has the upper trunk goes backward
CEF733E0-E66A-4B28-A2BA-9A50B28961EE.jpeg

Let turn the tree a little bit. The upper trunk is still going backward
65839C8F-CBD3-45A4-A25F-2BC8AC77B88E.jpeg

Now, let the current front turn a little clockwise. The lower jin goes straight into the viewer’ s face
1833497D-4DFE-46EB-896E-0203B392A1CD.jpeg

Let turn it a little counterclockwise. It is OK but I can not see the upper jin of shari well now
75575CBC-3A94-4A8B-9562-BC37DB92BCDF.jpeg
And it also has jin poked to the eyes !
3F527BD2-B3CB-455B-A574-9F4D490B28C3.jpeg

For now, I will continue keep the front as it is. I also recognized it has 3 rather straight lines but their lengths are different. They create the strong feeling which symbolizes the tree as toughness and durability in the harsh living environment up on the mountain. This trunk line is also reminding me my motherland (S line) in full meaning.
P/S: I also love wabi sabi and this bonsai fulfilled all of it.
Oh, thanks for liking this tree 😊
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bonhe

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I left my big juniper for @Si Nguyen . He gave me some olives and pots because he is a nice friend, but he didn't have to. I am happy that he has it. Maybe he will move to North Carolina and I can see it again! My second California juniper died when I was moving it. It is the only tree I lost this year during the move. It was in the moving truck too long - ten days - during June heat in Arizona and Texas. When I opened the box half of the foliage was already dead even though the root ball was still wet. I am sad, but happy that I only lost a single tree!

It is very hard to move across the country with a lot of bonsai trees :)
Thanks for sharing the story with us Greg.
Yeah , Si told me about the Cali juniper gifted from you. I hope it is still ok because Si lost the interest in bonsai for a while! What a pity! I tried to talk him back into bonsai, but he said he was so busy and .... I hope when he read this post, he will feel guilty and goes back into bonsai 😂


Seeing 10 years in 2 seconds is great!

Sorce
Haahaaa . Thanks Sorce
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bonhe

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Gosh. Lovely tree. Love the sparseness. I think that's very typical of American yamadori material. It's this collected?
Thanks Mayank. I also like the spareness because the negative spaces are as strong as the positive! I have been using this principle a lot in photography. Very effective!
Yes, it was collected by Harry Inami long time ago!

That’s typical of American yamadori material because it takes time to develop compact pads of foliage with a proper structure that will be sustainable for the long term. Most of our yamadori is still “young”, that is, they have not had enough time under proper management to build refinement. Give this another decade, and it will much fuller.

California Juniper is much coarser (larger) than shimpaku, and because of that, it takes longer to refine an image. That’s also why, especially for smaller specimens, a lot of California trunks get grafted with shimpaku foliage. And, once grafted, they’re more tolerant of climates with more humidity.
Thanks for information. Yeah, Fuji bonsai nursery here has a lot of shimpaku grafted on California juniper. I am not a fan of that but I have one 🤒
Actually all of my California junipers grow very well. They grow strong and fast! 😊
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Vance Wood

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California junipers have naturally sparse foliage. It is hard to get balance tree strength, and development of tight foliage pads.
This is why many of the worlds masters are turning to grafting Kishu or Itowigawa on to the tree, replacing the folieage with something more managable and beautiful.
 

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