The California juniper after almost 12 years

Bonsai Nut

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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.

I wouldn't say they are "turning to" it. They've been doing it long before I moved to California. If the only thing you value in California juniper is the deadwood, then graft away! It is a ton of labor however. I know that Gary Ishii stopped doing so - because he found that he couldn't make any money from it. The labor invested in the trees made them extremely expensive.

I have mixed emotions about it. I think I would rather work to bring out the natural beauty in a tree than swap out all the branches with a different species just so you can use the deadwood. It feels a little tanuki-esque to me. But I know that is a personal preference and not everyone is going to agree :)
 

Vance Wood

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I wouldn't say they are "turning to" it. They've been doing it long before I moved to California. If the only thing you value in California juniper is the deadwood, then graft away! It is a ton of labor however. I know that Gary Ishii stopped doing so - because he found that he couldn't make any money from it. The labor invested in the trees made them extremely expensive.

I have mixed emotions about it. I think I would rather work to bring out the natural beauty in a tree than swap out all the branches with a different species just so you can use the deadwood. It feels a little tanuki-esque to me. But I know that is a personal preference and not everyone is going to agree :)
These are very good arguments if you keep your tree in California. However there is a problem with them if you move them to other states outside California.
 

River's Edge

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I have found they are quite adaptable with time. Mine is thriving now, after three years transition from California. After all they tend to be native in higher altitudes, thus a bit cooler. The foliage does take more time and effort to compact but I have seen some beautiful examples in California shows.
The Japanese found that Shimpaku yamadori needed to be adapted slowly for success! I have read that the first year after collection was at the same altitude on the mountain to keep the conditions the same until after recovery had begun. Far different from nursery stock.
 

bonhe

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I wouldn't say they are "turning to" it. They've been doing it long before I moved to California. If the only thing you value in California juniper is the deadwood, then graft away! It is a ton of labor however. I know that Gary Ishii stopped doing so - because he found that he couldn't make any money from it. The labor invested in the trees made them extremely expensive.

I have mixed emotions about it. I think I would rather work to bring out the natural beauty in a tree than swap out all the branches with a different species just so you can use the deadwood. It feels a little tanuki-esque to me. But I know that is a personal preference and not everyone is going to agree :)
If you do side graft , yes it will have more extensive labor and less succeed rate comparing to the inarching graft .
I don’t like the grafted one at all, but I have one with itoigawa grafted on California juniper. I will attack on it soon!
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just.wing.it

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Thanks. Please share your tree if you could . Thank you.
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Here is a poor pic on its little bench....its very long and leggy now because it was fighting tip blight all year.
Finally knocked it out with Mancozeb, took all summer.
It has recently pushed out some non-tip blighty foliage in the tips of every branch. I'm glad its alive but its going to take a lot of chasing back.
20201019_182715.jpg
 

Vance Wood

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It is my belief that this Juniper as well as most others will not ramify if it is not PINCHWED back occasionally contrary to what some teachers are suggesting currently. Do I know what I am talking about? According to many modern teachers I know nothing.

I am having a great deal of difficulty working with images since this appearant change in how to download images has been applied. I wish the powers that be would go back to the way it was.

Never-the-less these are examples of pinched foliage.
ShimpakuCrop2016.jpgDSC_0345.JPGDSC_0341.JPGShimpakuCrop2016.jpgDSC_0345.JPGDSC_0341.JPG
 

River's Edge

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It is my belief that this Juniper as well as most others will not ramify if it is not PINCHWED back occasionally contrary to what some teachers are suggesting currently. Do I know what I am talking about? According to many modern teachers I know nothing.

I am having a great deal of difficulty working with images since this appearant change in how to download images has been applied. I wish the powers that be would go back to the way it was.

Never-the-less these are examples of pinched foliage.
View attachment 335578View attachment 335587View attachment 335596View attachment 335578View attachment 335587View attachment 335596
Pinching was a common traditional practice for many! There is an excellent description of the horticultural reasons why it is not the most effective practice in Michael Hagedorn's book Bonsai Heresy.
"Pinching" off the growing tips on healthy foliage simply sets the foliage back removing the tiny growing extensions off each branchlet. Rather if one cuts the extension growth that occurs within the foliage bundle it causes further division and additional ramification for the healthy foliage. Cutting the extension growth removes auxin and creates a more refined response in the remaining healthy foliage as well as desirable back budding.
The key is to recognize the four types of foliage on the plant and deal with each type correctly. Remove ( cut back) extension growth, usually on or two per foliage bundle. Remove the weak growth that has very little division in the foliage. Leave the healthy foliage alone and allow juvenile growth to mature if it is in a desired location, otherwise remove the juvenile foliage.
Full disclosure, I used to pinch! Try the new approach for a season or two, you will notice the difference! On the other hand if you are happy with your results than no need to give it a try!
The picture below is just inserted to illustrate what I mean by extension growth! The long growing tips that occur within the foliage bundle, Thses get cut back into the bundle to create ramification. The rest of the healthy foliage remains untouched. Weak foliage such as hanging down is removed! Further ramification occurs as the branchlets are wired out and the pad shape begins with healthy foliage and additional back budding. This picture was the beginning of June 2020 will upload a progress picture in the next day or so as time allows.
Hope the comments make sense!
IMG_1530.jpeg
 

bonhe

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Here is a poor pic on its little bench....its very long and leggy now because it was fighting tip blight all year.
Finally knocked it out with Mancozeb, took all summer.
It has recently pushed out some non-tip blighty foliage in the tips of every branch. I'm glad its alive but its going to take a lot of chasing back.
View attachment 335531
Congratulations to you!
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