The juniper with a list of problems

october

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This is a shimpaku juniper I have had for 4 years....It has 1 million problems...lol.....I saw it at the nursery 4 years ago, it had been almost compeletely stripped down (for a juniper) and repotted. It was for sale, but the nursery would not release it for at least 1 more month.

I liked the tree very much at the time, actually, still do, even with all the flaws. Anyway 4-5 years ago, I had about 3-4 years in bonsai. However, was not serious about it until year 4-5. I kind of didn't see all the flaws at the time.

Anyway, pic 1 is the tree shortly after purchase. The tree had grown out some and started to thicken in the foliage area almost immediately. The flaws are well hidden even in this first pic.. The flaws are as follows......first, the branch on the top right, underneath the branch that is directly under the apex, is not really there. It is not a side branch, it is front branch pulled over. The trunk has a nice base, but almost the entire middle section of the trunk is straight. Also, when the straight section ends, the trunk then curves abruptly to the right. Also, the apex, is not structured like the typical apex. The top of it is a branch that is swung over to the side so the side branches, so to speak, are forming the apex. Also, the first branch is a bit too thick and too straight for the design. Also, another problem the tree has is the that branches and foliage are facing to much towards the viewer. Unfortunately, I let it grow for a season and lost some of the design, not enough to make any big changes though. Most of it was lost in the apex, which I had to break up and divide into side branches and then an apex a couple months ago. It gives the tree a taller look as you can see the difference from the middle pics to the last one

I showed the tree to the owner of the nursery to which it was purchased 4 years ago, just so he could see it. At which point he proceeded to list and seemingly never ending list of things wrong with it....lol.......Even came up with a few flaws I didn't see...(Some were mentioned above).

Anyway, the owner had suggested doing some heavy work, maybe bending the straight part of the trunk with a bar etc......and some other suggestions.. However, before I do any serious work to it. I wanted to try a more subtle and natural approach. I have stripped down the whole tree and I am, essentially, starting from where it was 4 years ago. I am going to attempt to grow pads in the areas to mask the straight trunk and other issues. If the final result is at least satisfactory to me, I will keep that design, for a while. If not, I will explore other options.

Here is the 4 year progression

Any comments on the tree would be appreciated...

Rob
 

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shohin kid

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Rob,
I wouldn't say there are a million things wrong with it. Looks like from your pics that there are somewhat nice foliage pads. Keep us updated on your work
 

october

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I like the tree very much, even with the flaws.... However, the owner of the nurseries critique of the tree was all correct. This does not mean I can't still like the tree.... Actually, I exhibited this tree at the nurseries annual exhibition last year... I entered it not to win, by any means, but rather to just show the tree and hoped others would see the beauty in it that I do.

Rob
 

TimD

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Twist her up Rob =-)
Give it a few little bends then start some of that shari work we learned about this spring.
I'ld like to see what Mario would advise. :D

Something I've learned about the advice from our nursery owner. You can follow it and have your tree on it's way to the next level today or you can choose your own path and a few years later realize he was right and not be where you could have been with the tree. =-) Been there. ;)
 

october

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Hello Tim. Sorry for the long time to reply...

I have been just making subtle changes to the tree. Nothing major, so all my styling options are still open. I have to say though. The tree is really starting to grow and pads are really forming nicely. over the next month, I think I can do some refining and pinching and I think the tree will look quite good. As it grows, the problem areas are being covered quite nicely. Whats, good here is, if I am not happy with these techniques, I can do the extreme ones after.

Rob
 

october

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Update....

Well, here is the tree now.... It has grown quite a lot and filled in exactly where I needed it to. This is a pic after a light trim of the new growth. In the past 2 weeks after the trim, ther tree has grown quite a bit more... I will be doing another trim very soon..

The difference between the last pic in the series of pics at the beginning of this post, till this pic, is quite dramatic as far as growth. The tree put on all this growth in the last 2 1/2 months or so. Actually, it put on more than what you see. This was after a trim..

Rob
 

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greerhw

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I don't see any problems with it, damn nice tree......:)
They don't all have to have jin and shari.

keep it green,
Harry
 

Rick Moquin

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Update....

Well, here is the tree now.... It has grown quite a lot and filled in exactly where I needed it to. This is a pic after a light trim of the new growth. In the past 2 weeks after the trim, ther tree has grown quite a bit more... I will be doing another trim very soon..

The difference between the last pic in the series of pics at the beginning of this post, till this pic, is quite dramatic as far as growth. The tree put on all this growth in the last 2 1/2 months or so. Actually, it put on more than what you see. This was after a trim..

Rob
Rob,

In a recent thread of mine I got upset. I didn't get upset by what was commented but rather the lack of direction wrt directed comments. I offer you this as constructive criticism:

Your tree 's foliage is too full. In the first series of pics I was tempted to suggest the removal of the first and second branch.

At present you are developing "existing" pads which IMO do not add,but take away from the tree. IOW they seem to have been placed there, instead of layers of foliage.

I can easily se removing the "present" apex and regrowing from remaining foliage down the road. If the apex is to remain, then perhaps consider remvong the first two branches, thin the remainder out and go from there. This is easily achievable by yourself in PS.
 

greerhw

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Rob,

In a recent thread of mine I got upset. I didn't get upset by what was commented but rather the lack of direction wrt directed comments. I offer you this as constructive criticism:

Your tree 's foliage is too full. In the first series of pics I was tempted to suggest the removal of the first and second branch.

At present you are developing "existing" pads which IMO do not add,but take away from the tree. IOW they seem to have been placed there, instead of layers of foliage.

I can easily se removing the "present" apex and regrowing from remaining foliage down the road. If the apex is to remain, then perhaps consider remvong the first two branches, thin the remainder out and go from there. This is easily achievable by yourself in PS.

One thing I would do at this stage is remove the foliage from the the bottom of the pads so they are flat and all the foliage is on top of the branch, like this picture of my junipers.Then you can put some movement in them if you want. Most Japanese styled junipers only have foliage on the top, if you like cloud foliage pads, then your tree is just fine the way it is.

keep it green,
Harry
 

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october

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Thanks for the replies everyone...I probably should have restated that the tree is TOO full at this time. This is to allow the tree to grow pads in the places that I need it to hide the flaws...There is not better way to give a tree a boost than to let it grow... The flaws that are being hidden are the completely straight middle part of the trunk and also 2/3 of the way up, right after the straight part, the tree does this sharp bend to the right.

I did do n light trim about 3 weeks ago and the tree has even grown quite a bit since then. It will be stripped down in the next few weeks when I can find the time.

Also, this tree is not as big as it may look. It is only about 12 inches tall and has about a 1 3/4- 2 inch base... Actually, that is near perfect proportions for a bonsai.

Also, it is not so much that I am developing pads, well, just in the two places that I need them. It is more the fact of letting the tree gain some strength and two, I simply have not had the time to attend to this really fast growing tree.

Rob
 

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