The obligitory newbie ERC post

JimmyBeefshank

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So I think I've got the lay of the land figured out here at Bonsai Nut Forums, lots of great people from all over sharing lots of great info about lots of great topics. Theoretical knowledge can only carry one so far though and on the path to exploring the art of bonsai there comes a time when you have to crack a few eggs.
Here is one of my eggs, the dreaded Eastern Red Cedar.
This particular ERC is sort of an oddity though, I found it two seasons ago on a collection trip among many trees of the same species but this tree had a distinctly lower, more "weeping" growth habit and foliage that was still deep green while most of the trees near it had either darkened to a purple tone or taken on an orange-ish hue. The tree appeared to have been trampled at some point and bore an interesting scar on the trunk. I am currently trying to promote a new ground layer just below the scar for the dual purpose of correcting a slight inverse taper and an overall height reduction.
The trees natural leader also appeared to have broken during whatever traumatic event scarred the trunk. The 2nd leader had thickened enough so that when I set the ground layer I also reduced the height again, selecting the current top. Finally I'm beginning to see some taper...
Still a long way to go but I think there's potential.
It could have been a trick of the snowflakes blowing around but when I stepped outside this morning I'm pretty sure this little tree winked at me.
 

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JimmyBeefshank

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This picture better shows the location of the two chops.
 

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JimmyBeefshank

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Jimmybeefshank? Okay let's hear the story behind that!
CW
I've lived extensively in my 33 years. A former life necessitated an alias. It's actually a pretty long story that has two separate versions depending on who you ask. One of them should be labeled "the facts as I remember or have been convincingly explained to me in lieu of my own memory" and there's one that my Grandparents will fondly recall for you.
This is one of them.

Jimmy is a youthful derivative of my name, James. And Beefshank comes from my view that there are three types of people in this world, Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers. We can all enjoy meat but it means one of us has to get bloody. I'm just that guy.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Welcome aboard Jimmy. And of course all names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Its clear you read enough to know about the incessant warning you could get when you bring up ERC. So I will say, you did at least collect a larger diameter trunk, and a tree that seems to keep more green over the winter. That's good. With the snow I can't really see enough trunk detail to offer suggestions, if that was what you were looking for, but keep plugging away at the tree.

When enough snow melts, maybe in March, take a picture of the tree against a plain white wall, or hang a plain white sheet behind the tree, so the structure of the branches will be easier to see.

With junipers, usually we do not ''chop them'', the reason is junipers won't heal over any but the smallest of scars. We usually leave a long stub, then carve the stub as a deadwood feature, to eventually blend into the style of the tree. Like I said, I could not see detail, so I am not critiquing your tree specifically, just tossing this out as something for you to use as you continue forward.
 

Morax

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Haha "the facts".. i usually use "as recorded by the courts"...
 

JimmyBeefshank

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With junipers, usually we do not ''chop them'', the reason is junipers won't heal over any but the smallest of scars. We usually leave a long stub, then carve the stub as a deadwood feature, to eventually blend into the style of the tree. Like I said, I could not see detail, so I am not critiquing your tree specifically, just tossing this out as something for you to use as you continue forward.

No sir, please critique away. I came here to learn from those who know more than I do.
I should have taken the time to take clearer pictures and used clearer language. I did leave stubs at the chop sites to create future jins but I havent done any carving yet because I thought it might be best for the tree to remain as stable as possible while the new ground layer sets up.
I'll make sure I take better pictures in a few days when I return home, I'm currently staying up in Lansing Michigan for a few days for the Great Lakes Trade Expo.
 
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