Twisted Shimpaku?

digger714

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Hello to all. Does anyone know of a video or steps to make the spiraling shimpaku junipers in the yamadori style? Ive seen lindsay farr's video, but it doesnt go into the actual making of the tree, or let you know when to start doing the work. I put a wire spiraled around a couple this past february, and going to try to work them i the ground, but was curious if anyone has any good pointers?
 

Brian Underwood

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Take a juniper whip, maybe 12" long and up to 1/2" diameter. Use copper wire of two different sizes, one thick, one half as thick. Wrap them tightly against the bark, wire evenly spaced about 1/4" apart. Once the wire is secure, bend the whip into an imperfect spiral, switching directions as you see fit. It helps to practice with a piece of aluminum wire attached to a board to mimic the whip. Use this tool to mindlessly create your imperfect spirals before moving on to the whips. After creating your scrunched little twisty trees, plant them in the ground, and let the wire stay on and bite in HARD. Jim Gremel does a workshop on these every couple years, or whenever requested. He has HUNDREDS of them at his nursery in different stages of development, ranging in price from $150-$700. When done right they can produce some beautiful yamadori style trees, but as with anything bonsai, it takes time. Good luck and have fun!
 

darrellw

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Take a juniper whip, maybe 12" long and up to 1/2" diameter. Use copper wire of two different sizes, one thick, one half as thick. Wrap them tightly against the bark, wire evenly spaced about 1/4" apart.
Hi Brian,

Do you put the small wire alongside the thicker wire, or is it between the turns of the thicker wire? Hope that makes sense!

-Darrell
 

reddog

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Why does Jim use the two different size of wires? thx
 

Bill S

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digger click on smoke and check his threads a while back he had a good one on working this type of bonsai, lots of pix if I remember correctly, these may help.
 

digger714

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Cool, thanks alot everyone. I saw Jim's trees, and thats what made me think about it last year. I appreciate it Bill. I will check it out.
 

Brian Underwood

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The small wire is in between the large wire, evenly spaced, not alongside. Not quite sure why the two different wire sizes are used, but I believe it has to do with how they bite into the bark.
 

Smoke

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The technique is similar to starting with a small spiral cut and enlarging it yearly. Varied grain depth is more desirable than having a flat shari all the way around and up the tree.
Wood

http://thingsofwood-gary.blogspot.com/
Thanks Gary, I found this quote the best of all.

"There has been no bonsai technique used in getting it here, only growing technique. The most regurgitated pieces of information in bonsai is applying finishing technique when growing technique is needed."
I couldn't agree more.


I find that the starter of this thread is really doing himself a disservice by wishing to see some pictures or some step by step that never gets tried. Like SEX, growing technique is a participation activity not a viewing activity.

Hmmm there may have been more to that statement than I intended.:D
 
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digger714

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Why is it wrong to want to study as much as possible before starting work on a tree. If it needs to grow before this, then thats what needs to be said. Ive been told winter is time to look at as much as you can, ask as much as you can. I have 20 or so 1 year old cuttings that are about 1/4", 8 - 3 year old straight growing cuttings a little over a half inch, some that have movement in them, and just looking to try another style. Not knowing the time of year, how much can be done is what im after. I guess you are saying to grow them out with movement, then start working on the pipe vein? Thanks for anyones time for some help.
 

Brian Underwood

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The larger ones will need to be wrapped tightly with raffia before doing the procedure described above. Also, very large wire will be required to achieve the desired twisted results. These procedures can be done any time of year, so get to it and post some pics! Good luck!
 

garywood

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Brad, plan each tree before you bend. Leave shoots\branches on the outside of bends. Very tight bends for small tree. Tight bends for small to medium trees. The bigger the planned tree is, then the growing time for it will be longer. Larger caliper trees don't need as much "tight" bending. Look at a lot of these trees and grow different sizes and your sense of proportion to bend\caliper proportion will will tell you when to work on them.
Wood
http://thingsofwood-gary.blogspot.com/
 

Redwood Ryan

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Very interesting topic, thank you for starting it.

Where would one find these Juniper whips? I've looked on eBay, but the only things I could find are already styled, mallsai looking junipers. I don't mean to hijack the thread, just wondering. Thanks!
 

digger714

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Thanks for the advice. I have a plan for each of them, pretty much. Hi Ryan, i got some from Brent Walston (Evergreen gardenworks) and some from Randy Clark at the Bonsai Learning Center in charlotte nc. Great trees to work with.
 
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Smoke

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Why is it wrong to want to study as much as possible before starting work on a tree. If it needs to grow before this, then thats what needs to be said. Ive been told winter is time to look at as much as you can, ask as much as you can. I have 20 or so 1 year old cuttings that are about 1/4", 8 - 3 year old straight growing cuttings a little over a half inch, some that have movement in them, and just looking to try another style. Not knowing the time of year, how much can be done is what im after. I guess you are saying to grow them out with movement, then start working on the pipe vein? Thanks for anyones time for some help.

No not at all. Please don't take my remarks to literally. I have been on the internet for a long time. Since 1997 and have probably posted well over 1000 threads with good, well documented work for helping people make trees. What I am most flabergasted about is how someone will look and read what someone writes and speak of how they would love to try that themselves, but never do.

Just take some wire, take some vet wrap, black tape, raffia, what ever gets the job done and bend the hell out of 2 or 3. Plant them up in a couple terra cotta cheap pots and fertilize and water like crazy. Keep them in full sun untill they start to show signs of distress, then place in afternoon shade.

The point is, the fastest most advantages way to learn bonsai is by doing. No book or web site can provide what one season of trying something new can provide. Then after a couple seasons under your belt you will fully understand my post. You cant learn it by reading about it, you learn best by doing it.
 

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digger714

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Thanks alot Smoke for the info. I understand what you are saying. This is only the start of my second full year of growing trees for bonsai, and i am so addicted, its hard to believe. Started in june of 09. I have collected about 25 trees, from being in the land clearing business, and have another 100 that i have purchased from bonsai dealers, and nurseries. My first year, i had 10 or so that i potted, and since then, have put them all into the ground for more development. No sticks in pots here. I have maybe 4 trees that are able to work on, and it is tough, just waiting for them to grow. I dont really want a tree that has been done by someone else, and just maintain it. Alot of the enjoyment for me has been watching them grow and develop. This spring i will have 20 trees to either chop, air layer, or repot from large containers to start development.
The shimpakus i have are of different ages, and sizes, so i am trying to study as much as possible, since it winter, and cant do much, to get ready for spring. Does anyone work on something like this while in ground, or are most potted in containers to work on? I guess as long as i dont mind working on my knees, it would be ok. I would think the advantage of being in ground would help, but if its not that much different on this type of material, and technique, then it would be much easier to work in a container. I just worked my large shimpaku, and will put up some pics tomorrow. I was told that after a hard wiring, or top pruning in winter, they should be kept protected from the very cold temps outdoors, and put into the garage until spring. Is this best for the trees?

Any technique i ask about will be applied to one or more trees. I study as much as possible, and only ask when i have detail questions, so any advice will be treasured, and appreciated that you give your time for us.

Brad
 
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