Where do I take this Juniper

IsaM

Seedling
Messages
19
Reaction score
36
Location
London, UK
USDA Zone
9
Got this Juniper about a year ago when I was first getting into Bonsai. I like the tree but can't help but feel the design is a bit confused. It's obviously not very balanced and the trunk sort of splits into two about half way up. I've thinned and wired out the right hand side, am trying to decide what the long term future of the tree is and what to do with the main trunk/left hand side. I don't like the pot and that will go next spring but in the meantime would welcome thoughts from the wonderful minds on this forum on where to take this tree.

NB: I see this very much as an "in development" tree i.e. happy to sacrifice looks for the next few years to have a beautiful tree in the long term.

Below a few pics, two from the front and one taken from the right hand side.
 

Attachments

  • WhatsApp Image 2021-03-16 at 11.13.08.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2021-03-16 at 11.13.08.jpeg
    110.5 KB · Views: 97
  • WhatsApp Image 2021-03-16 at 11.13.21.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2021-03-16 at 11.13.21.jpeg
    129.9 KB · Views: 77
  • WhatsApp Image 2021-03-16 at 11.13.31.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2021-03-16 at 11.13.31.jpeg
    123.6 KB · Views: 82

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
12,451
Reaction score
35,865
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
Here’s what I see.
Cut branch 1, wire branch 2 down to the back, wire trunk (3) up and toward the right, fan out remaining branches to the outsides of curves, and allow it to fill in.
82571D56-A2BB-4D4D-8AB9-89F8A3B41DAA.jpeg033FAB3C-53C7-499B-B413-9251EA6BF736.jpeg
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
29,389
Reaction score
40,011
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
What is that round thing? It makes me question the "front".

What's the other side look like?

Sorce
 

bwaynef

Omono
Messages
1,195
Reaction score
1,208
Location
Clemson SC
USDA Zone
8a
I'd start by repotting it and cleaning up the roots (and changing the soil composition). You'll also want to study up on how to clean a juniper. It will speed up the process and keep the tree from getting too leggy so that once you have the structure built, you won't have to chase everything back. (Remove downward hanging growth. Remove crotch growth. Remove growth 1/8" - 1/4" from the crotch. PRUNE to new leader, but don't remove growth from tips.)

You've been given good styling ideas above.
 

IsaM

Seedling
Messages
19
Reaction score
36
Location
London, UK
USDA Zone
9
Thanks all for the really helpful advice. Getting rid of bottom branch now staring me in the face after you all pointed it out! Will have to decide whether to get rid of or bend that back branch down, more tempted to get rid of it to clean everything up. Also like @HENDO idea of tilting the tree, have tried it and definitely improves it.

@bwaynef - have spent a lot of time reading up and watching videos on cleaning it up, will do that shortly. It was repotted in early autumn (October) at a nursery into pure akadama when I was very much a bonsai newbie and just trusted what they told me. Knowing better I'll repot it in spring and into a better soil mix but would rather wait till next spring rather than stress the tree with another repot 6 months after the last one.

Thanks very much everyone for the advice, really appreciate it, will put some pics up once it's all been done!
 

HENDO

Shohin
Messages
288
Reaction score
443
Location
Houston TX
USDA Zone
9a
Thanks all for the really helpful advice. Getting rid of bottom branch now staring me in the face after you all pointed it out! Will have to decide whether to get rid of or bend that back branch down, more tempted to get rid of it to clean everything up. Also like @HENDO idea of tilting the tree, have tried it and definitely improves it.

@bwaynef - have spent a lot of time reading up and watching videos on cleaning it up, will do that shortly. It was repotted in early autumn (October) at a nursery into pure akadama when I was very much a bonsai newbie and just trusted what they told me. Knowing better I'll repot it in spring and into a better soil mix but would rather wait till next spring rather than stress the tree with another repot 6 months after the last one.

Thanks very much everyone for the advice, really appreciate it, will put some pics up once it's all been done!
The back branch does look a wee bit heavy for the current "design". Just remember if you eliminate it, to leave a jin/stub unless you plan on having a big scar to heal in the long term.

You could perhaps perform the branch eliminations in stages to avoid stressing the plant. Definitely cleaning as @bwaynef mentioned would be a good start. Detail wiring and pad flattening as @Bonsai Nut mentioned will also help maximize directing energy to your selected branches.

Looking forward to seeing the progress!
 

IsaM

Seedling
Messages
19
Reaction score
36
Location
London, UK
USDA Zone
9
Thanks all again for the help. Whilst I've got some attention on this tree, any thoughts on pots. Choosing pots is an area of Bonsai i have given very little attention since I started about a year ago, would appreciate thoughts. Recognise that it is partly down to personal preference but would appreciate views on what would look good with this style of tree
 

HENDO

Shohin
Messages
288
Reaction score
443
Location
Houston TX
USDA Zone
9a
Thanks all again for the help. Whilst I've got some attention on this tree, any thoughts on pots. Choosing pots is an area of Bonsai i have given very little attention since I started about a year ago, would appreciate thoughts. Recognise that it is partly down to personal preference but would appreciate views on what would look good with this style of tree
Definitely unglazed for a juniper.

If you want to help this one to develop but still be in a semi appropriate bonsai container go with a slightly oversize one, based on final design. For me, slightly oversize means something as wide as the height of the plant, and on the deeper side for junipers.

It has some nice trunk curves in it's future so a rounded container would be nice.

Here's a cheap-o nursery one I just put into a slightly oversize container. Once I'm happy with the development it will go into a smaller more appropriate one:
20210317_110944.jpg
 

IsaM

Seedling
Messages
19
Reaction score
36
Location
London, UK
USDA Zone
9
Latest pic. Bit more detail wiring to do on right hand side of the tree and would like the apex to develop a bit so it’s less flat. Will also repot in spring with a tilt to bring the apex to the left hand side, feel like the lowest branch makes the tree feel like it’s moving left but apex gives the feeling that it’s moving right.

Removed the lowest branch on the left and the big branch at the back. Have jinned them both and bent the back branch to match the shape of the trunk, will leave them a few months and decide whether to keep or get rid of one/both of them. Thoughts welcome and thanks for the advice 🙂

Before

6B7EB16D-14C7-477E-8632-1B09D925E3C9.jpeg

After
3CBD65C0-66FB-475E-8F0D-BA4FEF9A1C83.jpeg
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,834
Reaction score
16,376
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
Get rid of the secondary main branch/trunk that is sticking straight up. Now detail wire and lay out the foliage pads. Done.

View attachment 361290

EDIT Lol @Brian Van Fleet beat me to it by a couple minutes - but we agree in general on what to do :)
Just remember in the cultivation of Juniper bonsai the existence of a straight line in a major branch or trunk is usually the same as the claim of a good personality in the prerequisite to a blind date.
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
12,451
Reaction score
35,865
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
Just remember in the cultivation of Juniper bonsai the existence of a straight line in a major branch or trunk is usually the same as the claim of a good personality in the prerequisite to a blind date.
812FD7E5-4B52-4E4E-900B-DA8FCB70FCBC.jpeg
 

HENDO

Shohin
Messages
288
Reaction score
443
Location
Houston TX
USDA Zone
9a
...Meanwhile, back to the tree this thread was originally started for... (j/k BVF 😁)

Looking better! I like this little tree.

If it were mine I would still eventually rotate to the right 10-15° and push the apex in that same direction to follow the first branch, but that's just me!

Regarding straight lines, put some nice bends in those wired branches, especially your first/lowest one, and bring it forward slightly but don't cover the trunk. Eventually you will want to fan/flatten this out, and get some more foliage closer in to the trunk.

Your apex might look better if you actually bring that #3 (orange) down and to the rear. I don't like that branch sticking straight up to form part of the apex and would change or eliminate it.

The lower right (red X) looks a bit busy, perhaps perform a more elimination or bend a branch or two towards the rear.

I put another red X further up on the left where it could perhaps benefit from more negative space.

20210321_084946.jpg
 

HENDO

Shohin
Messages
288
Reaction score
443
Location
Houston TX
USDA Zone
9a
Agreed on all counts, @HENDO except I’d try to keep the 2 branches you xd out in red...at least for now.
Good point @Brian Van Fleet !

@IsaM I take back the part about eliminating at the red X's. I tend to get a bit hasty with the cutters on my own trees, I'm still learning a lot myself.

You've done a good job wiring everything - you can always shift the branches around and in the end if any still don't fit with your design, you can then remove them.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom