Yamadori "Juniperus Monosperma" progression (critique/ideas)

Hartinez

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I collected this one seed juniper about 4 years ago now. It was my first legit native juniper collection, and i was able to keep it alive. Ive collected quite a few since, with some failure but mostly success. Im about 7/8 years in to Bonsai and at this point this is my best tree. With that said, its got quite a few issues, but also some elements that I really like that others may not agree are strong attributes.

When collected in the spring of 14' I left quite a bit of original soil and exposed just the root tips. I misted twice daily for 45 mins at a time (set on a timer) and kept mostly shaded for most of that season. Ive had most success with one seed when this is the plan of action. The next spring I repotted and removed about 50% of the original soil. It may not have been the best idea, but I went ahead and styled the tree for the first time that summer after the tree responded quite well from the spring repotting. After styling and removing about 30% of the foliage the tree responded again with magnificent growth, none of it being juvenile. one seed will revert if worked too hard. I wish I would have gotten a pic before initial styling, but I don't always have the best foresight.

The following spring of 16' I repotted it into its first bonsai pot removing most of the original soil and left it be in full sun till midsummer. I had originally left a small deadwood shari at the top of tree but decided it didn't look natural for the tree and made the tree too dam tall. The tree is already really tall. I cut about 5" off the top and wired one of the branches to be the new crown.

Last year and this year have been about letting the tree grow and trimming overly long extensions to improve ramification. Last night I detail wired (mostly) all of the small branching to create better pads, breaking some of the larger clumps up a bit.

What I like about this tree:
-The Nebari though partially buried and needing some adjustment and attention next spring is great and spreads radially pretty well for a tree that is know for enormous tap roots.
- I actually really like the gentle curve of the trunk. Its quite feminine and is what allows the tree to be as tall as it is. about 26"
- the branch locations where laid out pretty well from the get go and only required semi difficult bends.
- all of the growth is scale and not needle! over time the tree should only improve in ramification and should fill the voids nicely.

What I don't like:
- the tree is tall, possibly too tall. I know this contradicts what I said above, but some days I look at the height and love it, and others I don't. I just don't see a way of adjusting the height at this point of development.
- the curve of the tree as planted bends away from the viewer. Doesn't engage the viewer the way id like.
- The trunk line was void of branches on the side of the tree that looked best as the front. This highlights the curving trunk from top to bottom, which once again I love and hate. a few more strategic branches would allow me to block the trunk line a bit more, exposing only where desired and would make for a better composition.
-Planting position in the pot. Needs adjustment next spring allowing with nebari exposure.
- My own vision and execution. Im no pro at this and depending on the time of day and lighting the tree can look great and not so much. My wiring is just ok and certainly doesn't add to the appeal. In person I think its got lots of character, but everytime i go to take a picture, branches conflict, foliage pads conflict etc. Maybe Im being too critical, I just don't know.

Thats where all of you come in! be honest. bash it, love it, hate it, not sure about it. Either way, know this tree is not leaving my garden anytime soon, so please if you comment, good or bad, leave something constructive for me to think about. My knowledge base is growing and sometimes what seems to be a simple no brainer suggestion from a long time practitioner, is new info to me.

IMG_0586.JPGfirst styling. rough i know. spring 15IMG_1468.JPGsummer 16 IMG_0828.JPGspring 17IMG_1176.JPGcurrent angle summer 18IMG_1789.JPGIMG_9852.JPGturned slightly and may be the new future angle. The tree doesn't swoop away from the viewer just sweeps directly right.
 

Hartinez

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I welcome all input from all levels of viewer, but especially from those who have been kicking around here for a long time and whose trees and posts are always GREAT. I understand if you don't have a ton of time for a detailed response. @Brian Van Fleet @markyscott @rockm @Vance Wood to name just a few. Oh and trying to keep the discussion about Bonsai. I hope I've provided sufficient info and pictures on this trees development so you all don't think that I'm just asking you to tell me what to do. I WANT TO LEARN. Thanks!
 
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Saddler

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Nice tree. I feel that all the branches on the right need to go down more. They are very equally angled (from vertical) as the other side.
 

Hartinez

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Nice tree. I feel that all the branches on the right need to go down more. They are very equally angled (from vertical) as the other side.
I can see that. And maybe some need to come down a little, some a lot and couple up slightly maybe. Thanks for the input.
 

Saddler

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Coming back and looking again, the three middle pads on the left might help the tree if they were a little longer to smooth out the flow between the bottom pad and top. The top two are the same size as are the third and fourth. Looking at your progression, I think you already know this and are working on it because it looks much better now then any of the previous pics. You just need more time.
 

Hartinez

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Coming back and looking again, the three middle pads on the left might help the tree if they were a little longer to smooth out the flow between the bottom pad and top. The top two are the same size as are the third and fourth. Looking at your progression, I think you already know this and are working on it because it looks much better now then any of the previous pics. You just need more time.
I think that’s really what it comes down to. Time. My problem is self doubt in the process. I feel like I see it differently every day. Too much minor adjustments and trimmings.
 

Saddler

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I think that’s really what it comes down to. Time. My problem is self doubt in the process. I feel like I see it differently every day. Too much minor adjustments and trimmings.
I hear you. When I have a tree I am fussing over too much, I try and put it behind my other trees or out of the way or find a new tree to occupy myself with and try to forget about it. Coming back to it a year or even a couple of months can really help me see it “in a new light”.
 

PiñonJ

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Hey, we’re on the same timeline! I recently started a thread for my One-seed, which is also four years in a container. I would start a shari on the right front of the trunk, starting at soil level and carrying it up to a couple of branches that you want to jin. You might want to jin the apex, as well. I would also throw some 4-gauge copper on the trunk and put some more bends in it to get rid of the arc shape (or 6-gauge, if the part you want to bend is not that thick).
 

Hartinez

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Hey, we’re on the same timeline! I recently started a thread for my One-seed, which is also four years in a container. I would start a shari on the right front of the trunk, starting at soil level and carrying it up to a couple of branches that you want to jin. You might want to jin the apex, as well. I would also throw some 4-gauge copper on the trunk and put some more bends in it to get rid of the arc shape (or 6-gauge, if the part you want to bend is not that thick).
I kind of like this idea. I don’t know that I’ll be able to get more beans in the trunk, but I do like the idea of jinning a couple branches up the right side. I’m going to mess with a virtual of that.

And I’ve seen your thread! I keep meaning to comment as I’ve got some ideas and like what you’ve done so far.
 

thomas22

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I think you've done a great job and wouldn't change much. The only thing and it maybe just the pictures it looks like the tree is leaning back away from the viewer.
 

Hartinez

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I think you've done a great job and wouldn't change much. The only thing and it maybe just the pictures it looks like the tree is leaning back away from the viewer.
That’s exactly one of the things I listed in the Dislikes of this tree. If I change the potting position a bit though, I can get it to move left right instead of away.
 

Mike Hennigan

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Yea I gotta say the thing that bugs me most, as you noted, is that almost all the branching originates from the back side of the tree. Feels like the tree is totally turned away from the viewer. Is 180 degrees to the back not a possible front? You’d also have it leaning toward the viewer. I wonder what it looks like...

If you’re dead set on this as the front then you could grow some of these branches so that that some of the foliage is in front of the trunk, hiding where the branch originated from the tree and also adding some depth to an otherwise flat and two dimensional design.

I like the tree, you’ve done good work. I think it’s at the point where you have some big decisions to make, or otherwise live with its current flaws.
 

Hartinez

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Yea I gotta say the thing that bugs me most, as you noted, is that almost all the branching originates from the back side of the tree. Feels like the tree is totally turned away from the viewer. Is 180 degrees to the back not a possible front? You’d also have it leaning toward the viewer. I wonder what it looks like...

If you’re dead set on this as the front then you could grow some of these branches so that that some of the foliage is in front of the trunk, hiding where the branch originated from the tree and also adding some depth to an otherwise flat and two dimensional design.

I like the tree, you’ve done good work. I think it’s at the point where you have some big decisions to make, or otherwise live with its current flaws.
Thanks Mike. I’ll take a few pics of the back side and show you what I’m seeing. To be quite honest I haven't, since acquiring the tree, looked to closely at the back since it’s first year. Maybe some light bulbs will go off when I do. Either way thanks for your time.
 

Potawatomi13

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Two questions: How do branches grow on natural tree? Out? Up? down? Not always best to bend down. Does trunk have better viewing angle that avoids even uninteresting curve as shown;)?
 

Hartinez

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12807FC3-769F-4FC7-8836-5B8306C620B9.jpeg
High desert snow. Supposed to get lots more snow and will get down to 4 degrees for a couple days here in Abq. Doesn’t happen very often that’s for sure. These natives are tough as nails though. Once the pads get more snow pack I’ll take another shot!
 

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Hartinez

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This one hurts my heart a bit. Died after this seasons unusually cold winter. I can blame it entirely on me however as this species should be able to handle cold winters. I don’t think I watered the tree enough over the winter first of all, and after tearing the tree out of the pot come spring, the original soil had compacted in the pot I planted it in not allowing enough water and oxygen to get to the feeder roots that were keeping the tree thriving. When I repotted two seasons earlier I should of either removed more of the original soil or planted into a larger pot and gradually reduced the roots size while removing the original soil. Live and learn I guess. ??
 

thomas22

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Sorry about your tree. This sort of happens in this hobby. I remember this tree. I believe I complimented you on this tree earlier in this thread.
 

Hartinez

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Sorry about your tree. This sort of happens in this hobby. I remember this tree. I believe I complimented you on this tree earlier in this thread.
You def did Thomas and thank you. I’ve lost quite a few trees over the years, but this was my first successfully collected native species that was collected successfully. I feel like i learned alot though and am mostly certain what happened.
 

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