Garden Juniper 6 year progression

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Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Fri May 11, 2012 12:43 am

Hello all.. This is a tree purchased about 6 years ago as bonsai rough stock. At the midway point of it's 6 years in training, the tree was taken back to square one and restarted all over again. Here is the progression.

This was the tree as purchased. The tree was brought to a workshop for discusion. I was open to opinions for a front. I decided to go with the opinions of a couple of people from the worshop.



Here is the tree after it's first rough styling and put into an oversize bonsai pot.



This is the tree the next season. It put on a lot of new growth. However, after looking at it. I really didn't like where it was going. The pads were too poodle like. It's didn't look natural to me.



Since I was unhappy with the look of the tree. I decided to start all over again and strip it down to a skeleton. Also, a small shari was started at the base.



The tree grew back with vigor during the next year. I decided it was a good time to select a new, more appropriate size pot. The image is already becoming more pleasing.



Here is the tree towards the end of the season. A healthy, full tree with beautiful visible movement. The tree is only around 11 inches tall.

Rob




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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Orion on Fri May 11, 2012 2:07 am

Excellent progression Rob!

I remember this one from another site, if I'm not mistaken, and it always reminds me of what can be done with a well selected piece of material from a nursery. Just a super classy tree and thanks again for posting it.


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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  lordy on Sat May 12, 2012 1:47 am

I also like the new direction you have chosen. I believe it to be more natural looking. NICE tree.

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Zach Smith on Sat May 12, 2012 2:28 am

Rob C wrote:Hello all.. This is a tree purchased about 6 years ago as bonsai rough stock. At the midway point of it's 6 years in training, the tree was taken back to square one and restarted all over again. Here is the progression.

Here is the tree towards the end of the season. A healthy, full tree with beautiful visible movement. The tree is only around 11 inches tall.

Rob



Great work, Rob. Only one minor comment - the tree looks a little "heavy" to me at about the three-quarters mark up the left side. A little thinning might be in order. For what it's worth. But again, really fine job and progression.

Zach

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Mon May 14, 2012 8:05 pm

Thank you everyone..

Hello and thank you Zach.. Yes, you are correct. What you are seeing was the tree at the end of last season. It was left to grow with minor shaping during the season. The tree is due for this season's trim and thinning. There is one thing though. The left side looks a bit thicker than it actually is. It was one of those things that the area was cut back to where there was foliage and allowed to grow. I have been careful not to cut too much in that area to get all parts of the tree at equal health and strength. I believe we have reached that point, where more work can now be done.

Rob

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  dorothy7774 on Tue May 15, 2012 4:06 am

Nice! Your trees are all very sensitively styled. That's meant as a compliment. Wink

-Dorothy

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Tue May 15, 2012 8:00 pm

Thanks Dorothy..and the tree thanks you too Very Happy

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Nick D on Tue May 15, 2012 8:16 pm

Loverly tree nice work

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Fore on Wed May 16, 2012 7:14 pm

Nice job Rob! I see you've slowly increasing the shari. By going slowly like that, do you prevent any branches from dying off while the remaining bark will become the live veins over time?

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Wed May 16, 2012 8:30 pm

Thanks Nick D

Thanks Fore...Yes, it is safer to do it a little at a time, but not a necessity. This year I will do a little more and end it there. I will continue the bottom shari up about another inch and also create one coming down from the already existing jin right above it.

Rob

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Guest on Wed May 16, 2012 8:38 pm

Hi Rob

Look forward to follow your nice little tree in the future....Keep us posted.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Fore on Thu May 17, 2012 4:13 pm

Thanks Rob!

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Gary Swiech on Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:27 pm

Nice taper on a Procumbens nana or Green mound juniper. That's the key and it looks like this one has it.

Nice tree.

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  EpicusMaximus on Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:25 pm

Hi, great looking tree!

I have a question. Could the same result be achieved using a large size pot like the nursery one it came in?

I'm asking because where I live, it gets to -40 in the winter, and I would rather allow my trees to have deeper roots for when I bury the pots in the ground at winter. I know this would mean I'm not technically doing bonsai, but I'm not too bothered about having small pots. I also plan on sticking to zone 2 and 3 trees.

I'd still be performing pruning and wiring.

What's your opinion?

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:45 pm

EpicusMaximus wrote:Hi, great looking tree!

I have a question. Could the same result be achieved using a large size pot like the nursery one it came in?

I'm asking because where I live, it gets to -40 in the winter, and I would rather allow my trees to have deeper roots for when I bury the pots in the ground at winter. I know this would mean I'm not technically doing bonsai, but I'm not too bothered about having small pots. I also plan on sticking to zone 2 and 3 trees.

I'd still be performing pruning and wiring.

What's your opinion?



Hello Epicus.. Yes, this tree could have stayed in the nursery container for probably the whole 5 years plus of training. However, the soil would of had to be initially replaced. As long as you have great bonsai soil that drains well and continues to drain well through the years, it is fine. You mentioned -40 below.. If the temps do get that low.. A substantial amount of protection would need to be offered. Personally, the lowest my trees get exposed to in winter is maybe the upper teens.

I hope this was helpful.

Rob

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  EpicusMaximus on Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:29 pm

Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback.

This is why I am sticking to zone 3 trees, but zone 2 preferably. I'd not attempt anything higher.

The soil I was planning to use would be 3 parts potting soil, 1 part perlite and 1 part vermiculite with a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot. Does this make sense? Or should I use something different?

My plan is to burry the pot and then cover the ground with mulch up to the base of the trunk. I'm only buying local trees and trees that the nurseries keep outdoors at winter Smile

It's fun so far. I'm nursery hunting in the hopes of finding something nice.

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:06 pm

EpicusMaximus wrote:Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback.

This is why I am sticking to zone 3 trees, but zone 2 preferably. I'd not attempt anything higher.

The soil I was planning to use would be 3 parts potting soil, 1 part perlite and 1 part vermiculite with a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot. Does this make sense? Or should I use something different?

My plan is to burry the pot and then cover the ground with mulch up to the base of the trunk. I'm only buying local trees and trees that the nurseries keep outdoors at winter Smile

It's fun so far. I'm nursery hunting in the hopes of finding something nice.

Actually, in my opinion.. That soil mix does not really sound good for your purpose. Potting soil is not good for a bonsai medium. It stays too wet and does not drain well. A good soil for conifers is usually made up of akadama and lava rock as the main components. These should be the main components of your soil.. Also, turface, shredded bark of some kind and course river sand are all good choices. The main components should be akadama and lava rock.. Or if you go with another combination..maybe turface, course river sand and shredded bark.

Rob

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  EpicusMaximus on Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:47 pm

Thanks again for the prompt reply. I'm really new to this.

What proportions should I use, and how should I modify these proportions for trees that are not conifers?

I have a small prunus x cistena for example.

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:09 pm

Soil mixes can vay from individual to individual and place to place. I actually buy a pre made soil mix from a bonsai nursery. I cannot give you the exact proportions. I do know that some bonsai artists use akadama as the main part. In fact, I think some artist might use just akadama. I think the nursery may use like like like 50% akadama, 25% lava rock and 25% pumice. However, these is just from what it appears to look like.

Another conifer mix would be turface, course river sand and pine bark.. I think fir bark would also work. You can mix these in the same ratio as the first one I mentioned.

2 things to remember are if you do add the pine bark or other organics, your soil will hold a little more water. This can be good in very hot and dry climates. If you do not use organics, the soil will not hold much water, so in hot and dry weather, you would need to check the pots at least twice a day. However, if they are in deep pots as you suggested, once a day in summer should be fine. Also, if the soil is absent of organics, you will need to fertilize a bit more. Once again though, since you are using deep pots, you will have to learn and tailor your needs to that way of growing.

I would try to find other members or people that live in your area or surrounding areas and see what they have had success with.

Rob

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  robert nocher on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:29 am

That's my kind of tree Rob, nice work

Regards

Robert Nocher

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:52 am

Thanks Robert:D

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  EpicusMaximus on Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:21 pm

Thanks again for all your help Rob.

I've been on the phone all day looking for Turface and I finally found some. Apparently, in Canada, most people have no idea what Turface is. Smile

If I am transferring a juniper from a nursery pot (in whatever soil mix they used) to a pot with mostly Turface, is it best to wait until next spring?

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:38 pm

Unless the tree is in awful soil. It is usually a good idea to just wait until Spring. However, if you are just slipping the tree out of the pot and putting it i na bigegr pot and surrounding the root ball with fresh soil, you can do that anytime. Just keep in mind that root work is best done in spring on junipers.

Also, if you can find akadama, that is the first choice. If not, that is fine, I have had success with both mediums.

If you go with the turface, you will need to add other things like course river sand (from a horticultural/bonsai place (not colelcted off a beach) and some bark shreddings.

If you go with akadama, you could use just the akadama. However adding some lava rock and a little pumice is a good idea. Something important I need to mention. Whatever soil mix you choose..whether you buy or create, the particle size should be the same. You do not want big pieces and small pieces mixed. All particles should be of equal size.
Also, if you are creating your own blend or even buying it. You might want to get a sifter or strainer. You would add the mix to the sifter and then shake. This eliminates all the dust and smaller particles. This is done so that the powder does not clog the drainage holds on the bottom of the pot. Bonsai usually stay in one pot for 3-5 plus years. It is important that they start out with good soil that will last and not break down completely before this time. Another important thing is PPE. Personal Protective gear. Always wear a breathing mask when you are sifting soil. Do not inhale it. It can cause some bad problems. Also, whenever you spray fungicides and pesticides as well. If you handle dry sphagnum moss, try not to inhale it. You might want to wear a mask for this as well. Dry sphagnum moss can cause extremely severe lung problems.

I hope this was helpful Very Happy

Rob

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  EpicusMaximus on Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:05 pm

Very helpful!

Well then, I shall wait until spring for repotting.

What about removing excess branches and growth for an initial pruning while in the nursery pot? If I stick to 30% removal am I ok before winter?

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

Post  Rob C on Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:56 pm

30% seems like a bit much to do before winter. You can do fall pruning. however, I like doing all my pruning in spring. This way, shortly after, the tree becomes active and starts growing. It will now heal all the cuts and then push, lush, healthy new growth. If you prune now, the cuts are pretty much just going to heal slowly. Also, pruning can initiate growth. You really don't want to do anything to initate growth on a tree right before it goes into winter storage. This also includes no fertlizer. Conifers should not be fertilized aa all through the winter.

Personally I would wait. I realize it is tough to have patience sometimes. However, this tree is not going to be shown for a long time and is in a nursery container. The only thing pruning is doing at this point, would be satisfying your impulse to work on it. I have learned over the years that if you adhere to proper horticultural schedules, the tree will reward you ten fold. Also, this gives you time to contemplate what you want to cut. You may change your mind when late winter early spring rolls around... Rememebr, you can always take off branches, you can't put them back. Very Happy

Rob

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Re: Garden Juniper 6 year progression

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