Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

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Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  PaulH on Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:39 pm

I collected this tree in 2008 near Cisco Grove California (with a permit).  Here it is shortly after collection:

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Next step was a bonsai pot in 2010:

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After first styling with help from Ryan Neal:

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Let it grow free for the last two years:

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After detail wiring last week in workshop with Bjorn Bjorholm and carving of small shari. After filling out this growing season it will be show ready.

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  klaery on Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:44 am

Very nice material  Very Happy Great work, it is looking good.

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:19 pm

Nice! The bigger crown looks really good.

R

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  efishn on Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:59 pm

Hi PaulH,

Very nice tree.
my taste like the earlier pic when the crown was smaller, I think when it smaller there is much more balance between the
trunk and the whole crown.

regards,
Efi

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Tona on Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:06 am

Hey Paul,
I'm with Russel. The last picture is awesome.
Tona

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  kauaibonsai on Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:46 am

love them junipers. wish we had them here.

best wishes, sam

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Vance Wood on Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:57 pm

I think the potential of this tree is off the charts. I do have a question: Is it possible to tighten up the foliage on this tree? If so how?

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  PaulH on Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:31 pm

Vance Wood wrote:I think the potential of this tree is off the charts.  I do have a question:  Is it possible to tighten up the foliage on this tree?  If so how?

Both Ryan Neal and Bjorn Bjorholm have mentioned grafting itoigawa to change the foliage and that might be an option at some point  but I've got this thing for native, natural trees....
I have seen some Sierras that have been in training for many years and with proper technique the foliage gets very tight. (I need to learn that technique  Wink )

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Vance Wood on Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:48 pm

PaulH wrote:
Vance Wood wrote:I think the potential of this tree is off the charts.  I do have a question:  Is it possible to tighten up the foliage on this tree?  If so how?

Both Ryan Neal and Bjorn Bjorholm have mentioned grafting itoigawa to change the foliage and that might be an option at some point  but I've got this thing for native, natural trees....
I have seen some Sierras that have been in training for many years and with proper technique the foliage gets very tight. (I need to learn that technique  Wink )

Hint; do not use the word pinch.  For some reason the time tested technique of twisting off the ends of extending growth has come under fire from the new bonsai elite.  You are  supposed to clip down to the joints but few of these new teachers are willing to describe just how to do this, and when you question them on more specific details they accuse you of being obtuse, slow and maybe even stupid.  I even had one guy post a picture of a tree claiming that this showed how to do this.

I have seen plenty of photos of RMJ's on their own foliage and the foliage has always been pretty tight, or maybe they were grafted and no one was telling. The point being, if you are limited to trimming with scissors, to get this kind of ramification it must take many hundreds of years.

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:18 pm

Vance Wood wrote:
PaulH wrote:
Vance Wood wrote:I think the potential of this tree is off the charts.  I do have a question:  Is it possible to tighten up the foliage on this tree?  If so how?

Both Ryan Neal and Bjorn Bjorholm have mentioned grafting itoigawa to change the foliage and that might be an option at some point  but I've got this thing for native, natural trees....
I have seen some Sierras that have been in training for many years and with proper technique the foliage gets very tight. (I need to learn that technique  Wink )

Hint; do not use the word pinch.  For some reason the time tested technique of twisting off the ends of extending growth has come under fire from the new bonsai elite.  You are  supposed to clip down to the joints but few of these new teachers are willing to describe just how to do this, and when you question them on more specific details they accuse you of being obtuse, slow and maybe even stupid.  I even had one guy post a picture of a tree claiming that this showed how to do this.

I have seen plenty of photos of RMJ's on their own foliage and the foliage has always been pretty tight, or maybe they were grafted and no one was telling.  The point being, if you are limited to trimming with scissors, to get this kind of ramification it must take many hundreds of years.

I find it odd that no one seems to want to comment now that this subject has been broached. Makes me wonder why?

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Justin Hervey on Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:44 am

OK Vance, I'm IN.

I actually do a bit of both but I still do a lot of pinching on my trees that have reached the final stage of refinement. I feed, mist and water them very well and they show no sign of weakening, on the contrary, they are the most healthy and vigorous in my collection.

Unless experience shows me a different path I will remain a pincher. There, I've outed myself.

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Vance Wood on Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:46 am

Justin Hervey wrote:OK Vance, I'm IN.

I actually do a bit of both but I still do a lot of pinching on my trees that have reached the final stage of refinement. I feed, mist and water them very well and they show no sign of weakening, on the contrary, they are the most healthy and vigorous in my collection.

Unless experience shows me a different path I will remain a pincher. There, I've outed myself.

Good for you.  I too am an unrepentant pincher of over thirty years and not likely to change now.  I have a problem with those teaching the contrary when it seems that the only way to find out what they are talking about is to attend one of their classes or demonstrations.  I have had one individual try to explain the process by showing a tree planted in the ground and then criticizing me for not understanding what he was trying to show.  At some point you get tired of being portrayed as an idiot, especially after doing this for fifty years.  I have never had a tree weaken from the process.  If anything it seems to cause the tree to put out new growth exactly where you want it.  Until some one can give me an exact demonstration of how this is done I am not inclined to change just because some SPLBM convinces me it actually is better.  There, I've outed myself with an attitude.

As to the Juniper in question.  Around this site I am hesitant to tell anyone how I think they should cultivate their trees but this one seems to need more direct exposure to sun light.  I have seen them up close and personal in the mountains of the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma.  No where do they grow in sheltered conditions, most of them are out in the blazing sun and their growth is tight and healthy.  I have found with Shimpaku that growing them with as much sun exposure as they will tolerate will cause the growth to become more compact.  From that point all they seem to need is a little trimming and pinching.  OMG I said pinching again!  Shoot me now (Bugs Bunny)

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Kevin B. on Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:23 pm

SPLBM?  And I thought I knew all net-speak Neutral   

Very nice Juni btw Vance, I just wish the Red Cedar out here on the east coast grew like that.  Maybe I need to get out there and start hackin' and stompin' some trees so 100 years from now my great-great grandkids have yamadori like that to collect...


Oops, just realized I wrote "Vance" when I meant "Paul" Sorry for the mixup


Last edited by Kevin B. on Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Vance Wood on Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:09 pm

Kevin B. wrote:SPLBM?  And I thought I knew all net-speak Neutral   

Very nice Juni btw Vance, I just wish the Red Cedar out here on the east coast grew like that.  Maybe I need to get out there and start hackin' and stompin' some trees so 100 years from now my great-great grandkids have yamadori like that to collect...

Self Proclaimed Legendary Bonsai Masters. Red Cedars are not too bad but they do need constant attention.

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Kevin B. on Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:39 am

Ahhh, OK, got it now. Thanks Vance.  Got so hung up on the abbreviation I forgot to really comment on Paul's post.

Really took a good look at the Juni above, and I had one thought...
I like the lower branch that cascades down and away from the trunk, between it and the trunk movement it makes the tree feel like it's precariously hanging from the edge of a cliff ready to fall - visually creating tension which IMO works well.  Not sure about the direction of the apex in this context, the fact it cascades left towards the trunk kinda feels like it tries to stabilize the image and make the movement of the foliage pads rather neutral.  Granted, I don't know if you have a future plan to train the apex or other branches back to the right once it grows out, but just an observation.  Otherwise great work, can't wait to see what this looks like once it fills out this year.  Very Happy

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Vance Wood on Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:50 am

Kevin B. wrote:Ahhh, OK, got it now. Thanks Vance.  Got so hung up on the abbreviation I forgot to really comment on Paul's post.

Really took a good look at the Juni above, and I had one thought...
I like the lower branch that cascades down and away from the trunk, between it and the trunk movement it makes the tree feel like it's precariously hanging from the edge of a cliff ready to fall - visually creating tension which IMO works well.  Not sure about the direction of the apex in this context, the fact it cascades left towards the trunk kinda feels like it tries to stabilize the image and make the movement of the foliage pads rather neutral.  Granted, I don't know if you have a future plan to train the apex or other branches back to the right once it grows out, but just an observation.  Otherwise great work, can't wait to see what this looks like once it fills out this year.  Very Happy

I just wanted to clear something up. I think a couple of you think this RMJ is mine, it is not. It belongs to Paul and it is Paul that has done the work. I have only commented on the work and made my own suggestions for the tree.

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Kevin B. on Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:38 am

Vance Wood wrote:
I just wanted to clear something up.  I think a couple of you think this RMJ is mine, it is not.  It belongs to Paul  and it is Paul that has done the work.  I have only commented on the work and made my own suggestions for the tree.

Sorry, my bad - fingers got ahead of my brain, I edited my earlier post to reflect this... Rolling Eyes 

Guess it's what happens when you type when tired...


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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Eric Group on Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:42 am

I think the pinching thing is a point of confusion for many because they think pinching is the main/ only way to prune a juniper or something! If you are popping off a new bud and leaving a smaller one right at the base of it- when done delicately you leave almost no brown tips, get tighter ramification and an effective "pinch". It is people who grab wads of foliage at one time, pinching across multiple tips and tearing foliage in between buds on new growth that wind up with brown ends and stressed trees. I know this because I learned how to prune these trees myself after reading a few books and the first couple years I did it wrong and wondered what was wrong with my trees... It is easier to prune by pinching on a species that produces fatter buds like a standard Sargent (not the Shimpaku/ Kishu/ Itiogawa varieties) or even a vigorous Procumbens than it is on a Shimpaku... With Shimpaku, the new buds are so tiny it can be hard to punch out just the right amount, many wind up popping off in between buds and getting brown tips. That is why they wind up pruning back to where the stems split instead.

That is just what I have surmised from my own experience and reading many f the same posts you are referring to- I assume you were talking about posts on this subject over on the Nut Vance? Regardless, I think there is a lot of confusion about what is meant by "pinching" when knowledgeable/ experienced people are saying flat out not to do it! How could you own Junipers WITHOUT pinching sometimes? It is a necessity IMO.

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  kirk@localbonsai.com on Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:31 am

the deadwood itself is a whole composition : )

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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

Post  Neli on Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:46 am

Vance Wood wrote:
Justin Hervey wrote:OK Vance, I'm IN.

I actually do a bit of both but I still do a lot of pinching on my trees that have reached the final stage of refinement. I feed, mist and water them very well and they show no sign of weakening, on the contrary, they are the most healthy and vigorous in my collection.

Unless experience shows me a different path I will remain a pincher. There, I've outed myself.

Good for you.  I too am an unrepentant pincher of over thirty years and not likely to change now.  I have a problem with those teaching the contrary when it seems that the only way to find out what they are talking about is to attend one of their classes or demonstrations.  I have had one individual try to explain the process by showing a tree planted in the ground and then criticizing me for not understanding what he was trying to show.  At some point you get tired of being portrayed as an idiot, especially after doing this for fifty years.  I have never had a tree weaken from the process.  If anything it seems to cause the tree to put out new growth exactly where you want it.  Until some one can give me an exact demonstration of how this is done I am not inclined to change just because some SPLBM convinces me it actually is better.  There, I've outed myself with an attitude.

As to the Juniper in question.  Around this site I am hesitant to tell anyone how I think they should cultivate their trees but this one seems to need more direct exposure to sun light.  I have seen them up close and personal in the mountains of the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma.  No where do they grow in sheltered conditions, most of them are out in the blazing sun and their growth is tight and healthy.  I have found with Shimpaku that growing them with as much sun exposure as they will tolerate will cause the growth to become more compact.  From that point all they seem to need is a little trimming and pinching.  OMG I said pinching again!  Shoot me now (Bugs Bunny)

Onooooooo! Good you finally came out of the closet...He he he!
Tips are left on junipers to grow little bit longer to e point where pinching is difficult, and cutting is a easier option. Allowing the strong shoots to grow a bit before they are cut off is for health reasons, and also to prevent bruising of the end of the cut.
There is not much to understand about cutting. Simply spread the foliage of the shoot and cut only its main stem at the base to maintain the silhouette of the pad.
I hear some people are experimenting with hedging junipers....I would not try that.
Nice work Paul...I would give a bit more movement to the right lower branch, going towards the trunk and out again...Lovely tree.

Neli
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Re: Six year progression of a Sierra juniper

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