Juniper Itoigawa

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Consideration 6 Consider the size/view of the tree

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:54 am

Size of the tree will also influence the styling of the tree.
As you know there are close and far view of a tree.
The smaller a bonsai is the further view it will portray.
How is that translated on the tree.
On a small tree: less pads, and less details. All this in most cases is done because the tree is too small to accommodate multiple pads.





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Size as determining factor in styling

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:59 am

Medium size


and small ones:


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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  George Vrey on Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:31 am

Neli wrote:Thank You Fiona, You are a Darling...I dont have from whom to learn here. I am the only one that has bonsai. So I was lucky some friends managed to arrange the apprenticeship for me. I learned a lot, lost 10 kg, he hehe! And my fingers at one point were bleeding from wiring from morning to evening...But it was fantastic. I tried to specialize in junipers and pines only instead learning bits and pieces of everything and ending with nothing at the end..
I am going in July to learn carving from Graham Potter and in Oct to Indonesia Malaysia and Thailand to learn how they do their trees and pads for I find them so different and fascinating.
My main resolution is to come out of the box. Not do the usual stuff but unique and different trees. I find that most of the time creativity also eludes me...I need to be inspired...and I take now a longtime to decide how to style a tree. But if I get inspired...things go smoothly...and I get this feeling that I am on the right truck...I know I am OK.
Just that I forget the inspirations...so Now I bought a printer...all design virtuals are printed and put in a water proof file, that can be carried in the garden.
The problem with me is I am perfectionist...and things bother me if not OK...then I sit and try to figure out what is bothering me and correct it.
Hi Neli It is a great forum you have started here and i know that i am gonna learn a lot about
I know in future what will bother me  and chop ruthlessly now so I dont waste time later, after growing it for a long time, and lots of irritation to have to chop again.
For me in  bonsai all the fun is about creating...That is the most satisfying part of it.
I like to but prebonsai (just trunks) and go from there.
Horticulturally I am OK since I have had 3 garden centers for close to 30 years,,,but bonsai was news for me. With everything I try to understand things first before I try to remember them. So I hope I shall be OK soon. BTW I did a demo in Japan about pines at the garden fair...for the foreigners. A very small one..on repotting.
HI Neli i am very glad u have decided to start a Forum on Junipers we can now learn a lot from this and also from other sources

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  xuan le on Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:18 am

Thanks very much for your post Neli, it is very useful for many of us, I am looking forward to seeing more in this topic
Best Regards.

Xuan

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:36 am

Thanks Xuan...I need to finish this article...I have come from Japan with over 20000 pictures, some were on the Ipad some on SD cards...and now everything is so confused that I need to sort them before proceeding as which is before and after...The before pictures look so much the same that I know I will confuse them.
But today I shall do one example hopefully.
The junipers I brought from japan are in confused state still to start styling them and those are the ones I really wanted to use as examples.
Some are growing some have not grown at all since October (our summer)

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Pads

Post  Neli on Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:34 pm

The next step I shall start with pads. Ones You know how pads are formed, it will be easier to accommodate them within the main design.
What is a pad? Pad is composed of primary branch and secondary branches + foliage on small bonsai and some time tertiary branches in larger bonsai.
How is a pad for made from the beginning of the development of a juniper?
1 You need to grow a branch.
Here are how branches are grown before a juniper is styled.



Try and keep foliage close to the trunk. Make sure it is not shaded because small shoots will die if shaded. But also itoigawa back buds on not extremely old branches when cut back.
Ones the branch is of suitable thickness, at least 5mm you can wire it.
For a branch to set it might need to be wired several times.
In junipers the wire is deliberately left to bite little bit in order to facilitate setting. The wire marks are usually healed within several month.
Just as on any other tree when growing branches from scratch you need to create taper and movement. For that branches are chopped back in ideal situations and new leaders regrown.


The position of the branches will depend on the style chosen...but on that at the end.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  RKatzin on Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:19 am

Hi Neli, Thank you so much! I'm so inspired by all that you do. I have not had the benefit of formal training and you are one of my favorite teachers. I do not feel worthy to even comment on you tree, it just comes out gagaga. I can say how much I appreciate this gathering of info. Very much! Rick

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:37 am

Thanks Rick, I am still a newbie, but I tried hard to learn and had extra benefits: Lost 10 kg in the process, cheers
BTW all pictures used are taken by me in Japan or at home.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:38 am

Pads go through several stages of development. Initially you just try to grow and train the primary branches. Ones the primary branches are almost fully developed you can start work on the pads.
At first your tree will look very ugly. But that is how bonsai are. They are ugly ducklings. In order for you to prepare a branch for pad development you need to go through several stages of development.
The post important thing during this process is not to overwork a tree, for health reasons and at the final stages to avoid the dreaded juvenile foliage.
Many times I see on demos branches twisted like snakes to accommodate the foliage into the shape of the pad. That is pure showmanship and I would not do that to my trees when developing pads. Also the trauma through which trees are put through a demo is simply a bad example of what not to do  to your tree.
Another problem I had was the impatience of a newbie. Itching to do something on a tree while the tree is not in perfect health for whatever reasons. Junipers should never be rushed.
Pads should be developed slowly and with the future placement of sub branches in mind.
Branches going down are removed, most of the branches facing up are removed also, but I would not rush in doing that since some of those upper branches can be used to create volume on the pad and layering. In general, I dont remove branches too fast unless I am sure I would not need it during the wiring process.
Also in the initial stages of fattening/growing a branch you simply dont remove anything unless to bring light where needed.
If you have a long branch that you need to incorporate in a pad, the best but a long time solution is to cut back the branch, instead of over bending it, and regrow it. Just remember, that you never cut back a branch and leave no healthy foliage on it or chances are that that branch will die . Foliage is needed to produce auxin hormone (and some others like citoxin...whose ratio to the auxin governs the functions of the whole tree)  which is the main communicating agent in trees...something similar to our nerves system. Auxin produced by the foliage at the end of the branch gives a signal that food/sap needs to be sent to that area. That is in very simple terms how I understood it, and hope I spelled things OK....not very good in English)
An example of branches being cut back and regrown for taper. Top vertical branch is grown to thicken a future shari.



You must not be concerned with the short term beauty of the tree if you want a fantastic tree. Think long term and patience and diligence will take you there. Some time mistakes are much harder to correct later than at the beginning, and you end up wasting lots of time.
This a pad in need of wiring in its later stage of development

This is a large juniper. Notice the primary secondary and tertiary branches are the main focus of development at the moment. Foliage will be the next step concern in this branch. To achieve that planning is needed from the beginning, and lots of wiring as you can see.
I can not over stress here how important a virtual is at the beginning, in order to plan the size and shape of your pads.
Now I need to go take pictures outside how branches are cut back on larger and smaller trees and how they back bud, so I continue my story on pad formtion.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:58 am

A Juniper in second stage of pad development...Primary branches have been cut back and secondary branches are developed at this stage.

Some primary branches (Higher left) are still grown and not yet cut back.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:35 am

And remember we are talking large junipers pad formation...Small ones also have pads but they are hard to discern and there you are mostly concerned with the overall shape of the tree.






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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  xuan le on Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:15 pm

Very detailed and instructive, thanks again Neli

Xuan

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  robert nocher on Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:19 am

This is excellent work Neli and the photographs are fantastic. I particularly like the small trees in your most recent update.....Well done.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:11 am

Some of my photographs are atrocious Robert. They can not compare to yours at all. BTW I also like my bonsai small, but apart from mame and shohin I have few big bonsai also. Oyakata used to grow gardenias at Taisho en so on some days I used to trim and wire over 20...so I can spot a gardenia from Japan from a mile  Smile 
I took some pictures of my junipers in the garden yesterday...I have around 24 itoigawa in different sizes....not too sure. I plan to style some of them for this thread, but for some or even most of them the time is not right yet.
I had a strange experience with my plants. Some think it is spring and some think itis autumn, so I am not too sure if some junipers dont fall in the same category, so I feel it is better to wait and observe how they grow first, see if they are growing well and then style.




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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:37 am

I have itoigawa from different places and what I have noticed is they have some subtle differences in the color of the foliage. Some are really green and some more bluish or different darker shade of green.
But one thing is for sure some have grown and some have not grown at all.
I must be honest and tell the truth. I styled one and prestyled another...this two junipers have not grown at all.
This is one of the junipers I prestyled (first styling) Note that there is no growth at all. This juniper was simply styled too soon for its own good. I did not cut almost any foliage just tried to set the branches into position.

This one also has very little signs of growth though the foliage looks healthy:


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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:50 am

I promised to post how branches are grown and cut back for taper...Here are some.
Apex here is grown and side branches are cut back to channel more growth to the lower areas and to create taper.

Lower branch here is cut off for jin and the upper one for regrowing. Notice how big the branch is and how well it back budded but some growth was left at the end.

another branch cut back for taper. Notice how all branches have very good movement.


A small branch cut at the top with juvenile foliage emerging at the end: See how the small branches near to the trunk are kept. One big mistake I Have seen newbies make is to clean a primary branch fromm all the foliage near the trunk and leave a pom pom at the end at the first styling. They see teriary branches are cleanes from foliage at the base and do the same to the primary branches. That should only be done ones you have decided on a style during the first or second wiring depending on the style you have chosen. Some can be left longer as escape branches.


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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:56 am

Some more branches cut back for taper...Notice how a branch from a upper position is bent down along the trunk and positioned where a branch is needed. That is one think I want to discuss when I reach overall styling of the junipers.

Normally junipers are grown on full sun, but I had split them in two groups, one in full sun and one getting full morning and afternoon sun, with light shade (shade cloth) during the heat of mid day. Being in Africa with extremely strong sun, I observed that the ones under the shade cloth were doing much better and moved them all under shade.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:11 am

xuan le wrote:Very detailed and instructive, thanks again Neli

Xuan
Sorry Xuan I missed your post . Hope I shall be of some help.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  robert nocher on Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:10 pm

Hi Neli,
Your garden and your trees look fantastic. Have you experienced any stress problems with your junipers that cause the growing tips to turn brown or the foliage to revert to juvenile. If so, what do you think the main causes of this are?

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:33 am

I dont have any brown tips...But I have stagnant growth on some of mine...for short they are sulking.
I have been growing junipers for over 25 years...in packets and in the ground. Biggest problem with junipers is overwatering, and soil without air.
This junipers were bought in Japan and brought here in October...Came from mid autumn to mid spring here. They need to be acclimatized.
Some started growing some have not moved at all. The ones I styled (two only) are looking OK but on one of them there is no growth at all, the other one Just minimal.
I have harsh sun here...so I have given them some shade at noon.
There is a disease that causes the top of the foliage to die and turn brown...a fellow nursery man has it. I never had it. I simply never got any junipers from him because it is almost impossible to eradicate it. I have forgotten the name but it can be viral.
Juvenile foliage, the main cause is severe cut back of foliage. It will take a minimum of a year to two to revert to scale. On a juniper in development is not a big problem since the tree is developed, unless you cut so much that the health of the tree is affected.
Too much pinching often and a lot cause that also, so it is important to give the tree a rest, like every third year let it grow.
If you continuously do that your tree will weaken and even die.
Patience is the key in developing junipers.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  robert nocher on Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:38 pm

Thanks for that Neli. I think our cold wet climate can make juniper maintenance quite challenging

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  JimLewis on Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:43 pm

I especially like your little ones, Nelie.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Vance Wood on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:12 pm

Thanks for all the information, most appreciated.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  fiona on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:38 pm

Robert, browning of growing tips is I fear just one of these things we need to put up with over here in the bizarre climate we have. Pretty much all of mine have some degree of browning through the winter but it grows out during the summer. I bought a grow light in late January and I think it has helped prevent the browning a fair bit. It is set up in my garage where I over-winter the shohin. Next winter I'll have the evergreens under the grow light for at least 8 hours a night and it'll be interesting to see if there's a significant difference.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:34 am

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I am a lazy bum and they will definitely keep me going and make me finish this long story.
Everyone is welcome to contribute information so this thread is better. I am prone to forgetting things at times and on this forum You can not edit add to a post and I am trying to make it in sort of chronological order..

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

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