Blaauw's Juniper

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Blaauw's Juniper

Post  Leigh Taafe on Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:35 am

Hi,

I posted a thread about this tree on another forum and got very little response. I was hoping to get some feedback. I have a few ideas about the direction I would like to take the tree, but was hoping to get a few different points of view. The progression is over about 7 years. The tree is around 40 years old.

Please feel free to give me some ideas about where you would go with this tree if it were yours.

Thanks,
Leigh.












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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  JimLewis on Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:02 pm

You seem already to have decided "where to go" and it looks fine. MY only suggestion is to reduce the number of jin low down on the tree. They look too "heavy" to me. Shorten and eliminate.


Last edited by JimLewis on Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  mikacarrick on Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:30 pm

it also look fine to me.
but some of my opinion here.
for the first tree, maybe you could play more with the main trunk. i mean, something like "s" shape. something like that. maybe it will look more interesting the the curvy one.

for the second tree,
maybe some trimming will do it because it is to dense and cannot see the branch structure.

that is my opinion, from a bonsai starter who doest have much experience with juniper/pine.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  Leigh Taafe on Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:02 am

Thanks Mika,

Thanks for your thoughts. Anyone else? Personally, I would like to bring the tree closer to the trunk - I dont like the stiff looking shaft that shoots right. Does this occur to anyone else? I am open to any thoughts on this - please feel free to comment.

Also, Mika, not sure what you mean by first and second tree.

Cheers,
Leigh.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  63pmp on Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:25 am

This may sound harsh, but I feel like there are two things happening here that don't match up. All the dead wood suggests hostile environment, but the long straight sections of trunk say easy living; the dead wood suggests that anything that grows too long gets bitten off by nature and chewed up, while the long and tall growth contradicts that. If this was my tree I would certainly reduce the length of the jin spikes, so that they look like they had been eroded by the weather, I would also graft branches down lower on the trunks to break up there straightness and eventually become new shorter leaders that go sideways-ish and not much higher then the dead wood, aiming for more movement that is suggestive of harder times. I'm thinking ancient Bristlecone from the Sierras

Paul

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  chris on Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:55 am

Hi Leigh,
Its easy to say in now but for better movement it might have been better to have used the main trunk from the start, that said I think you have done a great job. The comments about the jins needing reducing I think are right, with that addressed and the foliage brought down and broken up into as many defined areas as possible (15 or more) the image will be more of a big tree. The angle and strightness of the trunk can be hidden this way. 7 years!!! this is a testament to your patience and dedication I bow to you
Regards Chris

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  mikacarrick on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:44 pm

opss.. sorry for that.
now i realized that it is the same tree.

i'm still new in bonsai. just a year of experience. so, my opinion may be wrong.
and also everyone have their own way looking at a tree.

but still i feel like something is wrong there.
well, still, maybe if you did clean the tree a little bit will make it become outstanding.
i mean by cleaning is that you reduce the foliage a little bit.
i understanding juniper leave is quite hard to grow.
hope there will be more suggestion. i also like to learn from you post here.

your tree is awesome!! that is for sure.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  Leigh Taafe on Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:46 am

Thanks for your input guys. It is great to have a few "new sets of eyes" cast over the tree for me. Sometime you can head in a direction and get stuck there, it is good to get some different points of view to help guide you through the next step.

Paul, great comments, I have gotten to a stage where I kinda like my tree, but I kinda feel like there is something wrong, and you have explained very well what it could be.

Chris, I think I will need to bring the foliage closer to the base - thats for sure. I need to sit with the tree and decide whether to bend it, or graft some branches in order to hide the "sticky outy" effect of the apex.

Mika, your opinion is as valuable to me as that of someone with many years experience, as I would like to create a tree that is universally desirable.

Thanks again.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  Leigh Taafe on Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:53 am

I am still open to further comments if anyone else would like to spare me a moment or two.

Thanks,
Leigh.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  my nellie on Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:37 am

... May I???
Embarassed
These are my comments resulting from an ignorant's view... For the time being I am just study study study the art and experimenting with some pre-bonsais of mine...

Well, looking again and again the photos nr. 7, 9, 10 and 11 something seems non-natural to me and at last I concluded that beyond the fact that there are too many and long jins, the partition between live and dead tissue is almost straight..., a perpendicular line.
So there is an illusion created that there are two different objects joined together.
I also think that Paul's (63pmp) comment sounds reasonable.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  stavros on Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:09 pm

IMHO, the main feature that draws a viewer's attention is the huge/somewhat aggressive deadwood. I would definitely reduce/remove most of it thus making the rest of the tree the center of attention.

Stavros Laughing

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  Leigh Taafe on Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:11 am

Thanks Stavros - it seems that many are of the opinion that if I maintain the current "style" that I should reduce the jins.

Does anyone have an opinion on changing the style altogether with some heavy bending techniques? Are there any experienced bonsai people here that have had experience in restyling old material from one bonsai "style" to another?

Thanks,
Leigh.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  flor1 on Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:35 pm

If it were my tree the first thing I'd do is reduce the heighth then try and bring some of the other branches down. As far as the Jins go leave them for now and see what developes can't put them back once there gone.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  Leigh Taafe on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:29 am

Thanks flor.

I guess there are no experienced bonsai people here that have experience in restyling old material.

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:36 pm

Leigh,
Hi.
i think the deadwood doesnt look too natural...its looks like giant thorns, or dino fossil sticking out of your composition (pardon the harsh comparison). IMHO thats the first thing that you should be focusing on at this point. just be very careful in rectifying the deadwood, unlike the living portion of your tree, you cant rectify or re-grow it once something not nice happens to it. check some deadwood styling technique first before you proceed.

regards,
jun

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  DreadyKGB on Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:17 pm

Leigh,
I agree with the other posts in that the dead wood is far to aggressive for the overall tree. Also you could adjust the planting angle so the tree leans more towards the left (deadwood side). If you are thinking of doing some serious bending of the living branch you should look at Walter Pall's blog, he has covered serious bending of old trunks quite a bit over the last few months. Although I don't fit your criteria for experienced bonsaist with experience restyling old material I think that the response you've received so far are good areas to start. Thin the canopy, rework the deadwood, and possibly add a new bend to the trunk, then go from there. Pavel Slovak also has some great threads to look at for ideas about seeing a new image for your tree.

Todd

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

Post  gman on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:49 pm

Hi Leigh……my two cents,
The deadwood doesn't look that natural - actually... I see spikes (spiked topped trees that is) all the time in; western Red Cedar and Cypress (Yellow or Alaskan Cedar) but in your tree I agree with the others…..and think that the deadwood feature is too over powering - could you work on it then turn the tree so that the live portion is the dominant feature with the deadwood complimenting the composition from the back/side?
Also the young looking top would look better if the top was dead (matching the lower jin’s) and each branch's foliage should be reduced in volume significantly (more is less here I think)…..you could also jin a branch or two(2) or the end of the branch to bring some age into focus.? I've added some photos of trees around me here for illustration only. Cheers G.




Last edited by gman on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:55 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added photos)

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Re: Blaauw's Juniper

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