Juniper forest Reworked

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Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri May 06, 2011 12:42 am

Just thought I'd post a picture of TIOGA after a winter pruning. I spent 3 weeks drastically reducing the foliage this past winter and now that spring had finally arrived it's beginning to bud back out and needing daily foliage pinching. I'm much happer with the reduced foliage.

What do you folks think?

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  fiona on Fri May 06, 2011 1:22 am

That is a lovely forest, Randy. The thinning out has created an airiness about the scene and the light effects in the photo enhance that considerably. There's a feeling of tranquility about it IMHO.

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri May 06, 2011 1:26 am

Hi Randy, I echo Fiona's remarks. Your bonsai took me to the mountains today! Your rocks, I mean boulders looks like some scenes in the Blue Ridge. Greaet job!
Best,
Todd

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Guest on Fri May 06, 2011 2:25 am

Hi Randy

I dont want to sound disparaging at all because this is an amazing forest, but I find the perfect foliage pads to be unrealistic. Too perfect, and something I would never ordinarily encounter in the wild like a fairy tale topiary forest, The evergreen forests I have been in don't have foliage pads if you get my drift. Now If your going for well manicured forest you hit it dead on and its stunning! But if your after a bit more realism, and I only assume you are due to the boulders and gravel and such in the understory, then maybe just let the ends of those pads shag out a bit and get pointy. Its an amazing planting please dont get me wrong. I'm meaning this as the absolute most positive sort of constructive criticism I can muster.


Last edited by man on the mountain on Fri May 06, 2011 2:26 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  rickyricardo on Fri May 06, 2011 3:30 am

Love it!

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Oliver Muscio on Fri May 06, 2011 4:34 am

Beautiful! It appears you have quite an extensive collection in the background.
Oliver

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Ravi Kiran on Fri May 06, 2011 6:18 am

Hi Randy,

Excellent composition of a very realistic bonsai forest. Looks an excellent retreat to beat the stress Smile

Ravi

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri May 06, 2011 7:34 pm

Thanks for all the kind comments gang. It's nice to get confirmation on reducing the foliage.

Man on the Mountain
I understand your comments completely. It's a balancing act between nice clean foliage pads and that "natural look". This particular composition was created to bring to Kentucky, my love of the Sierra Navada mountains above Yosemite park in California along Tioga pass where I spent many weekends of my youth camping and enjoying nature. While not completely naturalistic it's close enough for my eye and I can't seem to get out of all that growth pinching as it keeps me sane. LOL

Oliver,
Yes, I have a large collection of trees that I'm working on. I love the challenge of testing and playing with all kinds of plant material. Another one of those things that keeps me sane in my retirement.

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juniper forrest re-worked

Post  JR on Fri May 06, 2011 7:55 pm


I feel I want to walk through it and set up camp on that lust green.
Job well done

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juniper forest reworked

Post  moyogijohn on Fri May 06, 2011 7:58 pm

Randy,, it has got to be the best juniper i have ever seen!!! i know you have to work on this one a lot..great job take care john

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri May 06, 2011 8:00 pm

I like the thinning, gives it an airiness.

If I could make a few suggestions - I'd like to see more variability in the spacing of the trees; some real close and some further apart.

Forests seem to work better if there is some space on either side of the pot to make the composition more asymmetrical. Italready looks like a big pot so a bigger pot will be tough to find and heavy. Maybe you can move some of the trees near one edge to the middle of the composition to add the variability I mentioned above.

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri May 06, 2011 8:17 pm

Although I often agree with the Naturalistic approach, in this case I like the fantastic nature of the trees. My suggestion, is to take advantage of those nice straight trunks and gradual taper by removing some of the lower branches. This forest already reminds me of the redwoods in Washington but where the lower branches would have been long since shaded out. I'll try to put together a virtual later this weekend.
Just a thought, the image is fantastic as is,
David D.

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri May 06, 2011 8:48 pm

Thanks again all!

Rob
I understand your comment. That design style that you recommend is the typical bonsai approach to forests that are middle aged rather than mature. It has been my experience that a really mature conifer forest has larger trees spread further appart with smaller trees and shrubry below with outcroppings of stone. I have thought about adding a couple more trees to the composition to do exactly what you recommend but that will have to wait untill I repot and even then I'm not sure it would add anything to the overall feel. Your right, the container is large (2' x 4' x 5") and I don't really want to lug around anything bigger. It's already 250 pounds as it is. As always though, with time things change and so do bonsai.

Mrfancyplants
I would love to see a virtual of someone else's vision as food for thought. When I designed this, I was actually thinking Western Red Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) which also do as you say, drop the lower foliage but have that distinctive dead snag at the top of the tree. I find it quite nice to encourage others to tell me what they see in the composition so that I might make it better over time.

RAndy

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  JimLewis on Fri May 06, 2011 8:53 pm

I dont want to sound disparaging at all because this is an amazing
forest, but I find the perfect foliage pads to be unrealistic. Too
perfect, and something I would never ordinarily encounter in the wild
like a fairy tale topiary forest,

Yeah . . . BUT!

Bonsai is not a photograph of the natural world. It is an idealization of the natural world. I'm all for what some call the "naturalistic" approach to bonsai, but if you look at a well-done "naturalistic" tree its branches don't go all higglty-pigglty, and the leaves aren't all different sizes and the soil surface isn't covered with twigs and forest mulch. The tree is carefully manicured to that "natural" look.

John Naka's "Goshen," if you've seen it after it has been though its annual maintenance is a natural-looking forest, but it is as carefully organized as this one.

So maybe it is a "fairy tale" forest, but I certainly can imagine the unicorn prancing through it. Can't you?

Well done, Randy, so now all you need to do is find a bigger pot or slab to give the woods some space around the edges.

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  stavros on Fri May 06, 2011 9:17 pm

Hi Randy,

Beautiful forest !!
Thanks for sharing.
Can you tell us a few more things about it? How old it is? How many years are u working on it? If you have any older pictures to share?
Thanks.

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Pavel Slovák on Fri May 06, 2011 10:28 pm

Hi Randy

Realy nice tree. I like it. ThumbsUp
Congratulations, very good job.

Pavel

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  rock on Sat May 07, 2011 12:39 am

Perfect, don't change a thing

thanks for showing

-R

ps. ..nope , nothing left to say ..

well I was going to tease you about your weeds on the ground, but I have few huge groves and know that its ..how they say..."groves before hoes"


Laughing

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Randy_Davis on Sat May 07, 2011 1:10 am

stavros wrote:Can you tell us a few more things about it? How old it is? How many years are u working on it? If you have any older pictures to share?
Here is the history
started as cuttings in 2001
field grown untill 2007

Initial trimming out of the field

trained as indifidual trees 2007/8

Before foliage reduction 05/2010


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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Ravi Kiran on Sat May 07, 2011 6:07 am

That is a very good history Randy. Thanks for sharing. I am not sure about the growth characteristics of the species but in 6 years of being field grown, I am a little surprised to see that the girth isn't much.... Do let me know....

Ravi

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  -Brent- on Sat May 07, 2011 6:41 am

Wonderful forest Randy, and thanks for the history. I might try my hand at one of these sometime.

Regards
Brent

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  stavros on Sat May 07, 2011 7:34 am

Thanks Randy!!

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Randy_Davis on Sat May 07, 2011 1:51 pm

Ravi Kiran wrote:That is a very good history Randy. Thanks for sharing. I am not sure about the growth characteristics of the species but in 6 years of being field grown, I am a little surprised to see that the girth isn't much.... Do let me know....

Ravi

Ravi,

The species is Juniperus chinensis "Heitz columnaris" a very upright growing cultivar that gains trunk girth rather slowly in the ground and even slower when in a container. The trees were on average 1 1/2"-2 1/4" inch diameter when they were removed from the field. Because of the strong upright growth of the both the tree in general and the branches as well, it tends to defoliate on the inside of the tree so waiting too long will make for long branches with no foliage except at the ends which is not a good design feature for any good conifer bonsai composition. One has to work with what one has and make the best of the material at hand. Long after I've been dead and buried for plant food the trunks will become upwards of 4 and 5 inches which might be what your looking for but I'm still happy with the current results knowing that with time the tree will only get better. One hopes that here in the US and other places, there will be follow-on care takers to really make a "fairytale forest".

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Beautiful

Post  Mitch Thomas on Sat May 07, 2011 2:45 pm

Randy
This is a beautiful composition I would stick to my artistic parogitve on this one and not change a thing. I find the rhythm and order is very calming and seriene.
Good job
Mitch

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  MrFancyPlants on Sun May 08, 2011 3:20 pm

I want to go even a few pads higher in my virtual, but it was taking a little while and I have a workshop at the National Arboretum later today. But this should give you an idea of what I meant by emphasizing the trunks. That being said, I also agree with Mitch and think you have a good thing going already so why mess with it?

Thanks for sharing,
David


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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

Post  Craig Cowing on Mon May 09, 2011 12:51 pm

I would agree with Jim. The feeling of the forest is very good. I would suggest an oval pot that gives a bit more visual space around the edges. I have a smaller juniper forest that I originally had in a rectangular pot, and when I put it in an oval pot it changed it completely.

I would keep it as is--don't cut back on the pads to the left and right.

Very nice job.


Last edited by Craig Cowing on Mon May 09, 2011 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add more text)

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Re: Juniper forest Reworked

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