Big juniper design help please

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Big juniper design help please

Post  Arno on Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:10 am

Here is a tree I dug up from my nieghbors yard. the base is about 6-7 inches. There are many branches and the growth is way at the ends. Ive been looking
at the tree everyday from different angles I think this presents the best front. I think i can bend the smaller braches in to create a more compact design but
the main trunk to me ,the thick straight one going right, is about 2-3 inches and all the braches are mostly on one side(the top). Can this thick of a branch be bent?
I think I will tilt the tree far to the left to create the first branch laying down ,and the main going up and foward more,but, the branch is very straight. Ive seen trunks
split ,this might be an option at the top, in order to twist some branches to the right and create the needed movement......uh maybe Embarassed BTW the big branch to the
bottom right is probably going to be jinned. Help, Sam, Pavel, Ka Pabling, Jun, Hans, Cram ,the artist Very Happy (droppin some names LOL)

Arno

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  marcus watts on Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:23 am

hi,
the way forward is to now grow the material into something you can wire and style into a good bonsai image. At the moment you have the trunk, movement and plenty of deadwood options to carve, but you need some real foliage near to this area rather than trying to bend and coil up all the long bare branches to bring the foliage on the ends in closer - this always looks rubbish and rushed in the finished design, especially when the foliage is used to hide all the coils (it is like the artist knows it is wrong but wants a quick result)

there are three good options to make a nice tree- the slow one is to feed well, keep all new tip growth pruned so that new inner growth sprouts and weak inner shoots develop, then you use these to style the tree - not the best option as you have no control where the growth will appear though.

2nd option is to bend all the long thin branches into a loop back on themselves and graft the foliage from the tip much nearer the trunk.
3rd option will cost money but make an excelent tree and that is to get some small itiogawa junipers in pots and graft them into the lower trunk exactly where you want them - then you have the big trunk, you lose the coarse garden variety foliage and get nice fine 'bonsai' juniper foliage.

this last method is basically the standard way many impresive juniper bonsai are formed.

All options are a few years work, but that is the timescale to turn a raw piece of garden material into a good quality tree.

i'd be leaving all the wire and raffia in the box a few years yet though.

nice material to play with and learn on, have fun with it.

marcus


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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Arno on Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:45 pm

Thanks Marcus

I admire your work and advice on this forum so it is an honor for the response.
"It is like the artist knows its wrong but wants quick results" I have seen the coil and hide method, but I thought it was stardard procedure. I admit that I dont really like it either
and Im glad to hear another opinion the same. Ive been thinking i may have to graft either with existing foilage or another juniper. I dont have any experience with grafts and
it makes me nervous. i have time on my side so I guess Ill just take it slow. Ive been pruning the ends and have had some back budding. Is it too much to hard prune back to the budding areas? I may wait for a year, prune and feed see where that gets me, or do both prune/feed and some approach grafts with itself. I dont think I can get any itiogawa junipers, you got any for me Very Happy

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  marcus watts on Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:46 am

hi arno,
thankyou for your kind words, it was interesting that you thought 'coiling up' as standard practice -My own belief is it has become an unfortunate side to 'modern, often commercial, bonsai styling, where a tree in a day is deemed the expected outcome. in all honesty it is just a short cut cheat that makes trees look nice in pictures from a very fixed front, but they look terrible from the side, behind and under the branches.

back to the juniper............ Very Happy

i could see some of the inner new growth so i knew the tree was happy to put out growth near to the trunk but grafting will be the sure way to turn this material into something really good to work with. I have another solution, and this is the one i use on all my juniper projects .
on every branch that has inner back buds start air layers above the back buds - cut off a circle of bark, add rooting powder if you have it, wrap the area in moss and seal with plastic sheet - the roots will grow into the moss and you then have new trees taken from the parent. Doing this keeps the whole branch living, keeps the back buds developing and then gives you material to graft that has its own roots making the success rate much higher.

a juniper layer will often grow enough roots to be cut off in 6 months, just remember to seep the moss moist !

best regards Marcus

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Pavel Slovák on Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:03 am

Hi Arno
Options wrote Marcus are very good and I agree with them. Maybe another option. Use long branches, and those used as a graft on the same tree. Very well-established technique. A small example here: http://www.bonsaivigi.cz/fotoalbum/tvarovani-a-vyvoj---styling-and-development/prikajeni-vetve--juniperus-sabina-2005/

Gretings Pavel

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  marcus watts on Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:08 pm

excelent set of pictures for grafting juniper branches pavel, very clear and better than any words, and very successful results - with these techniques the material will be a nice bonsai in the future.

nice website too, some lovely trees in your collection

best regards, Marcus

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Arno on Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:05 am

Thanks Pavel and Marcus

I think Ill try a couple of the tecniques, I was thinking about air layering the top of the straight branch anyway, ive had some success at that. There are many branches
to bend back and graft, some at the back can almost be bent completly in half and the growth ends up right in the center where it should be. Im not sure which approach
to take trying the cross graft like Pavel or doing approach graft. I need to reasearch more before cutting in because I have no sucsesfull grafting. I understand the basics
but im a little unsure where the exact layers are on the juniper, cambium, etc?

Arno

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  cram on Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:29 am

oh arno ..i did not see you did want a squetch from me..sorry
but in fact...it is a little hard with your tree
it is true that the best solution is grafting

it is stange you did not had a good graft
the only thing to be carefull with is that your tools are clean and cut very well
and make corresponding the cambiums
try again whith this tree...it is a good way to learn it

well if it were mine...i ll surely graft some sargentii or itoygawa on it

i like your lego bonsai avatar...

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Arno on Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:23 am

Thanks Cram

We are the same age so I imagine we played with all the same legos as children, I have a 2 year old daughter and I admit I still like playing with the little addicting blocks
unfortuantly this lego bonsai is one of my best Laughing

Ok Guys
I think Im going with the grafting plan I have one last question for you all, would you place the grafts on the existing "first branch", (to the left, I think im going to jin the big fat one low)
or just graft everthing to the obvious trunk line? Getting differernt species of juniper here may be a challenge, importing to hawaii is a little tricky. Thanks for all your help, I think Ill be putting some serious effort after xmas into this tree. Oh sorry you guys are all wintering Very Happy

Arno

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Morgan on Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:16 pm

idea???

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Arno on Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:15 pm

thanks morgan

thank you for takeing the time to make a drawing. i was thinking of going somthing like this because i dont really like the long straight
branch that goes to the right and up, plus its way too thick to bend. the movment of the trunk line you propose is possible and very nice,
my question to myself is does that create too much taper too fast? this choice of trunk line wiil require less gragting too. it still makes me sick
to cut the big branches off Suspect but somtimes u gotta do what ya gotta do.

arno

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long awaited update

Post  Arno on Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:45 am

here is the first total styling. ive been working on this tree a little at a time. Some bending here, cutting there. a graft in the back, etc. i have been working from the bottom up, but this is the first styling of the whole tree. It looks good in my yard, but looking at the pics, it looks a little wide on the bottom first branch.All feed back is welcome, its still early in the develpoment.


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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Arno on Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:50 am

another pic for size reference. its not really a traveler Very Happy
also this angle looks a little more balanced

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Precarious on Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:38 pm

Hi Arno,
I don't have any advice or critique- I'm just learning from this and am grateful you are posting pictures and showing the progression.  I purchased a Juniper "Tabletop Blue" from a local nursery simply b/c of the trunk.  It looks much like your tree before you did any work on it, except much smaller- 2.5 to 3" base- so I am studying your work on this one closely.  Mine is very leggy with some straight branches, and all I am doing so far is thinning the foliage to encourage back-budding.   http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t15825-help-make-styling-choice-for-juniper

I am encouraged by the nice curve you created in such a large branch(the one with the strap and buckle).  Did you bend that all at once or progressively?

I am curious if the grafting you mentioned is self-graft or not, and could you show pictures of the union?

If I could trouble you further, could you list any of the things that have worked well so far, and any you might do different?

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Re: Big juniper design help please

Post  Arno on Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:42 pm

Precarious,
yes i bent that big branch progressively, thus the strap and buckle (old surf strap, hehe). I first did the main branch, then wired the top with super thick wire, and crank the top in place, over a couple years. At first i just worked on getting it healthy and getting lots of growth, feed, and feed. I would sit in my chair and stare at it. My first project was the graft you asked about, im no expert, i copied Pavels technique of cross grafting, he has a long running thread on here that shows how. I did a self graft where icurled the long skinny branch in back and crossed it over the big back branch, its grafted but i havent been brave enough to cut it loose from the base. The curl is hiden for now. I dont think there is one right way, alittle of evrrything is required. Truthfully the trim and feed , getting back budding seems to be the most natural way, looks nicest, but thats just my opinion.
thanks for looking
If anybody is still reading, i think it needs some compacting, and a trim on the left? And i need som jin advice, inever carved anything this big, so advice?
?
arno

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Re: Big juniper design help please

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