Juniper of some sort

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Juniper of some sort

Post  Velodog2 on Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:39 am

Here is a juniper that I have had for probably 15 yrs now. It's best attribute up till now has been that it has survived. I posted some pics of it on the previous website in a rather hopeless "style". No one at that time had any suggestions for improvement. Last fall late one sunday morning after staying out way too late the previous night I dragged it to my workshop and turned it 180 degrees and did what needed to be done. Today I cleaned up the foliage and further wired some branches. I have no recollection of the variety but the foliage is quite poor for a bonsai. It is very ragged and open and tends to grow in one plane, which then twists irregularly. I may someday learn to graft shimpaku using this tree. Oh, and this is my first attempt at posting pics with this new site, so we will see how this goes. Any comments are welcome, but please be gentle!


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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  Cliff on Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:34 am

I like the overall shape, but I'm not fond of that shark fin jin at the first bend, and I think the foliage should point up. Foliage grows towards the light, even when the branch is bent down.

BTW, the photo would turn out better if you turn off the overhead lamp and use the camera flash, or photograph it outside in daylight so that the tree is evenly lit.

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:01 pm

I'd try to overhead light AND the flash. Flash alone makes ugly pictures.

I don't remember your earlier posts, but I think you have a nice tree here. How large is it?

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  DaveP on Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:07 pm

I'm agreeing with Cliff's "shark fin" comment. I'd reduce the size of that jin significantly, but not turn it into a uro. That wouldn't seem natural in my opinion. I particularly like the way the roots harmonize with the trunk line and the container. It works well to convey the image of a old, weather-beaten tree struggling for survival. The branches work well to continue this feeling. To that end, I'm not so sure I'd graft on shimpaku foliage. The foliage it has now - at least as much as this photo shows - does convey a sense of age and struggle, where shimpau would not. At least not easily to my eyes.

Kindest~
-d

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:21 am

FIRST STEP: Double the amount of foliage to become a good bonsai.

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  DaveP on Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:04 pm

shimsuki wrote:FIRST STEP: Double the amount of foliage to become a good bonsai.

I don't understand this. That would seem counterintuitive to this particular style and given the visual weight of the trunk & branches.

Kindest~
-d

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  Guest on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:33 am

DaveP wrote:I don't understand this. That would seem counterintuitive to this particular style and given the visual weight of the trunk & branches.

Even with the way this juniper is styled, it still needs some tight foliage pads.

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  Garykk on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:54 am

It has a runaway apex. I would remove the top 'pig tail' branch and wire as such........ssssssnip. affraid

__gary


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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  Velodog2 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:08 pm

Firstly, I appreciate all of the comments and critiques! It is fascinating and surprisingly scary to open my 'work' up for others to look at. Hearing 'nice tree' from Jim is pretty amazing! BTW Jim the tree is about 20" tall. That little jin spike will disappear eventually.

The comment from DaveP regarding the foliage being appropriate to the style was quite interesting and valid to an extent I think. However the idea of tighter foliage pads, if not more foliage, was where I was going with the grafting idea, as what is on this tree currently will never ever become 'tight'. It will be a challenge just to make and keep it looking tidy.

Gary I have never heard the term 'runaway apex' before but I'm guessing you mean one that is too long - thus the coiling. I think it works reasonably well with the loop in the apex echoing the curve in the branch below it somewhat. The virtual is great tho. I really like it and am interested in seeing what others think. It changes the tree substantially, making it seem maybe less exaggerated or cartoonish. Unfortunately I think it would require foliage where there currently is none so it would not be a short term change.

I have a tendency to style conifers with a dropped apex like this juniper. I haven't seen a term for it. I have two Ponderosas styled this way. I guess I like the way it imparts age and brings the design back into itself while making a neat and maintenance free apex. One of the Ponderosas is amazingly like this juniper actually, except sort of straightened and stretched up to about 3'. It's amazingly elegant I think and a tree I will probably post here eventually.

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  DaveP on Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:25 pm

Now I understand where you were going with grafting the shimpaku. I agree that if it's kept light and minimal, the shimpaku foliage would work pretty well. My fear there is that you'd almost end up with pom-poms on the end of branches, which would ruin the aged feeling. With Gary's virtual (and a little less on the lower right branch), this could be very effective without looking contrived.

I like this tree very much and would enjoy seeing it progress further!

Kindest~
-d

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  John Quinn on Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:29 pm

I like Gary's virtual, but now the apex is leaning away from the viewer...rotating it +/- 180 degrees would be a consideration.

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  Velodog2 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:32 pm

Ah no actually now that I see what Gary intended, the apex would not be leaning away from the viewer at all. Initially I thought the current apex was being brought up and to the right, but he is taking one half of the right hand branch and bringing it up, and removing the original apex, thus the 'snip'. Hmmmm. This is actually quite a spindly branch that would need to be grown on a bit to make a proper apex. I will see what the junction of the right branch with the trunk looks like to see if the transition could be made smoothly. It would not be difficult or dangerous to temporarily move that branch up into the position he shows, as it is very flexible. Interesting possibility!

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Re: Juniper of some sort

Post  Velodog2 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:10 am

Yes, this is pretty doable. The branch emerges from the back of the trunk, so there would be some sort of residual jin/shari in the front at the junction, but the angle of emergence is good and diameter change is fairly smooth. The new apex branch is a little long yet and would need some back budding of foliage to work as well as the virtual, but not a lot. I'm going to print that pic out and keep it for future reference - thanks again Gary. I must say that I am somewhat less happy with the current apex at this point, but in no hurry to abandon it yet. There is still room for refinement of the foliage and shape. Thank you all for your support and I will keep you up to date!

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Re: Juniper of some sort

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