My first bonsai from nursery stock

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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby Raging Bull » April 18th, 2017, 6:32 pm

Here's a pic taken today of my juniper chinesis similar to yours. As you can see the jack is still in place and every few days I give it a couple more turns. I've also been pinching out the tips and am pleased with the foliage thickening.
Keep going with yours, I think you make it into a nice tree with perseverance. :tu2:
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby greggles » April 18th, 2017, 7:53 pm

Thanks for putting up the updated pics.

Did some work to the apex this arvo and got another 3 branches out of it and a small new leader by bending the apex as suggested. Pretty happy with the results, I think I did it right. I've attached a pic.

Also attached some pics of the wiring on the bottom branches is that right or are they two fanned out? Just not sure how to get the really dense folliage pads.

Cheers Greg ImageImageImage

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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby shibui » April 18th, 2017, 9:26 pm

I would normally echo the trunk shape in the branches of my bonsai.
Before your trunk was straight so the straight branches complimented it.
Now you have a curved trunk but branches are still dead straight. To me that does not look right. When bending branches I try to make asymmetric bends ie not all the same size bends. Try for some randomness instead. 3D bends are important - up and down as well as side to side.
When putting side to side bends you will probably find you'll need to take out a few of the side branchlets, esp inside the bends.
I am still trying to come to terms with arranging sub branches. Best I can advise is for some random movement. Some a little more up than others to give some depth to the pad. Don't be frightened to bring a few smaller ones into the centre of the pad to give better depth and fullness to the branch.
the next element you need is time. The shoots need time to shoot out and grow a bit. ongoing pinching and growing will fill out these branches better than all the wiring in the world.
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby greggles » April 18th, 2017, 11:07 pm

shibui wrote:I would normally echo the trunk shape in the branches of my bonsai.
Before your trunk was straight so the straight branches complimented it.
Now you have a curved trunk but branches are still dead straight. To me that does not look right. When bending branches I try to make asymmetric bends ie not all the same size bends. Try for some randomness instead. 3D bends are important - up and down as well as side to side.
When putting side to side bends you will probably find you'll need to take out a few of the side branchlets, esp inside the bends.
I am still trying to come to terms with arranging sub branches. Best I can advise is for some random movement. Some a little more up than others to give some depth to the pad. Don't be frightened to bring a few smaller ones into the centre of the pad to give better depth and fullness to the branch.
the next element you need is time. The shoots need time to shoot out and grow a bit. ongoing pinching and growing will fill out these branches better than all the wiring in the world.

Thanks for the advice and I totally agree about putting bends in the branches. I thought I'd wait till the raffia comes off to further bend the branches because yesterday I noticed my second branch was partially snapped at the joint. This was due to a snap in the exact spot last year that I thought was fully healed but must of re snapped with all the bending. A bit scared it will happen to the others as all the joints are pretty upright and bending them down is quite difficult. Especially when I can't really see the joint cause of the raffia. Hope I'm making sense.

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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby shibui » April 19th, 2017, 7:03 pm

but must of re snapped with all the bending
this is a problem that all of us have experienced. The break has healed on the outside but is still weak inside. Always be aware of places where the tree has cracked before because they will always be weaker than the rest of the tree.
That aside, it should not stop you from bending the branches in other places. Just don't put stress on that spot.
If worst comes you just change the design of the tree :D
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby Jag001 » April 19th, 2017, 8:43 pm

.
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby Jag001 » April 19th, 2017, 8:43 pm

Greggles,

just wanted to drop a quick note and say well done on transforming what was a pretty ordinary initial design, into something that has a pretty sound skeleton to develop into a nice little tree in the future. I applaud you for listening to the comments and advice you have been given and taking it on board and pushing yourself (i suspect past your comfort zone).

Shibui has been spot on with his comments about putt some bends into the branches.

If I were to make one comment about your tree so far, that would be, I would be thinning out the top branches a little and trying to carry a little more foliage on the lower branches. At this stage it appears that all of your branches are of very similar thickness. Thinning the foliage will slow the development of that branch slightly and carrying more foliage will help the branch thicken a little quicker.

The whole idea being that the lower branches become thicker and each branch slightly thinner the higher up the tree it is.

cheers,
Jeff
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby Dibbo » April 20th, 2017, 2:09 pm

Hi Guys,
Picking up juniper nursery stock seems like reaching epidemic proportions. I too have done the same purchasing a Juniper chinensis (at least that is what the label says). I repotted and left it a year before attacking it. Had never attempted a formal upright before so this was the tree to be experimented upon. Tried to follow the rules with left, right, rear all the way to the top but not sure how it will go. Also hope to keep it masculine therefore straight branches. Hoping now for some trunk thickness. I left a large bottom branch (covered up in the last pic) in the hope that this will help develop trunk thickness.

Before (a) (1 of 1).jpg

Before (b) (1 of 1).jpg

Sacrificial branch (1 of 1).jpg

Juniper chinensis (1 of 1).jpg
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby bodhidharma » April 20th, 2017, 4:30 pm

I think it is Juniperis chinensis "blue star" and if it is you might find the foliage difficult to refine for Bonsai.
"Advice is rarely welcome, and the one's who need it the most welcome it the least"
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby greggles » April 20th, 2017, 4:40 pm

bodhidharma wrote:I think it is Juniperis chinensis "blue star" and if it is you might find the foliage difficult to refine for Bonsai.

Yeah mine is a blue star and have been finding foliage difficult as said in previous posts. However I must admit it folliage pada look a lot better in person than in photos. I definitely wouldn't suggest a blue star after seeing the folliage density of the stock at the bonsai south nursery.

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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby greggles » April 22nd, 2017, 1:03 pm

Hey all,

Just an update after what I think will be the final wiring for now. I'm pretty happy with the progress i have made thanks to all your feed back. So thank you every one.

Slightly slanting branches and some sharp bends in them to bring folliage closer to trunk.

Finding it hard to take photos that actually look good but here's a couple.

Cheers

Greg

Image

Image
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby Dibbo » April 22nd, 2017, 1:46 pm

A great looking tree, well done.
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby Raging Bull » April 22nd, 2017, 7:43 pm

Yeah, looking a lot better :tu2: . Now is the time to apply a lot of patience. ;)
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby greggles » May 7th, 2017, 10:56 am

Hi all,

Another update.

Unfortunately the lower right branch seem to be dying off/dead. Found this unusual considering I heard no cracks when bending that branch.

I guess the good news is that if that one dies it's just a new look for the tree as the bottom left will now be the start of the branches.

Cheers

Greg
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Re: My first bonsai from nursery stock

Postby shibui » May 7th, 2017, 7:54 pm

This seems to happen with junipers. The branch does not need to break to cause it. I suspect that the bending loosens the bark from the cambium, especially if you bend the branch several times or in different directions.
:imo: losing that lowest branch will improve your tree. I think it is far too close to the ground to make a good looking tree anyway.
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