Juniper styling advice

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Juniper styling advice

Postby Rustyck » December 2nd, 2018, 1:51 pm

Hi all,
I picked this one up a while ago and it was more of a learning stock, so was probably my first attempt of wiring.

Not sure on where I want to go with this one, ie continue with the semi cascade or Jin it and go with an informal upright. (Potting angle sucks, finished potting up and looked at it a week later and wanted to change it but it has sat there and will change at the next pot)


It’s about time for some work on this so figured i would reach out re potential styling advice. And will be removing the wire at the same time

Thanks in advance all.

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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby anthonyW » December 2nd, 2018, 3:08 pm

Hi mate, firstly your tree looks nice and healthy so very good start, next there are many ways to design a conifer, but looking at your initial start there is a design in your tree, so lets run with it.
Having a good look you have all the parts, every thing is numbered to keep it easy to what you have on your tree as I can see, as for foliage/branching out the back you will select some and keep some for depth and health, remember conifer physiology is different to many other trees, they say the foliage is its root system so go steady when thinning pads.

Okay you need heavier wire to make it dance, as you can see I inked the branching to move sideways and heading up kinking all directions if ever so slightly for more interest, but definitely up on NO 1 branch, that branch is vital to integrity of your design I think, as for branches 2 & 3 you will start them up initially then bring them down ever so slightly, NO 4 The trunk kink left and right... moving away at the start then the top will works its way back when desired height is reached to the centre line or about, line not over main trunk don t get confused there.
As this design is a heavy bias to my right viewing.

You have made a good start, take your time this will not happen in a season or two or three... good luck and hope that it all makes sense.

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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby shibui » December 2nd, 2018, 4:01 pm

Hi Rusty,
Before offering much advice I'd like to see the other sides of this tree. maybe you've picked the best view but there just might be something else you have not spotted from another angle.

First thoughts: From your chosen front there's a low branch coming toward the front which blocks the view of the lower trunk. That bothers me a bit. Just because there is a branch doesn't mean you have to use it in the design. Branch cutters were invented to get rid of problem branches and, especially on junipers, dead wood can be very effective design feature.

Second point: It seems that the top of this tree is going away toward the back of the tree. Bonsai design is usually much more effective when the top of the tree is slightly toward the front view.

Both these points lead me to want to look at the other side of this tree to see if the trunk would allow us to design a tree which has a lower rear branch and with the apex toward the front.

Anthony's points about wiring are great. Wire is not there just to look good. It is there specifically to shape the branches. If the branches have not been bent then there's no point in having the wire on.
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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby Rustyck » December 2nd, 2018, 6:27 pm

Thanks Anthony and Shibui,

The wire was on and was shaping and there was a guy wire tying the right branch down, but no longer needed so I will be removing soon.

I was tempted to repot with a lean to the left raising the right branch. And I 100% agree about that front branch Shibui, what I had in my head did not turn out at all (happens a lot)

Here’s some other shots to assist, there is a bend from the left view that causes some reverse taper sadly inherited from the nursery, probs why it was a cheap one to test on haha. see below

Left
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Back

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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby Rustyck » December 2nd, 2018, 6:38 pm

To show a bit more base structure this is what the poor stick looked like

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Definitely would have taken a different approach now, but was after a test wire tree. It’s sat to the side for too long now, needs some love.



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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby shibui » December 2nd, 2018, 8:08 pm

The extra photos show some extra things. Reverse taper in the trunk is definitely a fault and the trunk does look better from the side you've chosen. Reverse taper could be overcome - either produce roots above that area which will shorten the trunk a few cm or make some shari to disguise the problem area.
There's still lots of possibilities with this tree from the side you have shown in the earlier photos;
1. For an upright tree follow Anthony's plan.
2. For a windswept tree use Anthony's design but wire any remaining branches toward the right.
Please note how much Anthony's virt shows the branches have been shortened. Branches are currently way too long.
3. For a cascade remove the entire upper trunk or use it for dead wood. The lower front branch which is currently a problem could become the main trunk and should give some added bends because it moves forward as well as sideways. You'd probably need to repot at an angle to get best advantage. If that branch doesn't work the second low branch would also make a good cascade leader. I'd put plenty of random bends into it to show a tree that has struggled and regrown over many years. Bends will reduce the length of current straight, bare section in that branch.
4. For semi cascade also remove most or all of the upper trunk and just use one of the strong lower branches and maybe a smaller branch from the upper trunk.
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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby PeachSlices » December 3rd, 2018, 12:11 am

could a shari up the trunk fix the reverse taper issue?

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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby anthonyW » December 3rd, 2018, 11:17 am

Yes this can help plus a gentle trunk split another alternate,...but not now as the tree needs all tissue in tact to grow as the tree is quite young, the bottom branch that I put cross on in image 2 needs to go at least as now i can see from the back image, it is a bar branch and it will make it worse if not removed or if not keen on the direction i have given the other one.. but this area must be addressed straight away.... once one or the other is removed the tree could grow this out as it looks quite low to soil level and not really that bad, my take from images Simon hope that helps mate and Neil's ideas from his vast experience...cheers
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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby Rustyck » December 3rd, 2018, 3:44 pm

Thank you Anthony! I like your ideas.

I’ll sit it down and look it over (probably going to follow your advice.

The interesting part is that branch 1 is as thick as the trunk going upwards

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Back view,
The trunk come out the back of that branch.

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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby logonutility » December 3rd, 2018, 5:16 pm

Thank for the informative article with graphics
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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby anthonyW » December 3rd, 2018, 5:24 pm

Okay let Neil have another look to see which one should go, I can not spell it out any more, at least one must go :imo: and while we at it your exposed roots need to be covered, or you might loose them with our vicious sun with burn off, this will help promote better surface roots for much later and hopefully help fatten the base, build it up as your pot already looks flooded, you can it hold down with mesh, gauze or my lazy way rocks pebbles and careful watering...hang in there I know its not easy :tu: ,...just wait for Neil for another opinion/idea like I said and others to maybe? :)

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Its starting take off, so I don t want to disturb the roots. when I cut back, I ll sink it lower and a slightly bigger pot, very lazy way but for now
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Re: Juniper styling advice

Postby Rustyck » December 3rd, 2018, 5:40 pm

Nice, thanks again Anthony.
Oh, I will be following your virt and advice on this one!

Thanks again all!


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