juniperus squamata options?

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PWC
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juniperus squamata options?

Post by PWC »

I picked up this squamata at the recent South Aust. Bonsai show. It was in a slanted position in the pot at an extremely acute angle, I did a quick re pot to check out the roots. It appeared to be healthy and their was plenty of new growth.

I removed a small amount of both roots and foliage, and some branches to get a better look at the trunk. I have changed it to an upright position and loosely wired until I work out a plan for it's future style.

My initial thought was to reduce the height( possible air layer) to try and get some taper in the trunk. As I have removed 20% of the roots and foliage would it be ok to try a layer this year or leave it until next year?

Any Ides or comments are welcome, how low would you go? or do you think it has much potential at it's current height of aproox 45 cm.

Excuse the orientation not sure why it happens.
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by anthonyW »

Mayby one option for you, looking at your images I think i can see this one leaning away at the start/base which I look for most times when setting up a front then we can bring the top back/over the top...slighly forward or about.

I have reduced the height considerably with deadwood at the top if want some action there other wise cut it off..your call there.

I used your branching here in the rough image, breaking up some padding to give some more dense to it from the same areas, allusion of..you would let some pads ride into others and with some scissor work to slightly contour so it does not give the appearance of left, right left right and so on if you know what i mean...my roughy does not quite show it like I want but?

If you have a branch or two out the back, you can use it for depth, one would be very handy

Mayby something there for you, good luck...cheers Anthony
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by PWC »

anthonyW wrote: October 17th, 2019, 1:08 pm I used your branching here in the rough image, breaking up some padding to give some more dense to it from the same areas, allusion of..you would let some pads ride into others and with some scissor work to slightly contour so it does not give the appearance of left, right left right and so on if you know what i mean...my roughy does not quite show it like I want but?

If you have a branch or two out the back, you can use it for depth, one would be very handy
Thanks for the suggestion Anthony definitely worth consideration. There is a back branch lower down it is not very strong but may be able to be developed.
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by shibui »

Nothing immediately jumps out style wise with this one. Long trunk with almost low taper typical of most fast grown junipers. At least it has a couple of bends to work with. Reducing the height is a good plan because that will help a bit with taper when you raise a new apex. Anthony's idea is as good as any with the tree as shown.
Jin and shari can be utilized to add the illusion of taper in junipers.

If you really want to layer now is as good a time as any. the recent repot and prune should not reduce your chances of success.
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by PWC »

shibui wrote: October 17th, 2019, 9:21 pm If you really want to layer now is as good a time as any. the recent repot and prune should not reduce your chances of success.
Thanks for your reply, the layer is primarily for experience, I have had no success on my 2 previous attempts on other species.
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by terryb »

I'm going to be trying exactly the same thing with a juniper I purchased at last year's show. Will be keen to see how you go so please post your results
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by PWC »

[

Terry, decided to put two layers on, I have decided to shorten the main trunk considerably. the right hand branch at the top will probably become the new leader, although there is a branch behind that will give me another possible option.

The second could make a nice multi trunk over time if successful. Not sure about this one it was only about 6 mm thick and as a beginner I'm not sure what the optimum minimum size for layering.

I'll give an update hopefully positive in the coming months. Post a photo of yours I would be interested to see how you go with your layer.

terryb wrote: October 18th, 2019, 11:38 am Will be keen to see how you go so please post your results

IMG_1292 (Large) (4).JPG
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by terryb »

PWC wrote: October 20th, 2019, 2:40 pm Post a photo of yours I would be interested to see how you go with your layer.
PWC, finally had a chance to get the layer on over the weekend. It is now covered in foil and back in the sun.
20191027_squamata.jpg
20191027_squamata_1.jpg
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by PWC »

terryb wrote: October 28th, 2019, 12:06 pm
PWC, finally had a chance to get the layer on over the weekend. It is now covered in foil and back in the sun.
Very healthy looking specimen Terry, I'm sure it will be a success. :yes:
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by PWC »

Well the layers failed, I probably didn't have enough foliage to support the growth of roots. If they had it would have been a bonus, as I have since read that with Juniper the foliage is very important to maintaining the health of the tree.

The failed layers gone now leaving me with something I hope can be developed into a reasonable tree.
IMG_1773 (Large).JPG

There are 3 branches at the base of the trunk that I am thinking of removing long term and work on developing the top. I may jin the larger of them still early days and things would change if the top section doesn't cooperate. There is a natural shari developing at the base that I would like to be a feature in the future.
IMG_1777 (Large).JPG
IMG_1774 (Large).JPG
IMG_1778 (Large).JPG
As I have had it less that 12 months I have not investigated the roots in detail as yet that will be left until later. Still a long way to go before root reduction.

As usual any ideas or suggestions welcome.
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by terryb »

Sorry to hear that the layers didn't work out for you.
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by PWC »

Part of the learning process Terry, how is yours going?
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by shibui »

The new top looks like it complements the trunk and branch below very well. The pic shows the top branch coming off the trunk at a really good angle to the existing trunk curve and in the opposite direction to that branch below. Both very much positive.
While it is not quite as important in juniper as some other species you should always look at the nebari before starting on styling. It is no use having an excellent trunk if there's one big root sticking straight out the front. That would negate all of the trunk above. I have also found trees where the roots are well down in the pot making the trunk much longer than it appears and making the design above look like a lollipop. Finding the roots is a critical part of bonsai design.
While there are ways to alter the roots I prefer to work with what's there as a first option. I would encourage you to check the surface roots before going too much further. That does not need to be invasive. Just slip the tree out of the pot so you can work and see better then scrape away the surface soil and small roots until you find the thicker roots. The tree will not even notice a few roots being removed. If you only find a single thick root keep working down looking for the closest to a ring of roots or until you chicken out.

Personally I would do a proper root prune before going any further. Contrary to some popular belief, good root pruning can actually stimulate growth. Most of my trees grow far faster and better in the year following root pruning. Spring would be the next optimum time for a thorough root prune for this juniper.
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by PWC »

shibui wrote: May 25th, 2020, 8:18 am While it is not quite as important in juniper as some other species you should always look at the nebari before starting on styling. It is no use having an excellent trunk if there's one big root sticking straight out the front. That would negate all of the trunk above. I have also found trees where the roots are well down in the pot making the trunk much longer than it appears and making the design above look like a lollipop. Finding the roots is a critical part of bonsai design.
There is one largish root at the current soil level facing toward the back. I intend to give it a root prune in spring and remove about 30% and hopefully find a better root spread not too much further down. Then let it grow pretty much untouched for the next 12 months.
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Re: juniperus squamata options?

Post by terryb »

PWC wrote: May 25th, 2020, 7:37 am Part of the learning process Terry, how is yours going?
Separated in February and hasn't missed a beat. Still very bushy. Will need to thin it out a bit to let the light in. Also need to repot, to clean out the sphagnum moss. Have read that roots can be a bit brittle after layering, so have let it recover.
juniper_layer.jpg
I suspect the large foliage mass helped push it along.
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