Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => North American Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: John Kirby on September 01, 2009, 05:17 AM

Title: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on September 01, 2009, 05:17 AM
This is the first RMJ that I purchased from Andy Smith about 8 years ago. I spent a few hours cleaning it up on Saturday, removing the old bark and gunk that filled the spaces between the live wood and the dead. This tree had sever stability and root problems, and about 4 years ago I stood it up and stabilized it with Rebar- one to get the roots secured and two to get the lower deadwood out of the soil to stop the rot. I bought this tree because I really liked the curves and interesting dead/live wood at the top, and at the bottom. However, it is connected by a very dull piece of fire wood and a single lifeline. So the question is- should we style this as a single tree- and any ideas are welcome (slant, cascade?, formal upright, etc) or should I bite the bullet and make two trees out of it? The RMJs and Shimpakus have started growing again with the cool late summer weather we are having this year.... So grafting is a eal possibility.

Tell me what you think.

John
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on September 01, 2009, 05:20 AM
One more pic for good measure
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: King Kong on September 01, 2009, 06:11 AM
John, that thing is scary looking. Any chance of returning back to the mountain for another 200 years of growth?
Maybe remove a chunk, reattach, coil up live vein and plant deeper? Seems like allot of work for a 'skunker' but good practice in case you ever do a hip replacement.  

__gary
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: T-Town Bonsai on September 01, 2009, 08:22 AM
John,
How about grafting roots on the top section and more roots and branches on the bottom?
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on September 01, 2009, 11:01 AM
Kong,
Skunker? Wow, coming from you that is a compliment. Cheers, John
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: AlexV on September 01, 2009, 11:10 AM
I vote for 2 trees.  Even if you remove the deadwood and coil the live vein I don't think the result would be as nice as grafting new roots/foliage and cutting it in half.
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on September 01, 2009, 11:37 AM
John,

I'm having a difficult time seeing two trees in this one.  That's not to say it isn't there, I'm just not able to see it.  You asked, so perhaps you see a second tree?

I would think root graft somewhere in the "red" section of Kong's virt for the main tree.  The remainder I suppose could be grafted with new branches, but that would leave interesting roots, thick deadwood, and branches that would take quite some time to develop.  Then, would they be developed to match the interesting base, or developed to match the thick deadwood?  Would carving be involved?

Interesting tree.  Curious to see your and others thoughts.
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on September 01, 2009, 12:17 PM
Hi John,
I had spoken with Frank about this tree this spring when he was over, he chuckled.

I think the top tree ( a chuhin) is easy to see, cut it where you and kong identified, more or less and lean it over to a semicascade deadwood style tree. When I cleaned it up, I also cleaned the lower branches to get them ready for grafting. So, two root grafts, two approach grafts with shimpaku and +/-5 side veneer grafts of shimpaku.

A second tree involves grafting foliage, approach, above the deadwood/livewood coil. replanting so the root is buried and the coil sits on the soil surface, carving the deadwood to reduce it to a more aesthetically pleasing point. The graft would be kishu shimpaku or itoigawa. Maybe a bit contrived, but most likely worth the effort.

The third tree, is at the end of the straight branch that exits the coil at the top. There is potentially a very nice shohin deadwood style tree that would require a root graft (approach) and then foliage grafted on. This would be the bonus tree.

By priority, the approach would be to get the chuhin first, get the shohin second, and if it works make the base into a bizarre coiled tree.

Any other ideas?
John
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on September 01, 2009, 12:24 PM
Oh, one final point, for those of you who wonder why going to Boon's for intensives to work "on his trees" is worth the time and cost, we do this kind of work (although Boon would say we start with beter material in his classes...) . I am sure that Mike Hagedorn will do this in his "seasonals" series, Colin Lewis does at Ho Yoku, etc. Seeing this in a book or on a DVD can be pretty impressive, doing it in class, or on your own,  is downright cool.

if it doesn't work, I will have a log for the fire.

John
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: King Kong on September 01, 2009, 01:23 PM
Kong,
Skunker? Wow, coming from you that is a compliment. Cheers, John

Yamadori bonsai material known in the elite collector's circle as a 'skunker' is either a tree dug by a hyperventilating rookie or if you had a frustrating day and you refuse to go home without a tree or if you promised your best friend if he promised to stay home you would bring him back a tree or you just dig every thing in a 100 yard radius from work vehicle no matter what it looks like.
The 'alien' was born free so return it to the mountains so it can live free. You can even have a little camp out party in pup tents if you so desire.

__ gary
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: steve on September 01, 2009, 01:36 PM
I think intense carving is in order. I like seeing the tree left whole and then hollowing out the deadwood, even to the point of removing it all in some places.  A few voids in the shari and the right rock (I'm thinking 'L' shaped) slipped under the tree for support and you have a winner.
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on September 01, 2009, 01:55 PM
Kong,
I guess calling Andy a rookie is in your range of thoughts.  Guess, what I'll style the tree and you can go on doing whatever it is that you do when you aren't doing whatever it is that you are doing. Or don't, Cheers.
John
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on September 01, 2009, 01:57 PM
Hi John,
I had spoken with Frank about this tree this spring when he was over, he chuckled.

I think the top tree ( a chuhin) is easy to see, cut it where you and kong identified, more or less and lean it over to a semicascade deadwood style tree. When I cleaned it up, I also cleaned the lower branches to get them ready for grafting. So, two root grafts, two approach grafts with shimpaku and +/-5 side veneer grafts of shimpaku.

A second tree involves grafting foliage, approach, above the deadwood/livewood coil. replanting so the root is buried and the coil sits on the soil surface, carving the deadwood to reduce it to a more aesthetically pleasing point. The graft would be kishu shimpaku or itoigawa. Maybe a bit contrived, but most likely worth the effort.

The third tree, is at the end of the straight branch that exits the coil at the top. There is potentially a very nice shohin deadwood style tree that would require a root graft (approach) and then foliage grafted on. This would be the bonus tree.

By priority, the approach would be to get the chuhin first, get the shohin second, and if it works make the base into a bizarre coiled tree.

Any other ideas?
John


John,

Thanks for the description.  I can more easily see the 3rd bonus tree now (I think), and the description of the second sounds like it will work nicely.  Of course, tree #1 will be outstanding as well.
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: King Kong on September 01, 2009, 03:30 PM
Kong,
I guess calling Andy a rookie is in your range of thoughts.  Guess, what I'll style the tree and you can go on doing whatever it is that you do when you aren't doing whatever it is that you are doing. Or don't, Cheers.
John

Ok John, the tree is simply beautiful. Oh by the way, would you name your dog 'Alien' if you wanted to take him to a dog show someday?

__gary
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on September 01, 2009, 04:00 PM
No, it is not the best tcan be in the current configuration- but that is why we do the work? I figured I'd chum in something with the "alien" moniker.
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: King Kong on September 01, 2009, 04:38 PM
I read you loud and....well clear... I guess but that is you doing what you are doing. I hope it gets done because there is hidden beauty in this tree and I am trying hard to help you help the tree. By the way, Taiwan is looking for a logo tree for their big show coming up. Maybe the 'Alien' or the 'Aliens' could make their debut.   __gary
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: bwaynef on October 25, 2011, 08:40 AM
So...  What'd you decide?
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on October 25, 2011, 01:04 PM
Is alive, survived the move to CT and appears to be flourishing. Will be grafted in the spring (for two trees)after it starts to grow. John
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: Yenling83 on October 26, 2011, 02:43 PM
Glad to hear John.  I think you have two really nice trees here, esp in the top section!  I love the crazy movement/twist in that top section. Will be nice to see these in down the road.   
Title: Re: "The Alien"; One Rocky Mtn Juniper, or two?
Post by: John Kirby on April 16, 2013, 01:17 PM
So Boon was out for a few days and we did some more grafting of Shimpaku on to the Alien- and others (10 total). So, we hope to end up with two trees, a twisty semi cascade from the top, roots and foliage (Itoigawa) grafted in place. After cleaning up the base roots and foliage were graftedd tp give one pf those contorted "you would never see this in the wild" shapes that are so much fun. We will see how it develops over the coming year.