Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => North American Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Chrisl on August 02, 2012, 12:48 PM

Title: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 02, 2012, 12:48 PM
I've waited a yr to get a nice RMJ from A. Smith.  He sent me this pic, and I loved it.  He's bringing it to the Midwest show for me in a couple wks.  Collected in '09.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: bigDave on August 07, 2012, 11:11 PM
Lucky...

Chrisl, would it be rude to ask what that puppy set you back? 

If so ...say mind your own beezwax big d..
 ;D
.just wondering
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Jason E on August 07, 2012, 11:16 PM
awsome chris, looks great!
have fun.

jason
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 08, 2012, 11:46 AM
Thanks Jason, I'm counting down the days now till the show starts and Andy brings me the tree lol  Btw, I like both the Pondy and the Azalea you're looking at.  For me, I'd go with the Pondy as Azaleas are very labor intensive, and sensitive to weather temps...which might not be a problem for you though in  Seattle.

Dave, I know many who don't like to say, but I'm not one of them.  It helps others I think, to put a value on bonsais, in seeing if they can afford something similar.  I paid $950.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 10, 2012, 10:46 AM
Well, I just found out that a PP I bought last Dec from Jim Doyle died from this summers heat (he was going to bring it to our show for me as it didn't fit in my car)  So I told Andy that I wasn't going to get his tree and apologized profusely as I didn't know.  But with the credit I had, this RMJ was the same price as Andy's.  Very different trees.

Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: bigDave on August 11, 2012, 10:05 PM


Dave, I know many who don't like to say, but I'm not one of them.  It helps others I think, to put a value on bonsais, in seeing if they can afford something similar.  I paid $950.
Or what to charge...wink


thnks ;D
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 12, 2012, 12:19 PM
Well do you all think I made the right decision with going with this second tree?  It measures pot rim to top 48". 

And glad to be of assistant Dave!

Chris
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Jason E on August 12, 2012, 01:30 PM
Like you said, very different trees.
The second one looks to be more challenging but w/ all that great deadwood i'm sure you'll be able to get something very nice out of it.
is the first one not an option any longer?

Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: John Kirby on August 12, 2012, 03:41 PM
Interesting choice. Can't wait to see what you do with it, a number of options, very different kind of tree.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Judy on August 12, 2012, 05:33 PM
I like the second one, but I really did like the first one a lot!  I'll have to keep my eye on Andy's stuff I guess. 
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 12, 2012, 07:14 PM
Like you said, very different trees.
The second one looks to be more challenging but w/ all that great deadwood i'm sure you'll be able to get something very nice out of it.  is the first one not an option any longer?

That's what I figured too.  And unless I can come up with the extra cash, prob. not.

Interesting choice. Can't wait to see what you do with it, a number of options, very different kind of tree.

The fact that's it's very different is why I like it so.  I'm going to get Peter Warren's take on it this weekend.  My thoughts so far are  what with the large trunk base, it can accomodate that large jin , though I'd prob. reduce it a bit, making it a bit more elegant looking.  Or make the tree much smaller for a more masculine/powerful looking tree.  It'll be fun to see where I end up going.

I like the second one, but I really did like the first one a lot!  I'll have to keep my eye on Andy's stuff I guess. 

Likewise Judy!  The first one was very nice, but 'kinda' normal, if you say that about a tree lol  Andy, like most of our better
bonsai nurseries have much more on hand than you'd expect.  My fantastic JBP I got the same way, spoke to the nursery, said what I was looking for, and my budget.  It's just that my 'budget' is always a bit blown by the end lol


Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 22, 2012, 12:42 PM
Well, here is the tree after a workshop with Peter Warren

Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Jason E on August 22, 2012, 10:04 PM
Nice, any plans in mind for this?
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 23, 2012, 02:12 AM
Well, I first have to finish styling and wiring it, with the vision that Peter and I envisioned. ;) Long term plans are to continue to develop the primary branching, as well as establish more layered, and denser foliage pads.  The main fault of this tree is there are no live veins in the front despite all the great dead wood.  So I hope to add more depth to the overall design.  And most importantly, keep it happy and thriving and deadwood intact.

And speaking of wiring, I'm really proud of the success I've made in my wiring work.  Much better consistency, efficiently ,  and effectiveness....this is definitely the best wiring I've done so far...which is strange in that Peter also helped me style a small Shimpaku, which I wired recently and it was embarrassingly 'not good' lol  Pressure and concentration helped a lot lol
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: John Kirby on August 23, 2012, 07:55 AM
Too bad about the lifeline, but that s just the way it is sometimes. It actually looks like this could easily be two trees, but one would need to see how the roots are structured. When you get a chance, and this is coming from the world's worst photographer so a grain of salt can be applied, could you get a photo from farther back so we can see the whole tree? Pardon the expression, but I have a few of these "pecker pole" trees, not an RMJ but Ponderosas and Blue spruce. They can be made into stunning bonsai, a friend has a blue spruce called the 'One-Armed Bandit' that is a single branch emerging from the trunk with the dead wood rising up. I also put the base styling on - blue spruce twin trunk with a deadwood trunk. When I said the choice of this tree was interesting, I really meant it. This tree is going to be difficult, but if done right, could be quite excellent. The question is, is there a way to get a front that has that very lovely lifeline popping up out of the ground near the front? I am sure that you and Peter had that conversation, only time will tell.

Nice to hear about the wiring, keep at it, it is like golf- you have to practice correctly to be good and just when you think you have it down- water hazard!
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 23, 2012, 07:53 PM
John, love the golf analogy, very funny!...and True! lol

I will get some better pics of the overall tree and some close ups. 

Yeah, I wasn't sure if your earlier was positive or not lol  But it IS interesting, and what I liked most about the tree.  But I agree,  it will be a challenge to reach the tree's fullest potential.  But unfort. the live veins are supported by a younger root system.  You'll see what I mean when I post the pics.  Speaking of this tree's live vein structure, Peter said the tree prob. would've been worth several thousand dollars more if it had a live vein in the front.  Not all tree's are perfect lol
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on August 30, 2012, 12:43 PM
Sorry of no update yet. Have had only limited time each night recently to work on trees.  I'll get it wired and reshoot the photo. I haven't forgotten
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on September 02, 2012, 11:22 AM
Ok. I finally finished the wiring. Unfortunately the new apex branch was accidently broken bY Peter during the demo. But fort there was a second close branch that tools its place.  The front shot shows the triangle shape being formed the central area of foliage mass, and another triangle for the branching off to the right.  From the side view you can see all the live foliage/life veins are in the rear of the tree and that the tree leans forward. Peter said if there were livE veins in front, the tree would've been another $1k or more in price.  But said it could still be a fantastic tree if I get it to grow healthy and strong. So with the tree bending forward, young roots supporting the live vein in the back makes making the present back the new front won't work.

The long term plans are
1. Leave it in that pot for sev more years
2. Grow out the foliage pads for density and forward to frame the deadwood while keeping the two triangular shaped Apexes separated with some dead space.
3. Let it grow untouched for the next 2-3 yrs and trim back only a little. Repeat. The key is to remove foliage very slowly to prevent juvenile foliage.  
4. When the time comes for potting it, nix the round mica pot for a slightly larger rectangular pot, about 2/3 the depth of the present pot, and choose one with soft edges.

Ok. Weird. The 'choose file' is greyed out so I can't upload pics off my iPad. My laptop is in for repair so I can't use that. Must be something about using an iPad as I've never seen this before. I'll try again on a separate entry.

Edit. Apparently you can't upload pics from ipad...strange.  Borrowed my partners macbook to get to post the pics. 

Front, back, left side, right side

Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on September 02, 2012, 12:05 PM
Wrong identification above, it's the rear view, front view, left side and right side.

Below are the front nebari, back nebari
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Walter_Pall on September 02, 2012, 04:00 PM
Chris,

this looks fine to me and sounds like a good plan. I think you made the right choice. This will be a great tree.
Regarding the pot you cold also consider placing the thing on a long very flat stone. This would be quite dramatic.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on September 02, 2012, 07:58 PM
Thanks Walter. I also think this will be a great tree if I can pull it off lol.  And, I love this tree.  It's quite unique and has great lines.  I'm looking forward to both the bonsai and horticultural challenges ahead.

A lg. slab would look very cool.  Funny timing, I've been experimenting making a med sized slab for a jap maple planned forest planting.  I've got plenty of time in all my projects before I get there  lol
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: dre on September 14, 2012, 10:47 AM
i would of stood with the first one from andy
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on September 14, 2012, 11:43 AM
It's all comes down to personal tastes I guess.  I'm very happy with my choice.

Speaking of which, it's doing just fine after the styling.  No lost or dying branches, so seems to have tolerated this styling well. 
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: dre on September 14, 2012, 01:58 PM
very true but i'm just saying that would of been my choice very nice turn out any how
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Jason E on June 09, 2013, 12:32 AM
Any updates on this one Chris? Did you get it all wired out yet?

Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on June 09, 2013, 10:36 AM
Hi Jason, Thanks for asking.  I did finish the wiring I wanted done last Sept.  This last week, so far I've spent about 8 hrs so far trimming the bushy juvenile foliage and fine wiring the rest of the tree.  It was growing mature foliage the beginning of the season, but I had a touch of tip blight fungus, and the wind blew it off my stand.  It's so root bound though, nothing came out exc. a little soil.  But one of these insults, made it revert to juvenile foliage, and the new growth just exploded.  So I'd say I have 1/3-1/2 of the tree wired. 

I'll take some shots today of it.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: John Kirby on June 09, 2013, 01:08 PM
Root bound, wired and fertilized = juvenile foliage. Wiring juvenile foliage will tend to keep it juvenile.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: coh on June 09, 2013, 11:49 PM
Disclaimer up front: I have never worked with RMJ, and haven't (yet) dealt with significant amounts of juvenile foliage on a juniper.

That said - the issue of juvenile foliage on RMJ came up today during a demo by Ryan Neil at the International Bonsai Colloquium in Rochester. I'm pretty sure his comment was that the tree had to be allowed to "grow out" of the juvenile foliage phase...that if you pruned it off you'd you'd only encourage additional juvenile foliage. I'm interested in hearing if that matches what others have observed about the problem?

Chris
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on June 10, 2013, 10:22 AM
Chris, I too had heard that.  But I emailed Peter Warren who advised me to trim back and wire the fine branches we didn't do last yr.  And John, I got the tree from Jim Doyle who told me that junipers like being root bound and not to repot till 2015, so I just water, then come back and water again to make sure I water all the roots.

For those interested, here's Peter's email and rationale:  

It may be worth wiring some of the branches that are drooping up to
face the sun, this will enable them to get more strength and push
through the juvenile stage quicker.  If the branches are pretty strong
and upward facing, then leave them be for a while.  What I would
recommend is not allowing it to grow too much into a bush before
pruning back, never get into the cycle of juvenile - over grown bush -
hack back - juvenile - overgrown bush..

....Prune back the tips as long as the growth behind it has active growing
tips, they will be light green and look healthy and alive.  Cut back
so the branch looks more like a circle than a long shoot...if that
make sense.  Compare it to older foliage much further inside the tree
to see the difference. If it is growing strong then you can cut back
fairly hard with no worries, but don't remove all of the juvenile
foliage. at a node where you have lots of juvenile shoots, thin it out
so rather than having six or seven, there should be three or four.
You have to let it grow out but you can't let it grow out too much to
become a bush.

And it had become very bushy, even my other half commented on it looking like a Christmas tree. lol
So, two different opinions, so I followed Peter's instructions.

I guess I'll find out in time.  I finished trimming and wiring (15 hrs I'd say...but boy am I getting MUCH better at wiring!).  As promised here's what it looks like.  I ran out of light, so I still have to tweak the branches placement.  And when someone I know comes to town, we're going to cut the live vein and bring it to the front which will make the tree much nicer.

Edit:  I removed two of the baskets after this shot.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: John Kirby on June 11, 2013, 07:17 AM
It doesn't look real happy, is it getting unrestricted (other than from the cloudy weather) full sun? It hardly looks bushy, so Letting t grow out of the Juvenile foliage is the right approach. If you "tip it", AKA pinch it, at this stage you will continue to see the stress response that juvenile foliage represents.  Root bound on a Collected juniper can be good, it means tat they have grown new roots. The tricky part is determining when root bound goes from an asset to less than an asset.

Rocky Mountain foliage can be very tricky if you live in less than optimal conditions (like Connecticut), it will work its way through it.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on June 11, 2013, 09:20 AM
Thanks John.  It's been very happy, full sun and great growth this spring.  I'm pretty sure it was the overdose of osmocote that made it convert as I also put  in a relatively lg. Itoigawa that has/had nothing but mature foliage for over a yr.  I noticed yesterday, 2 tips that have converted to juvenile foliage.  I removed 2 and watered the heck out of it.  I'm going to foliar feed the RMJ and the Itoigawa today.

Here was a picture of the RMJ before I trimmed and wired:
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on June 13, 2013, 02:50 PM
I spoke with Peter again about the differing opinion.  I don't think I totally understood what he was telling me to do, but here is his reply:

That was a bit of a drastic prune to be honest. You should never remove more than 30% of growth at one time otherwise you will just get more juvenile. The idea is to allow it to grow through the juvenile stage but not get out of shape too much, and to control the  juveile growth so that it is channelling all the energy into branches that will remain on the tree rather than get mature foliage on seven/eight branches and then cut it back to three or four.

Just wanted to clarify the situation.
Chris
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: John Kirby on June 13, 2013, 06:54 PM
I think Peter and I are in complete agreement. Watch the water and fertilizer, in full sun if should pop back just fine. Takes a couple of years to manage the juvenile foliage. Don't worry, I bet sost everyone here has done something just like this in their journey. I for one have. It will be fine, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: My First RMJ
Post by: Chrisl on June 13, 2013, 07:05 PM
Thanks John!  Makes me feel a bit better, so I appreciate sharing your experiences with me ;)

I've left only one osmocote on it, and don't plan on using my 'aggressive fert program' either.  I got it in a great spot in full sun.  And if it takes a couple yrs to revert to mature foliage, that's fine, I just needed to know what to expect.  What's funny was I was just starting to think I was being more patient this yr.  But apparently I still have issues to work out LOL