Species Specific > North American Juniper Bonsai Discussion

My Rocky Mountain Juniper

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Dave Murphy:
So, Walter's critique of the tree was brief and to the point.  His biggest issue with the tree was that the canopy in the current design was drawing the eye away from the natural deadwood.  His suggestions included reducing the apex by one half, as well as shortening/reducing the foliage on both main branches by at least 50%.  He went as far as to say that the right branch could be removed completely, which was something I had considered when initially styling the tree.  He absolutely hated the lime sulfuring I did to the deadwood (I applied lime sulfur to the deadwood 2 weeks ago mainly to blend the newly cleaned deadwood, that had previously been covered by old bark, with the old.)  He also said the current pot was too deep.  At least at this time, the current root system would not allow a more shallow pot, and I kinda like this one ;), so I'm going to keep it in this one for a while.

I do think the tree would look more powerful with a significantly smaller canopy, and I am leaning toward losing that right branch.  If the branch were to go, rotating the trunk slightly to the left would make the deadwood portion of the trunk wider, more impressive, as well as showing a larger portion of the live vein.  What do others think.  I Included an old pic from the angle I am considering.

Dave, why do you think limiting the amount of direct sun it gets daily amounts to denser foliage?  Just curious.

Dave Murphy:

--- Quote from: Chrisl on October 14, 2011, 11:02 AM ---Dave, why do you think limiting the amount of direct sun it gets daily amounts to denser foliage?  Just curious.

--- End quote ---
Chris, I was merely pointing out the tree's current growing conditions.  Honestly I would expect reduced sun exposure to cause weaker, more leggy growth.  Previously, this tree was intitially in 9-10 hours of direct sunlight when I lived in MA, which is exactly what one would want for a juniper like this.  However, the house we bought in GA has a heavily wooded back yard on a steep hill which only allows for a limited amount of direct sunlight.  My initial concern was that this tree, along with my other conifers, would weaken due to the reduced sun exposure, but the fact that they are in intense midday sun for part of the day seems to have helped in that regard.  I'd prefer more morning sun but that aint gonna happen in my yard :'(...but as long as the trees do well, I can live with it.

I was thinking the same, limit the sun=leggy growth.  That's why I was curious.  Interesting though how the tree has responded so well to limited, but intense sun over more sun that is less intensive....never thought of that before.  Thanks for answering Dave!

Nice looking tree with great dead wood! Can see what Walter's saying about the foliage masses, but it's hard to imagine the tree with that right branch entirely removed.

Any chance you could post 2 additional photos - (1) the tree from the current front with a plain background (the show phot has some distracting background items), and (2) a photo of the tree rotated as you're thinking. Both photos would make it easier to imagine the changes you're contemplating (and do photoshop virts as well).



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