Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => North American Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Dave Murphy on October 10, 2011, 03:14 PM

Title: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on October 10, 2011, 03:14 PM
I purchased this tree over 5 years ago as rough, unstyled collected stock.  It had an extremely one sided root system, exaggerated to a degree that many, including Walter Pall, thought the tree may never amount to descent bonsai stock (some may remember a thread about this tree on Bonsaitalk from 5 years ago).  As luck would have it, I was able to successfully re-pot into a mica pot at a Walter Pall workshop the following year and the tree has progressed nicely since then.  Here is a pic of the tree after its' first major styling, done in March of '08'.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on October 10, 2011, 03:20 PM
These are several other pics of the tree over the last years showing its development.  The first is from 2009 when I got it into a good bonsai pot...
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on October 10, 2011, 03:21 PM
The second is from 2009, after my move to GA...
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on October 10, 2011, 03:24 PM
This last one was taken in April of this year, after I wired up the secondary branching...
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on October 10, 2011, 03:51 PM
So, one afternoon about three weeks ago, I received a call from a friend of mine from the Atlanta Bonsai Society.  We are one of the clubs that is invited every year to display some trees at the North Carolina Bonsai Expo every year.  He was hoping I would like to have one of my trees take part in the show this year.  I hadn't really been planning on it, but given the history of this tree, and the fact that Walter Pall would be the guest artist this year, I decided to bring this one.  I spent the last 3 weeks removing the wire, cleaning up the deadwood and bark, basically making the tree as show ready as I could.  Here is the tree on display during the Expo, photo courtesy of Wayne here at BSG.  I'd love comments from everyone, and then I'll let you all here the critique it received from Walter.  Have fun...
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: MatsuBonsai on October 10, 2011, 06:08 PM
First, I really like the tree.  I think in it's current orientation I may like to see it shortened some.  In the earlier pictures, before scrolling down, I was wondering what it would look like tilted more to the left.  It looks like you went the other direction, which seems to work, too.

Waiting to hear what others, and especially Walter, had/have to say.

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on October 10, 2011, 06:26 PM
I remember this tree, you have done very well with it. I am impressed with the quality of foliage for a Georgia RMJ, they really tend to get leggy. Nice work. Still miss the cold?

John
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: MatsuBonsai on October 10, 2011, 06:27 PM
That was the other question I had.... What's the secret with the foliage?  Soil?  Water?  Fertilizer?  Looks really good.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on October 10, 2011, 06:55 PM
I remember this tree, you have done very well with it. I am impressed with the quality of foliage for a Georgia RMJ, they really tend to get leggy. Nice work. Still miss the cold?

John
Thanks John.  I'm glad you remember this tree...that thread on Bonsaitalk really knocked the wind out of me and your advice both within that thread and via pm really helped me get through that initial rough patch. 

Walter also commented on the "healthiness" of the canopy.  In all honesty, I've been flying by the seat of my pants since moving to Georgia but have been pleasantly surprised that the tree's responce to it's change in locale.  In my estimation, the tree has continued to grow well here in GA, and without the leggy growth, which may be because it gets pinched back every 6 weeks starting in April.  It only gets between 4-5 hours of direct midday sun a day, filtered sun otherwise.  It gets full strength miracle grow and fish emulsion weekly during the growing season. 


Yes, I miss the cold and snow...no, I don't miss paying my heating oil bill or shovelling.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on October 10, 2011, 10:20 PM
Cool, you have done well. Will be fun to see it in 5 years........
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on October 11, 2011, 10:33 AM
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.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: 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.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on October 14, 2011, 12:33 PM
Dave, why do you think limiting the amount of direct sun it gets daily amounts to denser foliage?  Just curious.
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.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on October 14, 2011, 12:44 PM
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!
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: coh on October 14, 2011, 06:55 PM
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).

Chris
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on November 21, 2011, 07:19 PM
Ryan Neil was the guest of the Atlanta Bonsai Society this past weekend.   Great guy, great talent....  I accomplished and learned more practical stuff in his 4 hour workshop then I have in any other workshop I've ever attended.  The main right branch was pulled down and in toward the trunk, and the apex was moved down and back to the left.  The straight portion of the upper trunk is now hidden and the overall image is more compact.  I've got alot of wiring left to do but I think there is already a significant improvement with what was accomplished in those few hours
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: tmmason10 on December 08, 2011, 09:56 PM
I forget if I have asked on other forums, but what else did Ryan have to say about the future of this tree?  I think it is coming along nicely.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 09, 2011, 06:38 AM
He felt the tree was placed properly in the pot and generally had good branch placement.  During the workshop, we moved the two main branches and began to wire out the canopy.  He told me not to prune anything but to, instead, wire out everything.  I've spent about 8 hours so far, here and there, and I'm almost there.  Maybe 3 more hours ;D.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 09, 2011, 10:16 AM
I liked Ryan a lot too Dave for the exact same reasons, great guy and great talent.

Firstoff, that's a great yamadori RMJ!  Beautiful deadwood.  I like where this tree is heading.   Did he give a reason why to wire everything and not prune?  Esp. considering that RMJ's can be a bit leggy.

Great bonsai Dave!  I look forward to seeing it's progression!
Chris
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 09, 2011, 10:43 AM
Wire does several things, including positioning the branches and foliage in such a way as to hide their legginess and, lo and behold, to stimulate back budding as possible. Wire the whole tree, make it look ice and then as new foliage becomes available, prune to manage length. To bypass this, many chose to graft, typically Shimpaku of one sort or another.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 09, 2011, 11:08 AM
I'm not a big believer in grafting, say Shimpaku, onto a RMJ, P Pine, or any other distinctly American trees.  If you graft, then it's not a RMJ or PP anymore.  People need to love and want to work on a RMJ or PP, or don't do it at all.  Just get a Shimpaku.  The legginess of the RMJ, or the long needles on the PPs is what MAKES these trees what they are....great American trees.   Even at last weekends workshop at Jim Doyles place with Walter Pall, and an amazing selection of collected trees, someone asked about grafting black pine onto a PP!  lt makes no sense to me. 
Ok, off my high horse ;)

John, I wouldn't have thought that wiring a RMJ would induce back budding.  Must be due to increased light on the interior branches?   I'll eventually get a RMJ and this is good to learn. 
Chris
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 09, 2011, 12:04 PM
Let me put it this way, grafting on to leggy/poorly foliaged material is a powerful way to convert mediocre material in to potentially fabulous material. I personally believe that bonsai without grafting as a tool for improvement is not complete. I graft JBP on to Ponderosa and JWP as well. The first thing it does is dramatically increase the value of the stock.

John
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 09, 2011, 12:36 PM
Yeah John, but then it's not a RMJ or PP anymore.  If people want to pay a premium for foliage grafted trees, have at it.  I guess I'm still kind of a purist ;)
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: MatsuBonsai on December 09, 2011, 12:46 PM
So what?  If it improves the tree it improves the tree.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 09, 2011, 01:50 PM
I would say it changes the tree.  I feel grafting has it's purposes, but not to change a PP to a black pine.  If you want a BP, get one.  Buy a PP if you like PPs.  But don't change a classic tree, like a RMJ or PP, just because it's "mediocre".  Find a tree that you like from the get go.  This is all my opinion of course.

I think we're just going to have to agree on disagreeing here ;)
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 09, 2011, 02:43 PM
Wire does several things, including positioning the branches and foliage in such a way as to hide their legginess and, lo and behold, to stimulate back budding as possible. Wire the whole tree, make it look ice and then as new foliage becomes available, prune to manage length. To bypass this, many chose to graft, typically Shimpaku of one sort or another.
John nailed it, of course.  By wiring everything out, the tree instantly looks better.  Just as important, though, is that it allows all portions of the foliage to be hit by the sun, which strengthens the branch and encourages backbudding and more pruning options(that was a big "lightbulb" moment for me, as I had never associated wiring with improving the vigor of a tree).

As far as grafting goes, I am in the "graft if it improves the tree" camp.  I have one yamadori RMJ with an amazing deadwood trunk but really lanky, ugly foliage that I am/was planning to graft this spring.  Ryan saw the tree and still thinks the foliage will "tighten up" eventually with good horticulture and proper pruning techniques.  The tree has two more growing seasons to shape up or else.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 09, 2011, 03:06 PM
Chrisi,
Using your argument then we shouldn't prune or wire because That changes the tree". Or the other gem that you see on the boards is that something isn't "natural". OK, show me a tree that has been repotted in the wild? That isn't natural.

Be a purist, whatever that means, but there are species whose foliage is just more adapted for "easy"  bonsai culture than others. The best way to accomplish great things with bonsai material is to get a predictable and robust response to a particular procedure. Ponderosa pines (and RMJ's) in some climates respond very well, less so in others.

I like RMJ that live in cold dryish climates, they can have very compact and manageable foliage, in others it is more of a challenge. If I sell a grafted tree it goes out as "X trunk with Y branches and foliage". Black pine looks pretty good next to a Ponderosa trunk. Hopefully some of mine will be good enough to do something with in the next few years.  
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 09, 2011, 04:42 PM
Dave, the thought of wiring only to induce backbudding is a 'lighbulb' moment for me too lol
There's one person here, I forget exactly, but he has a RMJ, moved from somewhere with winters to Atlanta if I'm not mistaken.  His foliage was healthy and compact.  Sev. asked how he did it and he just kept it fed and pinched back...again, if I'm not mistaken.  So if RMJs can be grown successfully in Atlanta, if  can be done nearly anywhere here in the states. 

John,  pruning or wiring doesn't change the tree genus to another genus.  It simply helps us in our art of bonsai.  As Walter Pall would say, he's striving for 'naturalistic', not 'natural'.  Mother nature's 'natural' look is at times chaotic, bonsai seeks to give order to chaos, but have it appear naturalistic. 

By "purist", I'm implying not trying to make a RMJ into a Shimpaku, or a PP into a BP.  If your climate can't properly grow a RMJ or PP, then, for me, you shouldn't own one.  You said "The best way to accomplish great things with bonsai material is to get a predictable and robust response to a particular procedure".  I couldn't agree more, but that should be the use of wire, pinching, pruning, needle thinning, candle cutting.....these are the ways to get a predictable and robust response.

Yes, if you need a new root, or branch, then grafting is ok.  But I don't think it's ok to change to morphology of a tree just because you don't like the foliage associated with that particular tree.  Maybe heresy to feel this way, but I do. 

Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: MatsuBonsai on December 09, 2011, 05:36 PM
I think we're just going to have to agree on disagreeing here ;)

I guess so.

I'm not sure I understand why one would want to limit one's self or the tree's potential.  I would much prefer to have the best tree possible, grafted or not, than have a mediocre bonsai, knowing that it could be improved if I simply allowed myself to dare replace the foliage.  ;)
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 09, 2011, 06:03 PM
Dave, love your tree, have since you first posted it a number of years ago. I think you are doing great with it. I am interested in seeing the other when you are ready to post pictures.

Chrisi, you don't change the genus with grafting- generally grafts are done on congenics, it is the species (in Junipers I am not sure what this means) that changes. It is great that you are so dedicated to north american species. Most of us who do bonsai try to do all that we can to give an illusion of a large tree, how you do that requires using any of the techniques available that you know. I believe that grafting and when needed, changing the foliage is a powerful set of techniques to improve trees.

Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 09, 2011, 07:05 PM
Thanks John.  For the record, your trees have always served to inspire me both creatively and horticulturally, so in that regard, this tree and I are both somewhat in your debt.  Also, I promise to start a new thread on that other tree shortly.  It unfortunately has not progressed like this one, but it is still very nice material.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 09, 2011, 11:37 PM
Wow, did I really say "pruning or wiring doesn't change the tree genus to another genus?  Terribly wrong of me, sorry for the confusion.  What I meant to say was pruning or wiring doesn't change a trees morphology to another morphology like foliage grafting does.  

But after this lengthy and interesting discussion, I understand what you all are saying, and it's something that I'll give more thought too.  Maybe in time, maybe as I get better, it might be something I may want to try.  But for now,  I'm still a believer in letting a RMJ be a RMJ.  ;)
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 10, 2011, 08:17 AM
This is the other RMJ I mentioned...great trunk loaded with deadwood ;D....long, lanky coarse foliage with a not so healthy green hue (my other RMJs have a very nice light blue color to the foliage).  Now, try to imagine that trunk with the tight, compact, dark bluish green foliage you see with Shimpaku?  These pictures were taken over 4 years ago.  The fuller now, but I'm still not happy with the quality of the foliage.  I'm going to wire it out, feed, feed, feed, and see what happens... but the shimpaku cuttings have been struck and it may be only a matter of time.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 10, 2011, 09:14 AM
Here is the tree today...
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 10, 2011, 11:17 AM
Very nice, I see that you have some wire on it, as you know it will help to get it laid out, especially the larger branches, and wiring up the tips to keep the little branches stronger while they gain some mass. Thanks!
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 10, 2011, 11:34 AM
That's a very nice RMJ too Dave.  4 yrs of feeding has paid off, the foliage is healthy and made great progress.  But I see what you mean, still a bit lanky. 
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 10, 2011, 01:35 PM
Very nice, I see that you have some wire on it, as you know it will help to get it laid out, especially the larger branches, and wiring up the tips to keep the little branches stronger while they gain some mass. Thanks!

Thanks John.  I literally started wiring this tree out yesterday at 5pm...15 minutes before sunset ???... and I'm still not finished wiring out the other RMJ ;D.  I quickly snapped the recent pic this AM before going to visit with Rodney Clemons, my teacher in Atlanta.  I figure I'll be spending at least 4-5 hours wiring out everything on this other tree...I'll post new pics when both trees are done.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 10, 2011, 05:19 PM
Almost done with this one, maybe another hour or two of fine wiring.  Sorry for the picture quality but I'm to tired to pick the damn thing up today.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: JRob on December 10, 2011, 07:14 PM
Dave,

Looking oh so good!

JRob
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 11, 2011, 10:38 AM
Thanks Jrob.  I'm really pleased (again ;D) with the change and improvement here.  The fine wiring can be time consuming but it makes such a huge difference. 
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: JRob on December 11, 2011, 03:20 PM
Dave,
I agree. In my opinion one can not have either good or exceptional bonsai without wiring. I have spent an incredible amount of time with my teacher learning how to correctly wire. I told him to be brutally honest with me. The result was I wired, removed and rewired a JBP three times in copper till he was satisfied. I am glad he did. I learned son much and the tree is much better because of it. I am glad you took the time as well. The material deserves it.

Are you finished and any final pictures?

JRob
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 11, 2011, 05:45 PM
I'm not quite done.  Between work, kids, and the holidays, it may take another week or two to squeeze in the time.  I'll get a final picture then.  Thanks again.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Elliott on December 12, 2011, 10:32 PM
Dave
 Nice job. I want to get a RMJ. I'm in a So. California study group with Ryan Neal and I agree, you will learn allot. I think He is the best around (at least outside of Japan) at teaching. Period!
 Did He talk to you guys about pruning versus pinching of Junipers as a key to compact growth?
Chrisl
 grafting 1 type onto another also often improves the health of that tree as the host tree's root system will take on the characteristics of the graft species. For example, when you graft itoigawa or kishu juniper onto California Juniper, the roots get denser and finer and less ropey than the natural root system of a desert tree that evolved to tap into water sources far away. Also the live vein becomes more prominent.
 In some cases, it allows you to have a species outside its normal zone. In Southern California, we can't have ponderosa pines here because its not cold enough. If you graft black pine, you can have the benefit of that wonderful, old yamadori trunk, bark and deadwood of a ponderosa, with vibrant foliage that will allow that tree survive anywhere the black pine will live, which is almost everywhere.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 13, 2011, 06:49 AM
Thanks Elliot.  We did discuss pruning verses pinching.  Ryans' mantra- you NEVER pinch a juniper.  Pinching removes the growing tips which hormonally drives the tree into a stressed, semi-survival mode.  The resulting growth will tend to be weaker, juvenile (in trees like RMJ), and usually in the crotches of the small branches, which is less then ideal.  This is where his horticultural background is so beneficial as a teacher...he can actually explain why things should be done in a particular way.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 13, 2011, 08:14 AM
Wow, it is always interesting to get the standard US conversation that 'someone is the best', vs isn't it really nice that we are getting a number of highly trained bonsai professionals in the US? Think about it, we now have Kathy S, Bill Valvanis, Joe Harris, Boon, Mike Hagedorn, Ryan, Matt (soon), Bjorn and Owen (soon), and the Europeans like Marc Noelanders, Marco, Colin (now in us), Peter Warren and many others who work significantly in the US. Plus there seems to be a pipeline of young talent going to the best bonsai gardens for training in Japan, Think Peter Tea and Tyler Sherrod. I think the real benefits will be a huge increase in the opportunity for those interested in learning how to produce and care for high quality bonsai in the US (and Canada, sorry guys).

The first person I learned that grafting caused a tree to take on the physiological attributes of the scion? Carl Tottemeier, a longtime botanical garden director and good friend who passed a number of years ago- he told me in the early 90's, I am pretty sure he figured it out in the 50's.
I
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Elliott on December 13, 2011, 03:36 PM
OK John....point taken. I humbly retract my statement (on my knees-please skip the next joke-) I haven't spent the day with most the people you mentioned, so I can't say a blanket statement like that and I look forward to learning from all the new blood coming out of Japan. maybe I just in a little awe or Ryan's skills and his teaching abilities.
 And I'm sure you aren't so shabby yourself. Please come out to Cally (if you have not already) and prove it.
I learned about the benefits and advantages of grafting from Roy Nagatoshi and John Wang.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 13, 2011, 06:18 PM
About ten-twelve years ago I spent an afternoon with Roy Nagatoshi at his place. The old California Junipers that his father had grafted were just spectacular (his weren't bad either, don't get me wrong, just not grafted as long). He is an interesting and talented guy.

I will be doing Bonsai in California this weekend. Going to get my fall work done at Boon's. I live vicariously through my friends who go to Japan to train, maybe the next life.

John
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Elliott on December 13, 2011, 06:56 PM
Roy is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. I really enjoyed watching his father (Shig Nagatoshi, one of the pioneers of Bonsai in California and made grafting popular) work also. Recently Roy was feeling a little tightness in his chest and went to the ER at the insistence of some of the students he was working with at that moment. Turns out he had some blockages in his coronary arteries and had a stat procedure to ream them out. He felt better instantly. We were all very relieved that he is better than new now! I think at this point he can graft Kishu on any type of shimpaku with his eyes closed.
 Please take lots of pics at Boons and then post them. Thanks
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 14, 2011, 01:31 PM
I finished (I think :P) the fine wiring here.  Frankly Jrob, I think your teacher would probably make me remove all the wire and start over :o...I would then have to find another teacher ;D.  Anyway, I'm done with this one until next year.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 14, 2011, 03:43 PM
Makes you feel better to have the wire on it! Looks really good. John
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 14, 2011, 06:03 PM
Yes, it does feel pretty good to have the tree fully wired...until it needs to come off ;D.  Thanks again, John.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Adair M on December 14, 2011, 07:55 PM
Dave,

It looks really nice!  I have a question... the little sprig off the bottom left branch that crosses in front of the trunk... It appears to be heading right towards a pad that extends off the lower right branch.  What are your plans for that?  Personally, I would have directled it so that it stayed to the left of the trunk.  (Then again, maybe my eye is insufficiently trained!)

Regardless, it's spectacular, and it's a tree that you will enjoy for years!

Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: scottroxburgh on December 14, 2011, 08:22 PM
Wow, it is always interesting to get the standard US conversation that 'someone is the best', vs isn't it really nice that we are getting a number of highly trained bonsai professionals in the US? Think about it, we now have Kathy S, Bill Valvanis, Joe Harris, Boon, Mike Hagedorn, Ryan, Matt (soon), Bjorn and Owen (soon), and the Europeans like Marc Noelanders, Marco, Colin (now in us), Peter Warren and many others who work significantly in the US. Plus there seems to be a pipeline of young talent going to the best bonsai gardens for training in Japan, Think Peter Tea and Tyler Sherrod. I think the real benefits will be a huge increase in the opportunity for those interested in learning how to produce and care for high quality bonsai in the US (and Canada, sorry guys).

Agreed...comparing to Australia, that has zero bonsai professionals, and a few quality bonsai growers, you guys are EXTREMELY LUCKY!

I'm sure there is a skilled migrant Visa for any US Bonsai professionals looking for a captive market, and nice weather ;)
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 14, 2011, 08:35 PM
Dave,

It looks really nice!  I have a question... the little sprig off the bottom left branch that crosses in front of the trunk... It appears to be heading right towards a pad that extends off the lower right branch.  What are your plans for that?  Personally, I would have directled it so that it stayed to the left of the trunk.  (Then again, maybe my eye is insufficiently trained!)

Regardless, it's spectacular, and it's a tree that you will enjoy for years!



Adam, thanks for the post.  The portion of foliage from the lower left branch is being used to break up and partially conceal the high, straight portion of deadwood just to the left of the main trunk.  It also serves to frame the really choice portion of deadwood above it.  Also, the two portions of foliage are really quite far apart only appear to be close together due to the two dimensional photograph.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Elliott on December 14, 2011, 11:55 PM
Nice use of foliage pad layers and negative space. That small branch that crosses the trunk ads a nice touch of naturalness. Are you going to let the deadwood age and allow it to become various shades of grey? Not a huge fan of that stark white wood, although it can just be due to the photo exposure. Please keep up the good work.
Eli
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 15, 2011, 06:45 AM
Thanks Elliot.  The deadwood was treated with lime sulfur back in October in order to "age" newer wood exposed when the live vein cleaned up.  The natural grey color will start coming back in a few months, I would think.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 15, 2011, 10:51 AM
Great job Dave!  Looks really nice!  Beautiful tree!
Chris
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 15, 2011, 10:56 AM
Dave, adding a few drops of India ink to the water, before you add the lime sulphur, works to dramatically reduce the glare. If you do it right, you can show the tree the next day. John
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 15, 2011, 11:05 AM
Thanks John.  I've heard of mixing the india ink with the lime sulfur and actually went on a brief search to find some the day before I treated this one (my GPS was not good to me that day and I never found the Michaels store :().  I may experiment on some other trees first before screwing this one up :P ;D.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 15, 2011, 02:49 PM
Can't hurt, comes offwiththe lime sulphur. I get mine at Walmart.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 15, 2011, 05:00 PM
Walmart, huh?  Well, they've got everything else, so why not, and I can't drive 5 minutes in any direction without passing one here in N. GA....  Thanks again, John.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 16, 2011, 09:44 AM
I heard a rumor yesterday that lime sulfur is going to be illegal in all the states soon.  The bonsai curator at the Garden stocked up by buying several 5 gal. containers of lime sulfur just in case.  Have you guys heard anything?
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 16, 2011, 11:31 AM
The feds reissued call for claims/licensure a few years ago, Bonide didn't renew theirs (fees?). Some states have banned new stock, ca, ri, me, nh(and one or two others). Don't know if others are contemplating. I picked some extra, a little goes a long way.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on December 16, 2011, 11:36 AM
Thanks for the info John, good to know.  I too am thinking of stocking up on some too.   Better safe than sorry...
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on April 16, 2012, 07:46 AM
Took a pic this am...pushing new growth for over 6 weeks.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on April 16, 2012, 10:04 AM
Dark, but Very Nice Dave!  It's one of the nicest RMJ's in foliage health and density!  Well done!
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on April 17, 2012, 12:52 PM
Chris, really?

Dave nice work, I know how hard these beasties are in the south.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on April 17, 2012, 01:03 PM
Really what?  I meant it. 
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Sorce on June 29, 2013, 09:01 PM
This is a quote from Bonsai4me.com.
 "The beginner has to understand these rules in the same way that one has to learn what makes a Leonardo de Vinci painting better than a child's."

 If a child draws a stick figure, then cuts the face out of Mona Lisa and pastes it to the stick, its not the Mona Lisa.
 
    That's my take on Foliage grafting.

  Maybe its a Chicago thing, like Deep Dish Pizza!
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on June 30, 2013, 08:31 AM
I won't be grafting this juniper (though I am grafting others :))...I really love the light blue hue, and it is getting a bit tighter and compact each season.  These pics are from last week.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: tmmason10 on August 22, 2013, 04:27 PM
This is such a nice tree Dave. When do you cut yours back?
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: tmmason10 on August 22, 2013, 04:32 PM
Also, is this tree still wired to the tips? If so, is it possible to get a few shots of the wiring at the ends of the foliage?
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on August 22, 2013, 04:52 PM
Sorce, I read your childish stick figure comment on grafting. I have read other such comments by some, about wiring, field growing, repotting, etc. Grafting can be a powerful tool in developing/restoring bonsai, among many other tools. When grafting is done well, you won't be able to tell where the grafts are. This is a case where horticultural technique can improve the art.

If you don't want to graft you plants, don't. It certainly doesn't matter to me. However, I suggest not emptying your tool box before you get started.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Owen Reich on August 22, 2013, 07:21 PM
Nice tree.  I'd keep it blue.  Some look better with shinpaku.  And yes, I used an "n".  That's how it's supposed to be spelled according to the pronunciation. 
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on August 22, 2013, 07:28 PM
Owen, we be having the l=r and m=n conversation again.........
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Owen Reich on August 23, 2013, 12:25 AM
Why don't we just call them shimpaku and not itoigawa...... ;D.  Just read an article about how we Americanized the "n" to "m".  I'm going to change to it but it's not a big deal.  Shinpaku however you spell it is purely bonsai slang term in Japan.  Civilians call the species Byakushin. 
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on August 23, 2013, 05:40 AM
Understand.  I am as guilty as most in dropping the Shim/n/paku from the regional (or presumed regional) variant identifier- Tohoku, Kishu , Itoigawa, etc.  Ah the joys of common use and spanning languages. We could all go for Latin........
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Owen Reich on August 23, 2013, 03:23 PM
I'm making that point everywhere I go for everyone to learn the Latin names of their plants.  You get a whole different set of useful info using binomial nomenclature outside of just Bonsai sites let alone books like Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants.  Had my former professor in the front row last month.  Scary.  I'll leave it alone on this thread.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on August 23, 2013, 06:07 PM
Be careful of the Linnaen strictures, the junipers are very complex. Not sure anyone really knows the structure. Is it chinensis or media this week?
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Owen Reich on August 23, 2013, 08:06 PM
Last time I checked it was Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii.

That was according to Kobaiashi-san; the prez of the Japanese Plant Society.  You know taxonomists though..... one recurred stamen and all bets are off   ;D.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dan W. on August 24, 2013, 01:27 AM
I know the Latin names for my plants... but correct pronunciation is an entirely different story. Everywhere I go I hear a different pronunciation. I suppose it might help if I learned Latin... hmm..
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on August 24, 2013, 08:06 AM
Owen, it is the 21st century, it is all genetic not phenotyic. You are getting old ;-}
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: MatsuBonsai on August 24, 2013, 09:11 AM
I don't know, I think Ohwin Rich may have a point.  ;)
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on August 24, 2013, 10:43 AM
Ohwin Rich? John you still smokin?
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: MatsuBonsai on August 24, 2013, 02:14 PM
Sorry, paint fumes. Just having some fun with my buddy Owen.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on June 11, 2014, 11:23 AM
Tree at the Atlanta Bonsai Society Spring Show this past May.  The foliage is really beginning to tighten up.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 07, 2014, 05:42 PM
Recently wired out with copper for the first time.  Some tweaks will occur over the next few months, including a little more wiring and branch placement, maybe shortening the lowest left branch a smidge, and some unwanted pruning when the cedar-apple rust galls start to swell this coming spring...
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 09, 2014, 09:51 PM
Dave, keeps getting better. Nice work.
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on December 09, 2014, 09:52 PM
Put it in for tree of the Month!
Title: Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 10, 2014, 06:26 PM
Thanks John.  It sure has been an enjoyable tree to work.