Author Topic: My Rocky Mountain Juniper  (Read 25843 times)

Dave Murphy

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #15 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
 

tmmason10

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #16 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.
 

Dave Murphy

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #17 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.
 

Chrisl

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #18 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
 

John Kirby

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #19 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.
 

Chrisl

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #20 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
 

John Kirby

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #21 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
 

Chrisl

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #22 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 ;)
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2011, 12:46 PM »
So what?  If it improves the tree it improves the tree.
 

Chrisl

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #24 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 ;)
 

Dave Murphy

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #25 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.
 

John Kirby

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #26 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.  
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 03:08 PM by John Kirby »
 

Chrisl

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #27 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. 

 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #28 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.  ;)
 

John Kirby

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Re: My Rocky Mountain Juniper
« Reply #29 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.