Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => North American Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: John Kirby on July 31, 2009, 10:41 AM

Title: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on July 31, 2009, 10:41 AM
Another North American Juniper species. This tree was collected in 1975 by John Miller, one of the great pioneering member of Texas bonsai, who is still an active force in the state. The tree was very carefully handled and the clay it was growing in was gradually reduced over the years. Marc Noelanders styled the tree as a slant during the LSBF Texas Tour in 2005. I purchased the tree in 2007 at the LSBF show in Dallas from the host club. I wanted to make the tree more of an upright, and when Mike Hagedorn visited in 2008 he went even more radically upright than I had seen. Plus with very careful  work on defining the lifeline and deadwood, went from a rather diffuse and broad lifeline, to the slender and popping one the tree has now. Currently we are working to balance the growth between the very aggressively growing top and the slower growing bottom branches. It will be plucked again over the next couple of weeks.

John
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Dwight on July 31, 2009, 02:21 PM
Nice tree ! It illustrates what can be done with this species as it is as nice as most RMJs out there. Good to see something native to Texas.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: johng on July 31, 2009, 03:45 PM
Nice John!  Doesn't this species compare more to California Juniper than RMJ?  I believe I am right in saying that Arthur Joura at the NC Arboretum has been working with an Ashe Juniper for a number of years now.  I think it is probably a similar scale to this tree.  I lived in Monroe, Louisiana for a number of years...is your humidity about the same?
THanks for posting!
John
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on January 05, 2011, 06:44 PM
Updated before and after of this tree after it was worked on by Peter Tea an artist and friend from California. I think Peter did a marvelous job.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: bwaynef on January 05, 2011, 09:32 PM
Wow.  That's one of the nicest native junipers I've seen.  I like the most recent styling as well.  What's with the coloration in the apex of the tree?
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: shimsuki on January 05, 2011, 09:36 PM
Very Nice!

If I went out looking for this tree, how do I distinguish it from the Eastern Red Cedars all over Missouri?



Andrew
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on January 05, 2011, 09:55 PM
Wayne, the coloration is due to pollen cones. Peter told me that the tree was completely covered with them a couple of weeks ago and it was a solid cloud of pollen when touched. They are clearing up rather quickly.

Andrew, the foliage is more compact and upright than on J. virginiana, and the foliage has another attribute as well. if you crush the foliage between the thumb and forefinger it has a much stronger smell than the Eastern Red Cedar. I know folks who call the ERC  cat pee junipers because of their smell, the Ashe Juniper would be called a "concentrated cat pee" juniper.

Hope this helps,
John
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on January 05, 2011, 10:16 PM
Just a quick note, here is the tree after it was styled in February 2008 by Mike Hagedorn, it has a bit of flash shadow. with the reduced foliage mass the trunk is very interesting from this angle. John
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Peter Tea on January 06, 2011, 01:33 AM
Nice tree ;)

I'm still sneezing from the pollen.  LOL
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: bwaynef on January 06, 2011, 08:23 AM
Since you're here Peter, why'd you choose this front over the one Mike chose?
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: reddog on January 06, 2011, 10:44 AM
Both designs are great but I like Michael's design a bit better.  More interest in this design. 
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on January 06, 2011, 03:59 PM
Interesting, why?
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Mike Pollock on January 06, 2011, 04:23 PM
I like the front better on the current photo. The base seems much more natural and stronger as it grasps the ground.

I'm ready to vote for tree of the month...  ;)
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Peter Tea on January 07, 2011, 03:26 AM
Since you're here Peter, why'd you choose this front over the one Mike chose?

I choose this front so I can see the flare at the base of the tree better.  Though nebari is not the most important part of a collected tree, if it can be shown, it's a plus.  I also like this front because you can see the deadwood feature at the base of the tree.  The shadow effect give it more depth and interests.  With the old front, it looked flat and plain.

With this new front, I get the same amount of curves, plus flare at the base and shari feature at the base.
Hope this helps.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on January 07, 2011, 12:20 PM
There has always been a bit of discussion about how best to front this tree. Mike's solution kept the life-line meandering directly in front, and in the minimum foliage approach allowed for the deadwood extending from the trunk top to be used as a key feature. The tree has grown well over the past 3 years and the deadwood apex is less appealing at this time (to me anyway). I really like what Peter has done, it is an interesting tree and the lifeline is really starting to pop out and gain a mature look to it- takes time.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 08, 2011, 01:51 PM
Looks good.  I like it more now, not that it didn't look good then.  The flow of the trunk is more appealing to me now, and I like a more full canopy.  There is no wrong answer here, both look great.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on September 04, 2012, 10:04 PM
I worked on this tree for 11/2 days ut at Boon's when Akio was there. We shifted the front again, part of the fun. After the whole thing was done Akio said "Nice, but too much wire.". So now I am on the try to limit yourself to no more than two wires at any given point on a tree.... a lot more engineering. Before and after, had a major foliage reduction when I decided that it wasn't right for the show in Rochester this year- was a little past prime. Cheers..
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Chrisl on September 05, 2012, 11:39 AM
Really a nice tree John!  I hadn't heard of this species before.  Is the foliage soft or prickly like a procumbens nana?  And are the plans to let the lowest r. side branch get a bit longer?
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on September 05, 2012, 12:03 PM
Scale foliage. No.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on September 06, 2012, 07:59 PM
This tree should fill in very rapidly, I expect that we will offer this up for the Show in Portland next year.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Adair M on September 06, 2012, 08:27 PM
Wow, John!  Too much wire?  I can't see it.

If there is, is that why it's not being shown this year?  Maybe, the "two wire limit" need only apply when a show is anticipated?

Or is it that "more than two wires" is simply considered poor technique?

(I can tell I'm in for a life altering experience at the Intensive in a month or so!)

Adair
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on September 06, 2012, 09:17 PM
Adair,
No show this year because it was thinned pretty heavily. Normally you can put up to three wires at any point if needed. Limiting to two wires was a suggestion to force me to think about my wiring more. If the tree is to be shown next year, it will be rewired to get rid of the too much wire.....
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Adair M on September 06, 2012, 10:35 PM
John, you've inspired me to go back and review my "Wiring and Styling" Bonsai Boon DVD again!

Adair
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on January 25, 2014, 03:08 PM
So, tree filled in pretty well, I repotted it into a preShowa, prior to 1916, 'Taisho Doko', antique Japanese pot. This is a uniquely shaped 3 legged pot made of a very nice clay. This tree was exhibited at the 15th BIB show.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 25, 2014, 03:58 PM
Wow!  Very nice John.  This tree has a very sensual pose.  I love the trunk, thin yet wide, with a bold live vein.  Do you have a better picture?  The lighting does not do it justice.  That's a keeper.  I really like the pot too.  It has more detail than I would expect to compliment the tree, but they work really well together.  Its a good combo.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 25, 2014, 04:04 PM
Let me also say that I like the current front the best.  Peter and Michael did great work too, but I prefer the current from because of the flow and synergy of deadwood and live vein.  I think it provides better balance and flow, plus its just damn sexy!
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Larry Gockley on January 25, 2014, 06:28 PM
Looking very nice, John. And how interesting that John Miller collected it 39 years ago. When I see him, I may ask if he remembers it. Doubt I would,  39 years ago. BTW, LSBF is in Houston this year, Corpus next year, so may be in Dallas again in 2016.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: John Kirby on January 25, 2014, 08:11 PM
Larry, John has asked about the tree every time I've seen him. This tree looked nothing like this when I got it at the convention. As a matter of fact it hadn 't sold at the club table and had been taken out for a raffle, I got them to sell it to me and here it is. I wi see him in April at the BSD meeting, need to have a good picture for him.

Don, I bought the pot for this tree. Unique, soft pot with great patina for an old, yet delicate tree. The one thing I will guarantee is that there are mot many of these around. Most folks would put in to a nanban, this was more elegant.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Judy on January 25, 2014, 08:27 PM
I love the ribbon like quality the trunk has, and the way it shows it its flat side as well as the wide side.  It's like a poem in a pot. 
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Owen Reich on January 25, 2014, 10:56 PM
Nicely done.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Sorce on January 26, 2014, 01:10 AM
"damn sexy"

Ditto.
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Yenling83 on January 27, 2014, 07:18 PM
Looks Great!!!
Title: Re: Texas Ashe Juniper
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on January 27, 2014, 08:21 PM
Looks beautiful.  The current front is definitely my favorite.  Good compromise between the base and not a too-straight live vein along the middle of the trunk.