Author Topic: Hollywood Juniper Tanuki #1  (Read 1889 times)

John S

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Hollywood Juniper Tanuki #1
« on: February 17, 2012, 01:27 AM »
Hi, I'm new to this forum but I've been snooping around a little bit and it looks like there are some really talented folks around here. I thought I would post a pic of a project that I'm working on and see if anyone can help.

A few weeks ago I picked up a Hollywood Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis Torulosa) whip that looked like a good candidate for a tanuki/phoenix graft. I've known about some areas to find deadwood close to my house and went out last weekend looking for a piece to go along with my tree. This is what I found:

I need to clean it up, probably bleach it and preserve it before I try the phoenix graft. Can anyone recommend any wood preservers? I've heard of people using minwax, but recently heard about a product that is used for fossil preservation, it comes in granular form and needs to be mixed with acetone before use. It sounds intriguing as you can vary the viscosity of it and use it thick as a glue, or thin as a penetrating wood preservative. It also sounds like it doesn't build any kind of sheen on the wood, leaving a more natural look.

I do have some questions about the tree itself too. Here's a picture of what I'm hoping to accomplish:

As you can see I'd like to wrap the whip around the wood starting right at the base. Unfortunately the whip is 1" to 1 1/4" thick at the base and I don't think I can manage to bend it as it is. I've been told on another forum that the thing to do here is to use some trunk splitters where I wish to gain some flexibility, but I've never used these before and although I've read a little about the process I wonder if anyone could offer me any pointers. From what it sounds like the trunk could be split into four or six pieces depending on how thick it is, and as it's being bent you want to sort of keep the pieces somewhat together somehow. I can see how you could wrap it in raffia or vet tape if the tree was not going to be grafted, but since this will be attached to the deadwood I'm a little unsure of how to rejoin the fractured pieces. Also I'd like to know if there are any pastes or gels that I should use to seal the bark after it's split? Does anyone have any advice for aftercare in general?

I'm probably going to use some combination of zip-ties and brass screws to attach it, and will be building a custom grow box for it as well. I'm probably looking to do this work in the next few weeks. The tree itself is very healthy and vibrant looking, but this seems like a pretty big insult to the Juni and I'd like to insure it's survival as best I could.

Thanks for looking!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 08:38 AM by bsgModerator »

Adair M

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Re: Hollywood Juniper Tanuki #1
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 07:14 AM »
That looks like a fun project!  You're going to need some help.

Since you are in Portland, you might have access to Ryan Neil.  If it were me, I would try to schedule a private lesson with him.

Here's his website:

Please note:  I don't know if Ryan even does private lessons, but if he does, you have an opportunity to learn from someone who has spent 6 years learning from Mr. Kimura in Japan.

Regardless, good luck with your tree!

Bonsai Study Group Admin

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Re: Hollywood Juniper Tanuki #1
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 08:35 AM »
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