Author Topic: Newbie Juniper  (Read 2492 times)

KimchiMonger

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Newbie Juniper
« on: September 04, 2010, 02:43 PM »
A Home Depot Juniper that I've had in 100% oil absorbent, 20-20-20 fertilizer, and half day full sun with mostly shade the rest of the evening. It's been in this oil absorbent from O'Reily Auto Parts for four months now.

I've done some wiring and pruning.

How does one put these in the ground and maintain any cascade effect training? Does this little guy look healthy? Any suggestions before leaving it to grow another year or two?
 

KimchiMonger

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2010, 07:28 PM »
I've given the two longest branches a test bend and they are willing as far as pictured. After walking away from it for a while, I've decided I would like to see it with all three branches curved toward the longest. I heard the middle branch squeak saying "Not bending that way yet!" so I'll let the branches acclimate to the initial styling before pushing my luck again.

Will post photo progressions thruoghout though. Again, thanks for your help!
 

John Kirby

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 08:40 AM »
Hi, have you joined a bonsai cljub yet? You arereally blessed to have clubs in both Dallas and in Ft Worth. Both clubs have a number of very friendly and skilled members who work to teach and help folks just gettinggs started. One issue I see right away is that the wire yiu are using appears to be too small for thebends that you want to make. Secondly, I can' make out how  you have anchored the wire to get the degree of bending that you would like. I would suggestbyou get withsome good local instruction to help you through this early styling.

Best of luck,
John
 

KimchiMonger

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2010, 11:26 AM »
Here we are Sunday morning. I had to change wires - ugh! Don't ya love the inexperienced cleaning up their mess! I learned as I've now been told here and in other forums that this sp of Juniper is extremely flexible and forgivng but you must have a gauge wire that'll hold the bend or it slowly snaps back.

As suggested, I've managed a little more movement on the branches. Thank you all for giving me the courage to bend and shape the branches as I've never worked with this variety and found this one out of a couple of hundred and several trips to the garden center.

I'm amazed at how well it's done in this oil absorbent material.  The water runs right through and Juniper is ready for another and another drink with no stagnant wet spots.  

How do you experts ever put up with us....

Here's the progress.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 01:14 PM »
No experts here, just folks who have done the same things. Sometimes for many years , without improvement (me, for example).

Best of luck.
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 04:03 PM »
Hi

What's your overall vision of the branching on this one?

That straight branch on the last photo is the area to work on next - it looks unnatural and fabricated. I think you'll have to get a whole lot more hostile on these long branches and try to bring the foliage back toward the trunk. Means wrapping the branches before doing the bend to protect the bark.
 

KimchiMonger

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 01:26 AM »
Hi

What's your overall vision of the branching on this one?

That straight branch on the last photo is the area to work on next - it looks unnatural and fabricated. I think you'll have to get a whole lot more hostile on these long branches and try to bring the foliage back toward the trunk. Means wrapping the branches before doing the bend to protect the bark.

Right you are Jerry!  A couple of other forums suggest the same and those branches are to be brought much closer to the trunk with yet one more twist as they are far too extended for this size.  That little straight branch is now gone.  After viewing some suggested drawings elsewhere, the branches are far too extended and I've understood expert opinion on bringing them closer to the trunk.  I would of entirely disagreed and not understood had I not seen the suggested drawings coinciding with your input. 

« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 01:28 AM by KimchiMonger »
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 01:48 AM »
Essentially the initial pruning took too much off. Or perhaps the material was inappropriate for this style .

I'd try the aggressive bends and see if it survives and simply write this one off to experience.
 

KimchiMonger

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2010, 10:30 AM »
Well, I've decided against that cascade notion and just tightened up the overall body even further. The greenery seems OK so far and no die off after two weeks of being wired. After it sat with the initial styling (if you can call it that), I found the bends so much easier. This is not what I had envisioned for this little $10 plant but then again, what can you expect from a newbie, the given materials, and learning curb on how to pick 'em right.

A very interesting journey for me.

Thank you all for your help and ideas - priceless.
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: Newbie Juniper
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2010, 12:06 PM »
Yes, it's already looking a lot better..

The longer you are in this business, the more you'll come to appreciate the quality of the material that you work with. You will (and even are after this) be in a far better position to judge good starting trees and weak ones. You can already see how your initial design ideas (which an experience eye would have prevented) left a lot of work and this is very normal in the early stages.

I went to the garden centre on Friday looking for material for a "Literati (bunjin)" competition that I have entered on a UK forum (www.bonsaitalk.co.uk) and found nothing. I DID find a nice Juniper Squamata Meyerii which was being ignored and had been chopped back at one point, probably because it had been sitting there getting too big. So what did it have that was interesting?
- thick trunk with apparent roots near the surface
- new(back-budding) low on the trunk
- dense growth (i.e. good and healthy)
- $12 (ok, I admit it, it was €9)

The primary "checkboxes" were all filled : trunk, low growth, vigorous