Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: John Kirby on September 04, 2012, 10:16 PM

Title: Grafted Prostrata
Post by: John Kirby on September 04, 2012, 10:16 PM
This is a tree that I picked up from Sam Edge when he decided to sell off a number of his trees. Peter Tea had styled it and it one the Midori Show. This tree was originally styled and shown with its own foliage and then a decision was made to graft it with Shimapku foliage. The tree had a few health issues so was repotted and allowed to sit for a couple of years (it was recently featured in International Bonsai from the 2011 BIB Show). The tree was restyled while Akio was in California. It is expected to be ready for the "Born in the USA" BIB SHow scheduled for January, 2014. It is currently in a Yamaaki "Purse" pot, it will be shown in an antique  Taishodoko oval (old Tokoname). A before picture can be found in April 2011 Tree of the Month List, it was not selected then. Cheers.
Title: Re: Grafted Prostrata
Post by: cbobgo on September 05, 2012, 01:25 PM
obviously a really nice tree, and better than anything I own.

That being said, doesn't the top look just a little bit too perfectly rounded?  It seems like thinning the foliage out and making it a bit more irregular in outline would be an improvement.

- bob
Title: Re: Grafted Prostrata
Post by: John Kirby on September 05, 2012, 01:46 PM
No. This isn't a tree styled to be"naturalistic", as it grows out over the next year it will, however, gain some variation. The uniformity and density of the apex/crown of the tree is partly a function of view. it is a highly 'stylized' impression of a tree, something that many Japanese artists do, look at the big needle junipers in Kokufuten, and many of us Westerners are uncomfortable with. Trees with adequate fine branching in the apex are needed to do this, most of. Mine don't have that level of refinement- but give me time.
Title: Re: Grafted Prostrata
Post by: cbobgo on September 05, 2012, 02:23 PM
No, I understand that is the style, I'm just not sure it really works for this tree.  The rest of the tree is so rugged, to have this finely manicured top on it seems quite artificial.

- bob
Title: Re: Grafted Prostrata
Post by: Yenling83 on September 05, 2012, 03:44 PM
Looks awesome John!  Aiko's detail wiring is insane.  I think this tree looks really good and is a big improvement from the photo's I've seen in the past.  

Bob- I think once the tree becomes more show ready which should be performed closer to the show date-the bark and dead wood is cleaned up, pot is changed and moss added to surface you may think it's more fitting.    

Title: Re: Grafted Prostrata
Post by: Owen Reich on September 05, 2012, 06:32 PM
You also have to consider this tree is in development.  With many conifers, a line can be traced from the outer edges of the pads from lowest branch to apex where the these edges "line up" or perhaps just slightly overlap.  Looks like that's what is happening to me.  A rounded apex is a good starting point to work from as this area is the first to need reworking in the future.  Compacting it now will give John options for refinement later; a two tier apex might be nice for example. 

Conifers must be styled withing their limitations; creative bends in the apex to utilize available branches, optical illusions to create fullness close to the trunk, etc.

My teacher is more concerned with apex size than some pros here in Japan.  Kimura's trees for example often seem to develop a "puffy" apex requiring a major re-work in the future.  Kondo-san's work looks like he is going for sustainability.

That being said, I may have done something different myself.  But, not my tree.