Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: JRob on November 12, 2011, 01:05 PM

Title: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: JRob on November 12, 2011, 01:05 PM
Good Morning All,
Here are some pics taken today of my biggest Itoigawa. It was potted into a bonsai pot in March 2009 from a nursery container. This year I have been working on the jin & shari with fine hand carving tools under the watchful eye of my teacher. I have cleaned up the bark ad we dramatically lowered the bottom right branch. Next march with his guidance I will with do the initial styling of the foliage.  

Its a beautiful fall day in St. Louis. As I was raking up leaves in the yard and the sun was glistening on the trees I couldn't help but to take a moment and snap some pictures and dream of bonsai days to come. I am hoping to have this tree ready to submit for entry into the 4th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibit in 2014 in either a Peter Kreb or antique Japanese pot.

Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: MatsuBonsai on November 12, 2011, 02:42 PM
Doesn't look like shohin to me.  I would be happy to take it off your hands.  I look forward to seeing it's progress next March.  Please do remember to share some more photos then.
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: JRob on November 12, 2011, 03:04 PM

You are correct - not shohin! The tree stands 24" to top jin. Tree should finish 22-23 inches is my quess.

Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: Chrisl on November 12, 2011, 08:25 PM
Really nice work Rob!  The branch placements and angles are is the trunk and carving.  Overall, a fine tree ya got there Rob! ;)  And I too look forward to seeing it's progression. 
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: John Kirby on November 13, 2011, 01:10 AM
Nice work. You posted this tree a while back, I have one of its "siblings" that Joe Harris imported in a large group of field grown trees and placed in nursery containers at Matsunami-en. Igot one from DaveKreutz in 2005 (Washington, DC bonsai convention), Boon has had a one or two pass through the club as well. Nice material, just takes time, and Michael knows how to make them come along very well. Nice. As a post note, mine was given a rather significant hair cut in the past couple of weeks by the ravaging hordes of deer, I think you could train deer to do it very well, just have to teach them to leave a little green on the ends of the branches.....
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: JRob on November 13, 2011, 05:52 AM

You are correct on this tree's history as far as I know it. I purchased this tree from David as well. When I bought it was one of two he had left. The last has left his nursery as well. If I remember correctly the trees where brought in for the BCI convention in June of 2004 held here in St. Louis. If this one did not make the cut for those selected during the workshop I can only imagine what the others must have been like.

As for the haircut - that is why mine are fenced and I switched to organic fertilizers. The do not attract my dogs and the squirrels to the benches. Lost a really nice antique shohin pot knocked off the bench when two squirrels where feasting on the rapeseed cakes my first spring. Also had a stay cat that must of been attracted to the smell of the fish emulsion. Now I only have the occasional bird landing on the larger trees. My camera is always ready. I want to snap a picture of a male cardinal on the Rocky Mountain to use as a Christmas Card but no luck so far.

Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: Yenling83 on November 13, 2011, 08:10 PM
very nice tree!
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: Gary S on December 09, 2011, 11:28 AM
Nice tree JRob.

I have an Itoigawa that is similar.

Your roots look so healthy. What soil mix do you use for this tree?
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: JRob on March 13, 2012, 07:16 PM

So sorry for my delay in responding to you. I have not checked this thread in a while. On all my trees I use a Japanese manufactured professional grade soil which is premixed & sifted and it contains akadama, pumice and volcanic sand. It is called Clay King. We feed trees with a pellet called Bio-Gold from Dallas Bonsai Gardens that stays on the soil surface and then liquid feed alternating between fish emulsion and seaweed extract every Saturday.

I did extensive work on this tree with my teacher this past weekend. The tree was not repotted this year but its initial styling and wiring was accomplished under his watchful eye.

Here is a quick pic. I'll get some better pictures this weekend when I have more time.


Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: Gary S on March 15, 2012, 10:59 AM
Thanks JRob,

I have to repot my Itoigawa this Spring. I do have some Akadama medium left, pumice and some small red lava also.

This Itoigawa has not been doing so well lately. I think the soil I used 3 years ago was not as well drained as it should be, I had some turface in it, how much-I can't remember.

I think Boon's soil for Itoigawa is 1/3 Akadama, 1/3 pumice and 1/3 lava.

I haven't even started repotting yet since the temperatures up here in WI have been 30ºF above average!

Thanks again.
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: JRob on October 15, 2012, 08:44 PM
Good Evening All,

Spent the weekend working with my teacher who was in town with the STL Study Group on some of my trees. Here is a picture taken tonight of my larger Itoigawa which got a slight grooming. Good growth since last posted photo posted from May. Even with the extremely hot STL spring and summer all of my trees did well and I have no noticeable damage or stress but boy were they babied through the string of 108 degree days that never seamed to end.

I hope your all having a fantastic fall!

Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: Dan W. on October 15, 2012, 09:31 PM
Having a great fall here :) Thanks!

I love the movement in your shimp. Good tree and good work!
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: JRob on March 13, 2013, 07:45 PM
Evening All,

Repotted this tree this past weekend in a Kiesan - Hisada Shizuo tokoname. Not perfect but the best that was available. Enjoy!

Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: Gary S on March 17, 2013, 02:57 PM

Your Itoigawa looks like it's doing very well, good luck growing this year.

I can't find ClayKing anywhere around here so I'll use Boon's soil for Itoigawa is 1/3 Akadama, 1/3 pumice and 1/3 lava this Spring.

Here's a picture of the one I was talking about concerning repotting this Spring.

This picture was taken after the first frost but in general it has lost it's bright green color.

The rocks on the surface of the soil were necessary through the Summer of last year when one of the aluminum

hold down wires in the pot broke in half.

Hopefully it will spring back after repotting in the new soiless mix.
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: JRob on April 14, 2014, 10:23 PM
Evening All,

St. Louis should see a hard freeze the next two nights, dropping to 30 degrees or below and may seven see some snow flurries. I have moved all my trees into the pool cabana or the garage. Even those that were wintered outside. Taking no chances. I took some pictures this evening to document them. Here is a current picture of this tree. Even though most of mine are shohin I do have a select few that are large and will post some pictures of my bigger trees over the next several days. Cars are in the driveway for the next couple of nights JRob
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: Sorce on April 14, 2014, 11:01 PM
JRob. I really dig (no pun intended) your trees.
This one too. Especially the lower trunk. The 2 "eyes". Great character.

Something about the deadwood under the apex that bothers me. The mirror imageness of the dead and live.

But then I look at the old pic, and can really see that wicked (good)  jin that is right in front of that.

I think if you carved back a bit of that deadwood behind it, you could...
A. improve taper.
B. Kill that mirror really bugs me.
C. Accentuate, with more light thus shadow beneath..that 3 prong jin. I love the feel of it.

Your 3d thoughts?
Title: Re: My Large Itoigawa
Post by: JRob on June 17, 2014, 08:01 PM
My son, Home from university and just complete a degree in flute performance and of to Yale's School of Music mid-August to start a master's degree on a full scholarship with stipend., has been feverishly working our our trees. I am so glad to have him home helping out for the summer. He cleaned out our large shimpaku and we'll begin wiring it out this weekend. JRob