Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: somegeek on August 19, 2011, 01:20 AM

Title: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: somegeek on August 19, 2011, 01:20 AM
Hey folks,

I purchased this tree roughly a year and a half ago and have only done some pad wiring and pinching back.  I plan to move it into a bonsai pot in the spring.

I have a few part of this tree that I am struggling to decide what to do with.

Front
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11300;image)

Front left
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11302;image)

Left - I have many small branches on the upper 3rd of this tree and I'm not sure which to wire out for pads and which to remove to make room.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11304;image)

Back
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11306;image)
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: somegeek on August 19, 2011, 01:21 AM
Right
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1372.0;attach=11308;image)

The owner who cared for this tree previously advised that I could take off this branch or jin it.  I like the idea of a jin to keep this line in the tree as it fills in an open space and offers depth to the viewer.  Thoughts?  This is the branch that sticks way out in the above Back view.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11310;image)

Top view
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11312;image)

Trunk line
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11314;image)

Any suggestions regarding the styling are greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
somegeek
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: MatsuBonsai on August 19, 2011, 08:59 AM
If it were mine I would stop pinching and instead focus on wiring out the pads and developing branch structure.
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: John Kirby on August 19, 2011, 11:22 AM
I agree with John, and a good deal of thinning is needed to ensure that the growth is maintained through the entire pad. Remember pinching really stresses the tree and should only be used to increase density after the basic pad has been formed. Pinching to make the pad will not make a good bonsai.

John
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: nathanbs on August 19, 2011, 02:30 PM
Nice Kishu with a lot of potential. There appears to be great branch placement and trunk movement, and the overall health looks excellent. But as the other 2 gentlemen said the topiary style "pads" don't work well except for the silhouette of the tree. You need to get in there and clean out all of the downward branches, bar branches, crotches of branches, and really air that puppy out. Then ultimately wire it and truly spread out its wings and start developing some nice secondary and tertiary branching which it does not likely have.  I think junipers are more complicated to learn then black pine, it took many times with me being told by Roy Nagatoshi how to do it, before i finally got it somewhat. Do what is easiest first like i mentioned above, the downward, bar, and crotches and go from there.
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: somegeek on August 19, 2011, 02:38 PM
Am I safe carrying out this work now?

How far back in the structure should I safely trim to get back to an ideal start for a good branch structure?

Thanks for the replies and guidance - much appreciated.

somegeek
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: nathanbs on August 19, 2011, 11:14 PM
yes it is safe to do juniper clean out now. Only shorten when taper is lacking or length is too long. Juniper will back bud so structure can be filled out as you go. Just go for nice taper and length now with alternating branches, as shimpaku can typically grow with opposing bar branches. Then wire to fill in empty spaces. Any foliage that is not exposed to air and sun will ultimately weaken and die, so keep that in mind while wiring and pruning. Once primary and secondary and some tertiary branching is set then resume your pinching regime as it looks like you got that figured out
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: somegeek on August 19, 2011, 11:21 PM
Thanks for the reply.  I believe I understand now.  Is this similar to what you refer to?

http://kingii.blogspot.com/2010/06/83.html (http://kingii.blogspot.com/2010/06/83.html)

Namely, this image (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0kjtXNoxqOA/TCc2BtSlElI/AAAAAAAAJys/Ds5Pohaywbw/s1600/DSCN2389.JPG), but on a smaller scale.

I have some nice branching inside the pads and can see where I should be able to trim back to to leave tufts similar to the image above if this is what I should be shooting for.

somegeek
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: nathanbs on August 20, 2011, 11:45 AM
no not exactly. I'm not sure why the branches are stripped leaving nothing but a little "tuft" at the end. This is what happens more or less when light cannot penetrate into the inner portions of the tree, the foliage is only at the terminal ends of the branches. But looks more deliberate and that is not what you are after. Treat it like a deciduous tree where you want a primary branch branching into several secondary branches branching into multiple tertiary branches, wire them flat like big fan blades and work on creating a little dimension by laying the branches over one another. With the exception of no foliage at the base of each branch, you definitely want more foliage than the tree in the last pic.
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: nathanbs on August 20, 2011, 12:19 PM
here is a couple pics of a shimpaku that has not been cleaned out this year but gives you a better idea of the overall objective. The last pics is of a prostrata juniper after its first clean up and wire before any foliage has filled in.
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: nathanbs on August 20, 2011, 04:48 PM
one thing i forgot, another type of branch or foliage to remove are what R. Nagatoshi refers to as "wimpy" branches. They are very skinny sometimes a single straight scale foliage, no branchlets. He says these will never amount to anything, so remove them.
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: Chrisl on September 01, 2011, 09:12 PM
Nathan, really nice branching.  I'm also working on my first Shimpaku.  So do you select new buds for development as branches, and then cut the branches to form secondary and tertiary branches? , And only use pinching for pad development?  That's what I've been doing and want to make sure this is the correct way. 

Somegeek, (great name btw ;) ), I really like your tree.  It has a great trunk.  Nice styling too.  And I agree with everyone's suggestion to clean it out wire for branch structure.  Keep us updated as I'd love to see the progress.
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: somegeek on September 02, 2011, 01:50 AM
here is a couple pics of a shimpaku that has not been cleaned out this year but gives you a better idea of the overall objective. The last pics is of a prostrata juniper after its first clean up and wire before any foliage has filled in.

Thanks much for taking the time to post these pics.  Since my tree is pretty loaded up currently, should I keep my foliage reduction to 50% even if there is still more to remove to get to the point where I should be regarding concentration on branch development or can I remove more if needed to get to a similar point illustrated in the pic you posted?

somegeek
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: John Kirby on September 02, 2011, 05:30 PM
I would prune to thin, less than 50%, then let it grow. If you try and do it all at once you will force it to revert to Juvenile foliage- and you don't want that. It has young branches, they should pop back extremely well. This is the technique used on our current tree of the month owned by Kenny in So Cal. (and the Junipers that I have had up over the past year.).
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: somegeek on September 02, 2011, 05:32 PM
Thanks for the direction, all.  I have a weekend project ahead of me.   

somegeek
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: nathanbs on September 03, 2011, 12:28 AM
i second what Kirby said
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: somegeek on September 04, 2011, 05:20 PM
I worked on this tree for a few hours today and pruned out a lot of the foliage to thin things out as suggested.  Prolly around 40%?  Next is to wire out what's left.  Comparing this to the earlier images in this thread, it's lost quite a bit of weight.  :)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11478;image)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11480;image)

I saw where I could have taken more in several areas to work on branch development but I will work on that next year.  Looking forward to seeing this tree react in the Spring.


This back branch was always to be removed so I removed the foliage and will jin it.  In order to take this back to the trunk line, do I strip the bark back to near where I'd like this to end up and let the bark die back to it's own demarcation point on the trunk?

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/shimpaku-advice/?action=dlattach;attach=11482;image)

somegeek
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: scottroxburgh on September 04, 2011, 08:53 PM
http://www.bonsaiboon.com/pages/shopping.html (http://www.bonsaiboon.com/pages/shopping.html)

Click on the Scale Junipers - Maintenance DVD, it has great info and will get you started.
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: Mike Pollock on September 06, 2011, 07:42 PM
Have you hooked up with Ryan Neil yet?  If I'm not mistaken, you are less than an hour from his nursery. No one better to learn from in the US right now. http://www.bonsaimirai.com/ (http://www.bonsaimirai.com/)
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: jtucker on September 06, 2011, 09:13 PM
Hey Geek,

I'm no expert, but I feel the top section, going pretty much vertical after the nice curvy trunk, has too thick of a diameter and doesn't quite harmonize with the rest of the tree.

What does everyone think if that top section were jinned, or possibly even completely removed?
Title: Re: Shimpaku Advice
Post by: John Kirby on September 07, 2011, 10:27 AM
I just saw your location as well, Mike Hagedorn and Ryan Neill are both in the area and I believe Mike does a good deal of work with the Portland Area Bonsai Club(s). You could join the club and get some real hands on help. I believe that Joe Harris still works wih the club there as well, Scott Elsner (a Boon Intensive Alum and winner of an award at the 1st US National Exhibition is also in the club and could be a great help (Nobody draws better than Scott, a true artist).