Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: bwaynef on August 01, 2014, 01:56 PM

Title: Shimpaku that needs...
Post by: bwaynef on August 01, 2014, 01:56 PM
a lot of stuff actually.

Its color, while improving, isn't the deep lush green of many other shimpaku I've seen.  Its in very fine organic soil, that until quite recently had a layer of thick moss growing on it along with most of the trunk.

Still, what's the wisdom of the group?  I have an idea of where to start, but I haven't worked out all the details past steps 1 or 2.  Would it be ok to go ahead and style this tree or do I wait until I see whips of foliage?  ...Or do I have to repot it before I can style it (or expect to see whips of foliage)?

If you can unburden yourself with the shackles of reality and imagine for a minute that this tree was healthy, what would your instinct be? 

And again, sorry for the pictures.  Pretend like that blob isn't there ...and that I don't have anything to hide by putting it there.
Title: Re: Shimpaku that needs...
Post by: 0soyoung on August 01, 2014, 02:34 PM
I don't know the wisdom of the group and would even question if a group can have such stuff.

Were it my tree, I would be contemplating how to emulate some of Pavel Slovak's magic, like he did with a sabina (
Title: Re: Shimpaku that needs...
Post by: bwaynef on August 01, 2014, 03:53 PM
Pavel Slovak I am not.  Neither does this tree have altogether much in common with that one, ...other than probably having to be bent in major ways in order to make something out of this tree.
Title: Re: Shimpaku that needs...
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on August 01, 2014, 04:57 PM
If this was in my garden, I'd most likely feed it heavily and keep it in lots of sun for the rest of the year.  If an area starts to send runners out 3-4", I might trim that shoot back pretty far with the hope of causing some back-budding. 

Looking at the photos, it has 2 long straight branches and one trunk line with good movement.

Next spring, I'd either repot and let it grow; or if the soil is ok Jin those 2 long straight branches, and prune back what's left pretty hard to get some back budding (shown in photo).  Maybe by the following spring, it will have built enough density to start some basic styling.

Title: Re: Shimpaku that needs...
Post by: VanceWood on December 01, 2014, 08:36 AM
If you are serious about making a bonsai out of this tree according to the assumptions you asked us to take at the beginning concerning the tree's health I would resign myself to the fact that two thing exist in real life:  Juniper bonsai exist, mostly, in the bonsai world as representing survivors of centuries on the mountain side. This means that there has to be a lot of twisted portions of the tree and a lot of dead wood.   There is not a lot that you have with this tree in the area of portions that can become dead wood but you do have a part of the tree that you can drastically bend and twist around to bring it in closer to the base of the trunk.  This probably means raffia binding, guy wires, jacks and a lot of basic wiring for shape. 

Once this sets and the raffia has been removed you will probably find places where the tree has split.  These areas can be the starting point of creating dead wood elements along the newly twisted trunk.  If there are no splits you can always start to create one that bare strips up the trunk.  These elements tend to make the trunk larger as the tree  attempts to roll over the wounds you inflict.  This is just my opinion and what I would do faced with having to do something with this tree. 

I would also understand that this will take more than a couple of years.  But so will growing in the ground with no artistic direction and in the end you have only a healthy tree (not bad either) with the same design problems.
Title: Re: Shimpaku that needs...
Post by: Charles Willis on June 07, 2015, 07:06 PM
Got an update on this one? Did you manage to turn it around?
Title: Re: Shimpaku that needs...
Post by: bwaynef on June 07, 2015, 09:01 PM
It is still growing and seems to be taking on additional health, but isn't in altogether different shape than last pictured.