Species Specific > Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai Discussion

Shohin/Kifu Itoigawa Shimpaku

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John Kirby:
This is a Kifu (maybe shohin if the Jin gets shortened) itoigawa shimpaku that I purchased from Larry Leone in Texas in 2006. It is a very gnarly twisted plant that I have wired, Mike Hagedorn wired and styled in 08 and Akio Kondo wired and styled this month. This tree has always been a bit difficult because it wants to act like a slant or a semicascade and I really want it to be more of an informal upright. The tree has flowed heavily to the right, but each styling has brought it back more to the center. I would like to eventually show this tree, just to have a twisty juniper out there. Anyway, I know some folks are critical of these twisty little devils, calling them contrived, I however view this as a well done, yet highly stylized tree, where the foliage is finally starting to catch up with the trunk.

Any comments or ideas?

(Pictures are front, right, back, left, views. Thanks Boon for the nice pictures!).


I really enjoy this tree.  Going from the feet of the pot, has the front changed?  Are you planning on keeping the left side of the tree tight to show the jin(s) peeking through, or do you think you might all it to grow out more?

John Kirby:
Yes it is turned about 15-20 degrees. The foliage needs to remain somewhat spare just to keep it from looking to heavy and static.


I always liked that little tree, but the new styling really sets it off.  Akio did a really nice job.  At the size it is at, it might be really nice accenting a shohin stand.  Not sure what they call the "odd tree out" of a shohin display.  It seems like reducing it to shohin size might end up making the foliage into 1 solid mass, whereas it might stay more broken into pads as a slightly larger tree.

The small twisted Junipers seem to be one of those touch stones, people either love them or hate them depending on if they like stylized trees.  Or to what degree.

Thanks for the pics!


I've been searching around looking at these yamadori-esque junipers and came to this one.  I reworked the picture and thought I'd share.


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