Bone Sai not Tanuki

February 2015, I collected several common (Tam) junipers from a landscape project.  Some didn’t make it and some made it.   Some of the junipers had beautiful trunk movement and “bones” while some was just practically a stick with green on top.   This post is what I did with a tree with a nice trunk but did not survived the move with another tree with less interesting trunk but survived and thriving.

February 2016, I took the dead trunk and combined it with the live trunk in one pot.  My goal was not to make a Phoenix graph or “Tanuki” but rather to make it appear that all the trunks came from the same root system.   I was able to wrap the live tree around the dead trunk as if they were meant to be twisted together.    I used duct tape and wires to hold it together.   I fertilized it heavily in the Spring and Summer.   I did the initial pruning July 4th this year.  This last weekend was a holiday (Labor Day weekend) for us in the US which means a 3 day weekend.  So I had time to work on some of my trees.  I did some wiring on this tree and move it up one more notch.  Photo below is the result.  I should have taken better photos but this thing is so big, I had a hard time moving it around.  If all goes well, I will keep it growing in this temporary pot for another year and transfer to a bonsai pot probably the year following.  What I like about this tree is that the two dead trunks are already  twisting around each other, adding the 3rd trunk that’s alive and about the same size makes it look like they did all come from one root system.


2015-03-29 07.02.16 (3)
This is the trunk that died when I first got it.  The mistake  I made what the soil, I should have used pure pumice.  I ran out of pumice and mixed it with other material which made it hard to drain and rotted the roots.


These are the two materials before I combined them in one pot.  The twisty trunk on the right is dead and the skinny trunk on the left is alive.


2016-03-26 06.14.18
After repotting both dead trunk and the live tree in one pot.  That was February 2016.




Here’s the latest photo of the combined tree and most recent work.



Here it is again.  Lots of work still to be done.  The bark on the dead trunk is still on and still need to be completely stripped.  Clean-up and carving still need to be done.  Note the part of the plastic pot was not cut to prevent the tree from falling over. 


Published by tony bonsaiko

My little trees are my daily reminders of our grand connection to this beautiful and mysterious universe.

One thought on “Bone Sai not Tanuki

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: