Landscape Juniper to Bonsai

This landscape juniper was collected from a landscape project we did in the Spring of 2011.  It sat in its own soil for 2 years (luckily that soil was sandy and kept the tree alive).  Then I repotted the tree into this myca pot with bonsai soil about 2 years ago.  I’m not sure what variety of juniper this is but the foliage have a light green color to it (probably Golden Juniper).  At first,  I tried to graft a shimpaku juniper last year but probably did not do it right and I got impatient.  After accepting that I will keep its own foliage the way it is, I styled the tree for the first time this last fall and winter.

I was thinking of a much smaller tree but since this is my first time to style it, I left myself with options and some insurance.   I left two apex (s) to this tree.   I bent the left one hard to lean the same way as the taller one on the right.  I had to split that branch to make it bend. I wrap it with banana bark, (my substitute to raffia)  I have plenty in my yard,  and then used a duct tape as another layer before I put the wire on.   I’m watching the tree,the beginning of Spring 2016, all branches appears to be growing just fine.  This year, lots of fertilizer to develop this tree further.


Before I did any styling to this tree  in September
My first time grafting.  Tried approach grafting a shimpaku.  It didn’t work the way I want it.  Decided to stay with existing foliage.


After removing the failed graft, this is what the tree looks like.  How do you even design a tree like this anyway?
After deciding to keep to apex for now, I split this left branch  so I can bend it.  I wrap it with banana bark and duct tape.


Here’s the tree with that left branch bent.


This it what the tree looked like after my initial styling in September.  I want to tilt this tree eventually to maximize the perspective of a thicker branch and if I decide to keep the lowest branch later, it will make it look as if it’s naturally bent down. That lower branch is very thick and may need to be carved later.  I’m keeping it for now as an insurance and an option.


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I let the tree sat until early February before I did more work.  After seeing that the tree make it through the bending and the cold, I did more wiring on February 6 to refine it.  It’s now March 13 and I’m watching this tree start to  grow as spring  warms up.  I started putting fertilizer on this tree mid February and added more in the last few weeks.  The more I study the tree,  I can see this tree becoming even shorter.  I will wait what nature will give me.



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If all goes well, I sketched one possible outcome of this tree.

Published by tony bonsaiko

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

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