Bonsai Tonight

Wiring a procumbens juniper

Posted in Before and after, Styling by Jonas Dupuich on September 10, 2013

At this past weekend’s Bay Island Bonsai workshop, I wired my procumbens juniper. I didn’t use any heavy wire or make severe bends – for the most part I used fairly small gauge wire (mostly 14-18 with some 12) to tighten up the silhouette. No big changes for now while the tree fills in after thinning.

Procumbens

Front – before

Procumbens juniper

Front – after

Procumbens

Left side – before

Procumbens juniper

Left side – after

Procumbens

Right side – before

Procumbens juniper

Right side – after

Procumbens

Back – before

Procumbens juniper

Back – after

As the branches increase in density, I will replace the remaining heavy branches with smaller ones to create a less helmet-like effect. A repotting is also in order, which may happen later this fall.

Refining a procumbens juniper

Posted in Bonsai Development by Jonas Dupuich on August 23, 2013

This past winter I bought a juniper, procumbens ‘Nana,’ that was already well established as a bonsai. I repotted it soon after taking it home and have been letting it grow freely ever since. I removed about half of the old soil when I repotted, but until I remove the rest, I won’t expect the tree to be as vigorous as it can be in soil that drains better.

To prepare the tree for wiring, I recently thinned the foliage. I also removed a branch at the suggestion of Akio Kondo and extended the shari a bit. Here’s what the tree looked like before and after thinning.

Procumbens

Front – before

Procumbens

Front – after

Procumbens

Left side – before

Procumbens

Left side – after

Procumbens

Right side – before

Procumbens

Right side – after

Procumbens

Back – before

Procumbens

Back – after

As you can see, the shape of the tree didn’t change at all, but the overall density is lower than before. This is especially clear when the tree is viewed from above.

From above

View from above

Next, I jinned a large back branch. The process was simple – I removed most of the secondary and tertiary branching and peeled away the bark on the remaining stubs.

Deadwood

After stripping bark from the end of the jinned branch

It’s always easier to remove the bark when you make jin as postponing the work gives the bark time to dry out, making it much harder to remove.

Deadwood

After stripping the bark at the base of the branch

Deadwood

The jinned branch from below

This was a natural time to extend the shari, so Boon marked areas for me to work on.

Deadwood

Red marks indicate where the new shari will be

I tend to take a lightweight approach to carving deadwood on bonsai. Shari often occurs naturally above and below dead branches as sap can no longer flow through these areas. The few areas I opened up were all adjacent to already dead areas.

Deadwood

Extending the shari above a dead area

Deadwood

Extending shari below the jinned branch

Deadwood

Extending the shari below a dead branch

Deadwood

Widening the shari below dead branches

Deadwood

From the front

I’ll usually let the deadwood dry for up to a year or two before treating it with lime sulfur.  Waiting will help me achieve a more natural effect as lime sulfur doesn’t soak in very well to new deadwood. I’ll say more about the thinning process Friday.

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Thinning procumbens juniper

Posted in Bonsai Development by Jonas Dupuich on August 20, 2013

Thinning procumbens juniper is straightforward. Remove downward-growing shoots, shoots that emerge from branch intersections and shoots that extend beyond the desired pad silhouette. Thin remaining shoots to facilitate wiring.

Procumbens

Procumbens juniper – before thinning

Procumbens

Before thinning – below

Procumbens

Removing a downward-growing shoot

Procumbens

After thinning

Procumbens

After thinning – below

Procumbens

Branch pad after thinning

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Grafting Utah juniper – a post without words

Posted in Bonsai Development by Jonas Dupuich on April 30, 2013

Utah juniper

Bags

Garden tape

Making the slit

Moist white sphagnum moss

Scion source

Scion source

Scion

Making the cut

Proper cut

Proper cut

Proper cut

Making way for the scion

Scion in place

Wrapping the grafting tape

Wrapping complete

Tying the bag in place

Painter's tape

Grafts complete

Grafts complete

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