This Western juniper, Juniperus occidentalis, was one of the more fun projects that made it to Akio Kondo’s workshop at Boon’s last month. After a few years in a pot the tree is very healthy and is now ready for its first styling. Typically, after finding the roots the primary task is determining the front of the tree. For junipers this usually revolves around finding the best angle from which the trunk may be viewed. In this case there is an additional design consideration – the tree has a single main branch.
Western juniper – side 1
Although it is nearly 2″ in diameter, the branch is intact and somewhat flexible. And unless the design entails the sole branch pointing away from the trunk line, the branch will have to move. But where? Some more views of the tree:
Western juniper – side 2
Western juniper – side 3
Western juniper – side 4
When John started work on this tree I was busy plucking pine needles and didn’t catch the plan he and Kondo had set for the tree. I was surprised, however, to note that the first step involved a hammer.
Beginning with a hammer
That wasn’t, to my thinking, an obvious starting point. But leaving the story here for now makes room for some interesting possibilities.
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