today I started working on one of my older trees. It is a Juniperus Chinensis import, that I bought in 1996, at “Crespy Bonsai” in Milan Italy. It is one off the few import trees I have ever bought. This tree has always been a problem child for me, one day everything was just great and the next day it just turned weak. Then I let it recover again into good health, did some mild styling or careful repotting,…and weak again. So now I am trying to style this tree again, back into a Bonsai. I hope that it doesn’t mind it to match this time.
Above picture: The Juniper before my work began.
Above pictures: First all the old wire was removed. Then the live parts were cleaned with water, brushes and dish wash sponges with steel wool on one side. I stopped cleaning, as soon as I reached the red colour I was after, making real sure not to harm the sap flow of the tree!
Above pictures: You can appreciate the difference when you look at this picture of the tree after it is cleaned. Then just before dinner time, I made a quick drawing of the idea I have in mind for this Juniper. Now I only can hope for a sunny day tomorrow, so I can work on this tree again!
Next day, start cutting! A: The old top was too heavy and leaned too much forward for the design I have in mind. So it was removed, leaving some branch stumps to convert into Jin. B: This too long and thin branch is an eyesore for a long time, so it has to go! C: This long and straight Jin is totally out of place and only distracts, so it has to go!
Above pictures: This is the life! 🙂 The long Jin is shortened, the top is Jined, the two left branches are already carefully brought into place and there is a new top. Now some more basic wiring (only larger branches) and than I can bring everything into position!
Well, as you can see in this picture, I worked until late in the night and I must say the tree is getting along nicely! Tomorrow I only have some wiring and positioning on the two back branches to do and then I will tread the deadwood with lime sulphur to protect and whitening it again. And then the work is done for this time. I will love this tree until it is nauseous, this growing season! And hopefully, it will stay strong this time!I will post the pictures of the finished work tomorrow!
18-3-2009: Today I finished the tree, for now, that is. It was a wonderful sunny day and life was pretty good to me! I cleaned all the deadwood and then treated it with lime sulphur. The last wiring was don and then all the branches were brought into place. There was hardly any small wiring on this tree, only the larger branches were wired. I wanted to protect the growth I have on the tree as much as possible. I am pretty pleased with the result so far, only the straight and the boring top section of the trunk is still an eyesore to me! But this will be solved mostly in the future, as soon as the tree tells me it is still doing fine, I will start to make a Shari on that part. This will connect, story and theme wise, the top of the tree to the bottom part. But this is for the later. When the foliage has grown some more, the top left branch will be brought more in front of that section as well! The first left branch is weak and I might decide to remove it if it those not gets more vigorous this season. I calculated that possibility into this design. This tree needs a lot more work and growth, but it is on it’s way to becoming a Bonsai again! I hope you like it this fare?
Hans van Meer.