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Studio Stories – Nursery Juniper Ittogawa (2)

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….

Studio Stories – Nursery Juniper Ittogawa (2)

This was the second of the two trees left over from a Christmas Special class some 2 years ago. Despite being sad at not being selected by a participating student the trees had put this behind them and continued to grow well.

During the past 2 years some routine maintenance pruning and cleaning out had been undertaken but otherwise the trees had been generally allowed to grow unchecked. Great for health and vigour but shape wise the trees were not selling themselves to passing bonsai customers.

Something had to be done!… the trees arrived in my studio. First a thorough cleaning  of the trunk and branches, then the removal of all weak shoots and a branch selection.

Next was the investigation of potential deadwood. Branches now devoid of foliage were made into jins. The line of possible shari’s was marked ensuring that the main veins would not be weakened and aesthetically that the shari lines were both correct and plausible. Some of these lines will be widened and extended in due course when the tree is happy for us to continue safely.

The tree was now ready for wiring and styling. Any unnecessary branches were pruned away. This tree has a very large low branch with plenty of side shoots so rather than cut it off I decided to alter the planting angle and use this branch as a cascading trunk.

The tree also had two potential apexes so we had to make a decision and convert the rejected one into deadwood.

The transformation in this tree from the original raw material is really amazing.

The branches have been left long and a little unkempt for the health of the tree. The foliage mass will be gradually reduced in the next growing seasons. Hopefully now my customers will see the true potential this tree has to offer and just maybe…..just maybe….a few students may realise that 2 years ago perhaps they made the wrong choice……???

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