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Styling an old Juniper Chinensis

I believe this tree was imported from Japan during the 1990’s. I acquired the tree around 2000 and it was then sold to one of my students. About 10 years later the tree came back to me under tragic circumstances. I have had to nurture the tree back into good health. It spent several years in my growing beds and also had to be treated for a severe attack of juniper scale.

Finally the tree was strong enough to be potted up and offered for sale. The tree had lost its original shape over the years and branches had been allowed to extend to aid its recovery. Consequently there was no interest from anyone enquiring about wanting to purchase the tree.

I am in the process of styling some of my material ready for sale and decided that this tree deserved the chance to be taken to its next level and retuned to its former glory. Hopefully it will make it a more attractive proposition in trying to sell it. This is the story of the restyling process.

The now overgrown tree. The central trunk was very straight with no taper so I removed the foliage from it several years ago to aid the tree’s recovery.
The tree from the other side.
You can just make out a natural shari near the base which separates two live veins.
It should be possible to create another shari on this side which will link to the dead central trunk and make it appear both more natural and aesthetically pleasing.
The old flaky bark has been removed to reveal the rich red colour below and the central trunk has been made into deadwood.
The deadwood has been extended into a shari as I suggested which leaves two nicely flowing live veins to feed the remaining two trunks.
Separate sharis at the base separate the live veins.
Another shari has also been initiated on the other side and this will also eventually link into the deadwood of the central trunk.
The lower trunk comes nicely towards you from this angle but I think the trunk and deadwood is more interesting from the other side.
Decision made and with the lower trunk wired I was able to manipulate it towards the preferred front.
The lower trunk has now taken on the guise of an almost seperate cascading tree but I think this will work nicely with the upper trunk whilst giving the bonsai greater individuality and character.
Now I have to work on the upper trunk, lowering the branches and arranging the foliage around the trunk.
The restyling completed and I have to say I am pleased with the outcome. There is still some work to be done on the deadwood and then it can be treated with lime sulphur. if the tree is still for sale later in spring I may transfer it to a ceramic bonsai pot.

This bonsai has been through a lot in the 25 years I have known it. Having rescued the tree and saved its life it has now rewarded me with this remarkable transformation.

I hope its new appearance will help attract a buyer and new home where it can be cherished and taken to its next level.