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Studio Stories – Twisting shari….Semi-cascade Juniper

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been really good 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 – Twisting shari….Semi-cascade Juniper

This Juniper Chinensis came out of quarantine and arrived on the nursery in July 2008. It still held copper wire which had been applied to the branches at some time in Japan.

Basically the live vein appears to twist around a central core of deadwood. This type of creation can look a bit artificial, a bit man-made but is nevertheless extremely dramatic especially with a trunk that twists and turns in the semi-cascade style.

The tree has remained with us to this day and we never complain when trees of this quality hang around the nursery. The wire had been removed but otherwise the tree remained basically the same apart from having a larger denser canopy.





The tree was thinned out ready for wiring and a branch to the rear was removed. The trunk was thoroughly cleaned and the deadwood was given a coat of lime sulphur.





The tree was then totally wired ready for styling. The lower branch to the right, at the front of the tree was removed. The canopy has basically lost it’s shape and become too wide/bushy. You can see from the pictures below that some branches have very long straight sections taking the foliage too far away from the trunk.






These along with several other branches had to be removed to create space within the canopy to enable other branches to be repositioned with foliage nearer the trunk. The final image has a much tighter and taller narrow canopy much more in keeping with the size and style of the tree.





The visible trunk section near the ground to the front of the tree is quite wide. A flat section suggests that there is a weak area between two strong live veins. By creating a small shari here it lightens the visual weight of the tree and adds to the twisting movement by complimenting the existing strong shari above.






In cleaning out the tree, in removing lower and internal branches we are removing the weaker foliage but retaining the stronger, brighter green foliage. You can see the difference very clearly in this final picture. You can also see that the tree’s foliage generally appears brighter and healthier in the latter pictures. In doing this work we are retaining the tree’s energy and working with it’s stronger parts so that recovery from the work and future development will be good.

The tree will be repotted in late spring. I have a feeling this tree won’t be hanging around our benches for much longer……I for one will be sorry to see him go………..