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Studio Stories – Andrew’s Juniper…Pure Literati!

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 – Andrew’s Juniper…pure Literati!

Andrew and his tree’s are regular visitors to the nursery. I never know which trees he will be bringing until he actually arrives. Recently he attended for a one-to-one session and brought with him three junipers.

All the trees were in good health with strong growth and vibrant colour. Two of the trees IMG_2022basically required a discussion followed by a light pruning/branch selection. They were then left to grow strongly next year. Selective pruning would be carried out during the next growing season to encourage growth in the right areas to prepare the trees ready for their next restyling.

The third juniper, a Chinensis, had not been back for over 2 years and having grown very strong was now becoming somewhat bushy.

The twisting trunk with it’s twisting shari is really outstanding and it’s beauty simply can’t be captured in a two dimensional photograph. There are so many hidden twists and turns.

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The canopy is now overpowering the trunk. A branch is removed from the centre to open up the trunk more. You can see just how many heavy branches are projecting too far from the trunk.

Two lower branches are projecting in opposite directions and are in conflict. Suddenly when one of the lower branches is exposed I have a nasty thought……just imagine removing everything else and keeping just this single small triangle of foliage.

The simple brush strokes attributed to the learned Literati from which the name comes and the sparseness of foliage associated with the style are clearly evident.

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Many students wish I would keep these nasty thought to myself but Andrew knows me well enough and is feeling quite brave!!!

A large amount of the upper foliage is removed to allow more light and air to the lower branch. The lower branch divides into two but only the front section will form the tree.

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Pruning everything away now and leaving only the small triangle could seriously weaken the tree. We will leave some of the upper foliage and the rear section of the lower branch until next season. Next year we will transfer the vigour from these areas into the small triangle of foliage and gradually remove it.

The small triangle has been wired and placed in position. There is good movement in the branch parallel to the trunk which is not clear in the pictures. The final removal of all branches not being used in the design will enable more jins and shari to be created in keeping with the flow of the design.

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Eventually the tree will be repotted into a more appropriate smaller round pot. The final picture shows the branches removed with the aid of the computer to give you some idea of the scale of this operation.

Andrew deserves all the credit for having the courage to agree to such a daring transformation. If we just thinned out the existing tree then the true power of this trunk would never be seen and it is basically just another juniper. When this new design comes to fruition the full potential of this amazing little trunk will be achieved and Andrew will have a showstopper in his collection that is not just ……pure Literati but……..pure Gold!…..