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Classroom Corner – The Mugo Pine and the Juniper

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.

Classroom Corner – The Mugo Pine and the Juniper
These two trees arrived in the studio on a recent Saturday open workshop.
Both had already been styled in the past and had grown well since the original styling. The owner of each tree now thought the time was right for a change……maybe there was more to come from the material………maybe they thought something was not quite right???
Each tree was discussed and reappraised starting with the Mugo. Some of the branches were really heavy. Despite some good back budding developing foliage clouds in the right place at the ends of tapering branches was always going to be difficult and could take many years.
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Making the tree more compact would overcome a lot of the problems and would eventually create a much more powerful image.
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Branches were selected and all the problem ones that were no longer part of the design were removed. The remaining branches were then wired. A very neat small bonsai has emerged from the “bush” and one which is now much more transparent……you can see immediately where this tree is going and a achieving the result should be attainable in a much shorter timescale.
The Juniper Parsonii had been allowed to grow unchecked but was now somewhat “wayward”… has lost it’s shape….there is no triangular canopy or recognisable apex.
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After some deliberation it was decided to alter the planting angle. Almost immediately the tree had more stature and character. It was then simply a case of rewiring the tree and repositioning the branches in tune with the new angle. Some branches were removed during this process. The large lower jin to the right will now have to be steam-bent downwards to counter balance the trunk’s movement to the left. Once again the resulting tree is now much more “obvious”.
If you are uncomfortable with one of your trees don’t despair…..take a closer look, try a few things……sometimes a simple change such as in the angle or size can really make a big difference.