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Studio Stories – Yamadorii Juniper from Japan (Part Two)

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 – Yamadorii Juniper from Japan (Part Two)

Part One of this blog was published on the 23rd January 2014 under Studio Stories. Part Two will show how the tree was further developed by simply being allowed to grow and pruned to achieve the desired result. These were his “growing years”…….

The tree grew strongly in 2006 and the wire applied in October 2005 had to be removed.

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The foliage areas were thinned out and branch selections were made. The outer foliage was strong but I needed new foliage inside closer to the trunk. In October 2006 the tree was given a loose basic wiring, hence the somewhat scraggy appearance.

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The first picture above shows the tree in May 2007. The foliage has been tidied and is growing more uniform. The other two pictures show the tree in October and November later that year. It was time to try and find the exact line and thickness of the live vein and to differentiate between this and the extensive deadwood. The outer foliage is continually being reduced whenever possible to speed up the development of the inner foliage.

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The above pictures show the tree in 2008 and his last visit to the Kawabe school which ended that year. You can see how bushy the tree is in May in the first picture and the result in the second picture after being thinned out yet again. The third picture shows the tree in October. After a good seasons growth the foliage is lighter but has been taken in further and long branch tips have been removed.

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Here the first picture is in April 2009 whilst the other two pictures were taken in August. Not a great deal of difference at first glance but the new foliage is more compact, tighter to the branches and a very strong, vibrant healthy green! Foliage on the yamadorii Junipers is generally coarser and much harder to work with and refine than the foliage of say Chinensis or Ittogawa.

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September 2010 and this tree really has grown well in response to our treatment. The tree was cleaned out and wired in preparation for our Newstead 4 Bonsai Extravaganza. The pictures show before and after shots from each side with the final picture showing the tree sitting proudly on the show bench.

A friend of mine, Peter from the Kawabe school was in contact with Takeo Kawabe in Japan and sent him a picture from the exhibition. I was thrilled to learn that he approved of the tree and was really surprised by it’s progress in such a relatively short period of time. I continue to practice the valuable lessons I learned from Mr Kawabe, sharing this knowledge and my experiences with students attending classes.

Part Three in this series will bring you right up to date with details of more work carried out on this tree and recently completed in the studio so watch this space as they say……