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Classroom Corner – Rob’s Juniper Chinensis

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 – Rob’s Juniper Chinensis
A few weeks ago on October 24th we posted a blog under Topical Times entitled “Travelling Times”. One of the trees pictured in this blog was Rob’s Juniper Chinensis.
The tree was back here this weekend on an extra time class so now seems a good time to tell it’s story.
I believe Rob acquired the tree at the beginning of this year…..a bit of a bargain if truth be told…..but there were some doubts about it’s health. He teased the roots out gently and potted it on into a larger ceramic bonsai pot in good free draining compost. The tree was then allowed to grow freely for the rest of the year.
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When the tree came back in October it was in very good condition with excellent vigour and colour. It was decided to work the tree and give it the first styling whilst in Rob’s hands. The first two pictures above show how the tree arrived and also show two possible “fronts”. The third picture shows work in progress in cleaning up the live veins and deadwood. The lines between the living and dead tissue need to be more clearly defined.
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When the tree returned last weekend the cleaning work had been finished and all the branches had been wired. A large jin protruding from the centre of the tree needed to be reduced. Guy wires had to be used to help gently pull the heavy lower branches downwards into better positions.
IMG_3816 IMG_3821The remainder of the side branches were moved into position and finally the upper branches were used to form a crown. The finished image shows a mature compact tree with typical live vein/shari movement associated with junipers from Japan.
The unruly bush has been transformed into a very nice bonsai and now really does look to be a bargain. Notice we decided on a new front looking from the corner of the pot but the tree could look equally as good from either of the other two fronts mentioned earlier.
It is the sign of a good tree when it still looks good from different viewpoints. I am sure Rob found his long journey to classes to be really worthwhile.