On World Bonsai Day Weekend (May 13-15), I was at my friend Randy Clarks house. We went to a World Bonsai Day celebration at a local nursery and the day after he let me work on some trees.
I told Randy that later in may at the Bonsai Convention I am attending, I am doing a styling competition. The species I was going to style is a Procumbens nana Juniper. Since I don't have any juniper I can practice on at home, I asked if I could work on one of his.
He picked this one out:
Randy said trim the juniper. So we brought it inside to his studio and I started to trim.
He said start at this pad. He showed me how to trim a juniper since I wasn't 100% sure.
He said cut between the little needles shown below. Notice I did not say pinch. Always cut the junipers
So I trimmed the pad this way also cutting off everything growing straight down.
This is how the pad turned out:
So I trimmed the rest of the tree defining each pad and here is the after:
Working on this tree did prepare me for the styling competition later in May.
Here is what was given to me to style for the competition:
It is always hard figuring out which branches to use when the tree is super full and never been styled before but I think I picked the right branches and padded the tree out nicely.
Here is the after:
I feel like I did a really good job on the tree. I even used a friends dremel and took a shot at carving for the first time.
Here is a close up of both dead wood features:
I asked Bjorn Bjorholm to critique the tree and he said I did a very good job. He said I should have left a little more foliage on the tree but otherwise I did very good! Bjorn said my wiring skills are at a B- level, which to me is a big complement!
In case you dont know who Bjorn is, here is Bjorn working on a hackberry.
Here is the afters of both Procumbens nana Junipers I worked on in the month of May:
See you next time!
(Juniper Info) (Re-potting a Juniper Info: 1, 2, 3)
On Valentines day, I brought one of my junipers to Jason Schley (Bio) for placement of some branches. CFBC was putting on a Bring Your Own Tree Workshop (BYOT) for Junipers. Here is what the juniper looked like before branch placement:
Here is Jason working on my tree:
And here is what it looks like when it was done having the branches placed:
When Jason finished placing the branches, he told me to put it in a nice unglazed, oval pot and to get the moss off the trunk. He also told me not to reduce the length of the branches because it would stress out the tree. So in about a week after placing the branches, I picked out a pot and put it in there.
In order to put the juniper in the pot above, I had to go through a couple steps. Here are the steps:
I had to get the moss off the trunk. If I kept it on, it would eventually rot the trunk away.
All off! Now I have to take it out of it's pot. One of the reasons I have to repot the tree is because it isn't stable in it's pot. It has fallen out of it pot before, squirrels have dug in the pot, and the tree's roots weren't supporting it. The soil was also broken down muck.
The juniper just got taken out of the pot, no wonder why the roots couldn't support the tree! There really wasn't any!! Now I have to prepare the pot. I have to put in two screens to hold in the soil, two small pieces of wire to hold in the screens, and two big pieces of wire to hold the tree in the pot.
All prepared! Now for some soil and chop-sticking! Chop-sticking helps get rid of the extra air space.
The bottom half of the soil is all chop-sticked! Now to fit the tree in the pot.
The tree fits and it's placed in the pot. Now to fill it with soil, and finish chop-sticking. Here is the before picture so you don't have to scroll to the top of this post:
And here is the after: (Instagram filter on it)
I hope you have learned about repotting a tree and about junipers. Thank you to all who helped!
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Ben jamin Lorber
I LOVE Bonsai!! I have participated in many styling competitions and have even won! I have also displayed many trees in many exhibits!
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