Monday, January 25, 2021

Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai

This is a Shimpaku Juniper that I acquired as a potted shrub in 2018. I cut it to one main trunk and wired some movement in the trunk line. This first picture was taken in 2019 just after removing the wire. The tree was living healthy in a mica pot for about two years planted in a mixture of pumice and lava rock. I probably under fertilized it. I have had a terrible time with growing Juniper Procumbens nana (a species I have learned to hate) so I am very careful with this one. 

I don't have much experience styling junipers or anything but I know that I don't particularly care for much dead wood unless it truly adds to the "naturalness" of the design. This tree is fairly slim and tall, which I like. Often I see the popular advice to "make the smallest tree possible" which I think makes a lot of trees lose the naturalness that I crave. John Naka said it best, "the object is not to make the tree look like a bonsai, but to make the bonsai look like a tree". If I'm being honest this Juniper will never quite look like a tree. I'm fairly certain that it will never be a great tree but it does afford me the experience which I will someday need for higher quality bonsai material. 

This next picture was taken towards the end of 2020. Its looking better I think even if a bit predictable. I often think about getting a better one and planting this in the ground for ten years or so. The pot is Chinese. I know its too big for this slender tree but its what the tree likes for now.


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