Saturday, November 12, 2011

Progressions: Rocky Mountain Juniper #3

Good Morning all! Grab your coffee....

I am starting a series of posts to show several things:
- The need to keep good visual records of trees as they are styled and refined, in their life as bonsai;
- Illustrate how raw material can be taken to a very refined stage in a relatively short time (we Westerners can't stand to wait...we all just want it NOW!!! LOL!).

So here is a start, showing an old Rocky Mountain Juniper (J. Scopolorum), purchased at Natures Way Nursery in 2009. The tree was collected by Randy Knight in late 2006, so has been in pumice in a grow-box, recovering from collection. As can be seen the tree is quite healthy.

It has some beautiful deadwood which the live vein wraps around.
Here is the other side.

The tree was repotted in early 2010, at a South Jersey Bonsai workshop, and styling was started. The foliage on the long branch was substantially reduced, so the visual weight was shifted to the central part of the tree.

The end of this same branch was bark-stripped and turned into jins. A small amount of foliage was left, for now. It may be reduced or eliminated later.

In May 2011, Ryan Neil had a workshop at Natures Way Nursery, which this tree attended. Ryan likes working on old Junipers, as they proliferate in the area where he lives.

Ryan had some good suggestions on some changes to the planting angle, which will be implemented in Spring 2K12.

I had been thinking of lowering the central foliage into the area formed by the central trunk and large jin...Ryan agreed, so after adding some protective raffia, the foliage was lowered.

Applied additional fine wiring to position the finer branches.

So the tree will now over-winter, and final planting angle adjustments will be made in the Spring.

The tree will be kept in a sunny area, on the ground, and out of desiccating winter winds. I will follow my normal winter routine, to assure there is sufficient moisture in the root area, and that no hungry pests are trying to taste RMJ cambium.



  1. Great to see some action on the blog!

    Must have been awesome working with Ryan! (genuflect)

  2. Hey Tom...Yeah...Ryan is quite a teacher, but he is NOT GOD! He admits there are many aspects of bonsai he knows noting about, so that showed me he is just a down-to-earth guy.
    Ryan is easy to work with, and passes his knowledge out like candy to kids at Halloween! I enjoyed working with him, and intend to continue doing so, as it will enhance my own knowledge.

  3. Flex,

    Nice. Got to do more of this kind of stuff. Ryan is not God???? Could have fooled me. :-) I would like to see some better profile shots of the tree itself and would like to come out and visit your house some day and work with you. Ah, next Spring I hope.