I purchased this prostrata juniper last year at the Fresno Bonsai Society annual exhibit. It was donated and sold off in a silent auction. My final bid of $140.00 took the tree. I had a plan for it. It would sit for a year till I could do the work.
Today I did the work. It is a first styling in this form. Very much different than it looked before.
I began by sawing branches off the tree that would not be part of the overall form. The trunk is tall and thin and the full canopy looked goofy for this thin tree. It was also very large making the tree very top-heavy visually.
I left the second branch on the right and kept removing side branches untill I had just the very top of the tree left.
Still needed to trim out a couple more. Now I am ready to start the design process. When starting with raw material such as this it pays to have the design etched firmly in your mind before starting. This tree has been on the bench for a year and I knew before I ever cut a branch off whar was going to stay and what I was going to cut off.
I left all the stubs about 1.25 inches long to turn into jin stubs. I may remove them in the future but for now they help convey some age. As the stub was reduced with angle cutters and a pair of pliers, I allowed some of the bark to tear down and leave a small shari here and there.
The first branch would take a drastic bend to get it into the correct position. It would need to be pulled down over four inches. The branch is 5/8 inch across and pretty damn hard. I prepared a copper guy wire and wired this clamp on the tree with the end over the branch. I had to wire the clamp to the tree because it would not open far enough to get to the jin to clamp against. ( note to self, get larger clamp).
I kept pulling the trigger of the clamp until I finally heard the branch give way. Of course it was a snap, what did you think, its big and hard and I had about 50 pounds of pressure on it.
I use some drip line tubing for the guy wires. I use very small copper wire for the guy wires. It is very strong and barely noticeable when viewing the tree.
This is the branch pulled down and thinned. Some of the smaller unneeded branches are turned into jins.
A small dowel in between the wires and twisted makes a very nice looking guy wire.
Here is the first branch wired and the twigs still needing some tweaking for position.
The next branch up was done in the same way using the clamp to pull them down and having the guy wire ready to hold the branch in place. It takes about 10 minutes to get it all ready with prepping the wire, positioning the clamp and tying the wire.
This second branch pulled away from the trunk at the top. As long as the opening is not larger than 1/3 the diameter of the branch, all is OK.
Once the guy wire is in place I super glue the wood in the gap and apply green goo for sealing up the gap.
Here is the green goo on after the super glue dries.
Starting the thinning of the second branch after all the work is done.
Progress so far. Working my way up the tree wiring each individual branch and selecting a position for it.
Almost to the top. Have just the very apex to thin, wire and position.
The tree is repotted into a Japanese Matsumoto Takeshi Drum Pot. Tree is 30 inches tall and the trunk is 1.5 inches across at the base.
What a goober.
I really tried to get this tree looking nice from multiple views.