Dedicated to Mr. Harry Hirao
Affectionately known as Mr. California Juniper
Chasing California Juniper
My First Dig
This is the name Harry gave to this tree when I collected it. He said it had a tenjin (apex) like a Buruhon (bullhorn). I call it Bullhorn too. This is the tree I had collected when I came across the stupid little tree I tripped over while plodding down the hill with this tree. It is easy to see why tripping over a small juniper and seeing this beauty fly thru the air perhaps breaking that bullhorn off was painfull. Physically and metaphorically speaking.
This last picture is from 2009. It has had its share of ups and down. The foliage on this tree is rather blue and it has always been weak. Fertlizer does not seem to really give it a boost and it will grow well and then recede. It was repotted in 2010 into a more traditional pot with more room and I have a larger crown with which to play. More to come on this one.
This tree started out as being the tree I tripped over while collecting the tree above. In a fit of rage I hauled off and kicked it, dislodging most of it from the ground. It was not planted too deeply and as can be seen from the rootage below it had only a large root on each side of the trunk. I broke both those when I kicked it and just sawed them off to take the tree down the hill with me. I wrapped it up in sphagnum and shrink wrap at the truck and all the rootage seen in that picture grew in the nursery container full of washed sand. The large saw cut in the front of this view is the long trip hazard branch that stuck out from the small tree. I broke it when I tripped and just sawed it off.
One can still see the sand clinging to the roots. Junipers love sand and they will root very fast is plain ole washed coarse sand. I planted it in the bucket as it was the only thing I had when I got home late that night from Mojave. the tree was planted with the lower trunk at an angle and the major portion of the trunk straight up. I felt at the time this might make a formal upright, but the tree was planted much too deep at this point. When I repotted it into the bonsai pot, the natural tendency of the tree was to be planted slanted. I am glad I went with that slant as I think it feels better slanted.
Half wired on first styling.
The finished first styling. Lots of deadwood was dressed during this styling.
The juniper almost went to the juniper graveyard in the sky. Some immediate attention saved its life and it was nursed back to health. The tree responded well last year and doubled its growth. This is the new restyle with what was left. If I have another foliage growth spurt like last year the tree will really fill out next summer. here is how the tree looked in 2009 nearly half dead.
2012 and I finally have enough foilage to try again and get some form into this tree.
This is after 4 hours and lots of copper wire. I think it has a new life now and time will only improve the image. Lots of pinching to do this year…how will I ever find the time.
Not done yet, more to come soon.