San Jose Juniper 041


This purchase came by way of my good friend George Muranaka. when I go to the coast for relaxation, sometimes I will make an appointment with George to come by the nursery and see what’s new. That seems to always turn into a purchase or two.

Though this was to be a Shohin sized tree, I liked the shape and size, and I thought the tree had the guts to be turned into something. It just seemed to have good bones. This is the views I had to work with.

There was a little natural shari on the trunk, and the trunk was about 1.5 inches across.

This is the view I thought showed the trunk best, had a natural flare at the base and I could remove the entire right side and turn to jin and make the tree on top of that.

That right branch turned to jin.

There were some branches on the base I wouldn’t need but not in good enough laces to keep long so short jins for these.

At this point the tree is about 10 inches tall. I would need to beat this down considerably to conform to 8 inches or less in height.

After removal of superfluous branches, I began to wire and set a branch structure. I cannot stress more the importance of this part of the process. setting the structure in the first year or two gives one a base to build on when it come time to restructure the canopy. You don’t want to be building it over and over again, just continuing to refine what you have built.

Good enough for the first year.

A virtual of where I wanted to take it.


Now has come the time to work on the tree again. I have it all planned out. Putting it all on paper makes the styling a piece of cake.

So here are the views I have to work with again.

I jump right in and begin reducing the long growth to see what will be kept and what will be removed or turned to more jin. All the old wire is removed.

Removing all the dead brown needles at the base of each shoot is time consuming, but putting wire on and then trying to remove it is even more time consuming. It has to be done so just do it first.

The wire process is started. when I rewire a tree for the second time I always try and wire it in the opposite direction. That way the wire won’t fall into a groove made the previous years and cause wire damage to the branches. Just make sure you remove it at the end of the season or upon swelling or you will leave a waffle pattern on the branch that looks pretty stupid.

The tree is wired out now and bending of the branches can take place. They are eased into position and a new pot is thought about. The ceramic training pot the tree was in was rather large to accommodate the roots. I have two choices for the tree. The darker Yixing pot is the one chosen since the root mass was able to be reduced, but not enough to wedge into the terra cotta colored pot.

I was able to remove a lot of the root mass on this repot, and am confident that in two years I can fit it into the smaller pot if needed.

The tree now is fit into the pot. The apex has a cool comb over and will have to be adjusted as new foliage grows there.

After the photo, it was mentioned on a forum site to remove the left bottom most branch. I agreed and removed the branch. I think it improved the feel.

Posted May 1, 2019 by California Bonsai Art

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