Bonsai tree: Unusual Rocky Mountain Juniper Styling

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bonsai tree: Unusual Rocky Mountain Juniper Styling

This tree has been sitting on my benches for about three years. It has some interesting twists, and some very challenging angles in old wood that made it a compromising puzzle to find the best front and inclination.
The first year it was planted any which way—which happened to be upright—in a box of pumice to get the roots growing again. It had just been collected. The next year I put it in a box as a cascade to let it grow strength and to look at it that way. Well, eventually I disagreed with myself and potted it up this spring as an upright again. I imagine the tree is getting dizzy.
This is a photo essay of the styling of it—

The Rocky Mountain juniper before styling.

One of the best features of the tree, a very old cascading, twisting branch.

The large right upper branch was stripped and carved.

Final photo. Tree is 32" from apex to bottom of the cascade. The lower branch in particular needs growth to fill out and balance the lower cascade. Also the training pot is too big to be a final pot. So there is still development to be done with this one, as ever. Whenever was a bonsai done in a day?
I enjoyed working on this tree. The rigidity of the basic structure—the old branches—did not allow the usual harmonies to be imposed on them. And so I left the tree pretty much as it was. I think in the future a very interesting tumbling pattern of foliage pads could develop, almost like water coming down a waterfall over an erratic pattern of rocks.


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