Bonsai Blog

Ready to be potted

Styling The Juniper Procumbens – Part 3 of 6 – Juniper #3

Half way there at tree # 3 and nothing different or unusual about this juniper either.

Juniper 3 - Before

I took the liberty to remove some the foliage so you could see that the trunk is a bit interesting in that it has a slight bend to it and with that we’ll begin our styling from there.

I just wonder by looking at this next pic how many would automatically want to do a cascade as I did with the last tree.

Juniper 3 - Cascade style?

Not this time though. Too many beginners would either do that or just leave it as it is and think they have wonderful bonsai. They wouldn’t put their creative power to work here and think that maybe there is something more for this juniper. Let me show you what I mean. First we need to start removing some of the under hanging foliage just like we did with the last two and which we’ll do with all the rest of them.

Removing underhanging foliage

The next thing we’ll do and this is the critical part that most beginners overlook, as they are too enamored with their new found friend that they forget to give it some beauty, and the way you do that is by opening it up a bit. You need to go inside the foliage and start removing small pieces that are quite useless to the overall design.

Opening up the foliage

By doing this you are allowing the juniper to start looking something like a tree by exposing what little branch system there is. As I have been saying with many articles I have written, that this is probably one of the most important elements in styling a bonsai. Now the branch system on a young juniper such as this is almost nothing, but by doing this you are starting the training process immediately. It may take up to five years as I mentioned with one of mine, before the wood hardens up and allows you to expose a nice interior. Too many people just look at the outside and forget that the inside is there also and needs to be kept up properly too.

This next pic shows what you should be looking for as far as good styling work is concerned.

More Progress

Open the tree up and you will notice the difference on a huge scale. It will also do a lot for your confidence in styling when you see what you have accomplished simply by just removing some interior foliage.

Removing interior foliage

So now we have the general shape of the tree and now we’re ready for a pot

Ready to be potted

For this one I chose to go with a standard round plastic garden type nursery pot since I couldn’t find a cheap round bonsai pot. A square bonsai pot one would have been out of the question, and it had to be large enough to contain the amount of roots I had left and this one worked out perfectly. Next repotting the tree will be able to be put into a smaller round bonsai pot where it will spend the rest of its years being trained and loved by its new owner. 🙂

See you next time with tree #4, my favorite of the six junipers.

Update: Continue to Part 4

Thomas J.

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