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TOPIC: Newbie's initial styling of juniperis virginiana

Newbie's initial styling of juniperis virginiana 6 months 1 week ago #35106

Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA, Zone 4

The magic of end-of-season sales brought me this eastern red cedar for <$15. I want to be patient, but I also want to learn some pruning/wiring principles so I gave it a rough initial styling w/o repotting it (besides adding some bonsai soil underneath the rootball to get it upright). I *think* I've got it in a good place to just grow out for the next couple of years, but I wouldn't mind some advice about next steps.

Before:



Base of trunk:


The trunk is about 1.5" at the base, and fairly straight, so I am going for formal upright (though I understand this to be a difficult style to achieve). I took about 18" off of the top (which I'm trying to keep alive as a cutting, I maybe should have air layered but I'm not *that* patient). I know I have a couple of branches still to wire but I wanted to think a bit about what I have done.

Rootball (I hope it's not so rootbound as to need a repotting before spring):



Finished for now:


Another possible front:


I left the lower branches long because I want them to thicken up. Some branches I cut to stubs to make add consider for deadwood design possibilities.

Besides wiring a couple more branches up top, and then maybe bending everything down some, is there anything else I should think about doing to this tree this season?

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  • sparklemotion
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Newbie's initial styling of juniperis virginiana 6 months 1 week ago #35107

Considering that you are a newer practitioner- ill give you a few pieces of advice- in bonsai to accentuate age in a tree, we give the branches a downward sweep in movement and then at the end an a slight upward tilt to give the tree the structure to form pads- I would be careful when taking that much off the tree- considering you preferably would want to work on evergreens during their period of dormancy- winter- and wait to do the styling then. also- the wiring work could use some practice: take a branch that's fallen from a tree in the yard and practice wiring on that, and learn how to anchor, and detail wire. Whenever I approach a piece, I always remember that i can always take a branch off later, but i can never put it back on. thats my 2 cents
  • sel64@sbcglobal.net
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Newbie's initial styling of juniperis virginiana 6 months 1 week ago #35108

Though it is quite difficult to create a compact tree from material like this- since the branches are so leggy- its great to practice on for the price :)
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Newbie's initial styling of juniperis virginiana 6 months 1 week ago #35117

Bend the branches down some more. Straight branches bug me, in nature they tend to bend down with weight like sel64 said.
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