Since we negotiated terms, this pine has grown better. I don’t decandle it in the summer, I don’t wire every branch, and I don’t repot it often. For it, the tree stays healthy and looks generally decent.
However, I do trim strong shoots, remove dead needles, and pull downward-hanging needles in the fall. Here are a few shots of the minimal work done, per our terms and conditions.
And after the grueling 30 minutes of work:
In the spring, I may do a little more wiring in the upper right side of the tree…and I may not.
This tree originally came from Dave DeWire, out in the Seattle area. Dave was a collector of corkbark JBP cultivars and freely shared his knowledge with me when I was obsessed with the different cultivars. Dave died in March 2021, and will be missed in the corkbark JBP corner of the bonsai world. RIP.
Happy New Year, bonsai freaks! I hope your holidays were relaxing, full of family, friends, and tree torturing. I have a few bonsai new year’s resolutions to share soon, but for now, let’s look at a storied Shimpaku juniper to kick off the new year.
After a full wiring and a fairly aggressive repotting in the spring, I left this tree to its own devices all year long. Here is a shot in late October, after being allowed to grow freely.
Wires had begun to dig in, so I brought the tree in to remove them.
Later in November, I brought the tree to Bjorn’s intensive and we discussed progress, weaknesses, and future design options. The inner right side was weak, while the upper back side was strong…shading out the inner right side for sure. I need to keep the upper strong crown thinned out to allow light into the tree.
We also decided it wasn’t necessary to fully wire the tree again at this point, but instead, do a light pruning (30% or so). Wire the lower right branch, and a little in the apex. I also wanted to pull the heavy upper right branch down into an open space left behind by a branch that died this year.
Finally, a coat of diluted lime sulfur to clean up the deadwood. This is how the tree will ride out the winter. The plan for the upcoming growing season is to keep the upper backside thinned out to allow sunlight to get into the inner branches allowing them to strengthen. I won’t repot it in 2022, but will likely wire it at some point this year.