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.