In an earlier post I showed the Juniper that came from John Hanby at Newstead Bonsai Nursery. Good friday was lovely and sunny so I started tweaking the bottom branch while taking a walk around the benches......once you start it has a habit of moving to the next branch and so on. !! I went out just after breakfast and next thing I knew it was about 3pm.
The tree was a perfect canvas as it had one big foliage mass to play with so I thinned a few branches out to create defined pads and spaces and this exposed areas of inner wood that will bud out now they are seeing the sun. As the inner buds strengthen it will allow some of the tired outer foliage to be cut off in future years and the whole tree to be kept nice and compact. I decided to take the tree to the Bonsai South West show at Exmouth this May as part of our club display so went a little further and cleaned out the underside of the pads to give them a clean neat look.
About 5pm I went out to take a picture and found a carving tool in my pocket - doesnt everyone ? soon the solid mass of the upper trunk had the start of a hollow carved into it before it got a bit cold so I took a quick picture and decided to dig out the dremel tomorrow. Here is the tree after styling, and the small pics show the tree in 2008,09,10 & 12
Saturday afternoon brightened up so I hollowed the upper area and put a hole right through the trunk to add interest and match the lower trunk better. After wearing out a few wire brushes the new area didnt look too new so I painted it with lime sulphar and left the lot to dry. Picture two tomorrow and now it will be feed feeed feed to boost as much tight growth as possible. The tree wasnt repotted this year so has 4 TBags full of my conifer feed on the soil and twice weekly applications of my new powdered fish emulsion - disolved in water. This gentle organic approach will give better results than blasting it with micacle grow.
I think it could be worth finding a nice stand for this one and I'm going to pop it in the car for the two days at Willowbog with Ryan Neil to pic up further hints to get the very best from the tree - there may even be another better style hiding in there !
And with the carving complete - my favorite Juniper