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Monday, September 5, 2011

Long term Juniper project-part two

Hello all its been a busy summer. I can't believe that it's over already, it went by so fast.
 Today's post is going to be part two of the Juniper project. If you want to read part one click here.
 Here is the tree before any of the work.

 Other then water and fertilizing since the work done in the first post the tree has been left on its own. It has recovered nicely from the first drastic pruning and transplanting in March and is now ready for the next step.
 Here is the tree prior to todays work.
Left side-
 Front side-
 Right side-
 Today I will determine the branching I want to use and the areas I want to turn into deadwood. There are several reasons for creating deadwood on this tree. Some are aesthetic and others are practical.  John Naka once said "A juniper without jin is like a dog without fleas." Besides the fact that deadwood adds drama and the illusion of age, one of the main reasons to add deadwood to this trunk is to reduce the area of reverse taper about halfway up the trunk. It looks like at some time in the past a branch was cut off which created the right angle in the trunk. Several branches grew in it's place creating an area of reverse taper right in the center of the trunk.
You can see where the trunk is larger right at the right angle turn then it is below there. There were at least six branches growing from that area. The way I'm going to reduce this is by removing some of the wood in that area. The trick is to make it look like something that has occurred naturally . I'll start out by using a trunk splitter to splint off sections and then I'll pull and tear them off with pliers.

After the tearing and stripping it looks like this.
This has gone a long way in reducing the reverse taper  and the severe right angle in the trunk. The angle is still there but with the deadwood on both sides it is much less obvious now. But it will need more before it gets rid of it totally and looks natural. Looking natural is vital . If not then this great material becomes wasted.

The areas marked in black and red are where I'll be doing some additional deadwood work. I'll be using a variety of power and hand tools of create what I hope will turn into a believable deadwood feature.
I also removed all the branches that I decided were not going to be needed for the final design.
I've been undecided about keeping it a double trunk or removing the smaller trunk. So my decision was at least for now to keep both. On some of the branches that I cut off  I left a part of them to turn into jins. On Junipers I'll very often leave more jins in the beginning of styling then I intend to use. They can always be removed later. The series of photo's below show the process of creating a jin from a branch that is alive at the time of jinning it. This will not work on branches that are already dried out.
Using a pair of concave cutters I score the bark around the entire base of the tree cutting through the bark but being careful not to cut into the branch.
 Then using a pair of pliers I squeeze the branch all around from top to bottom with the pliers. On larger branches like this one I use regular Channel lock pliers. I'll squeeze the bark all around several times as hard as I can. The more you do this  the easier it is to remove the bark.
 After squeezing the bark just comes off cleanly with ease.
After todays work the tree looks like this.

That's it for the work today. The next phase will consist of wiring and placing the branches and carving and refining the deadwood. I'm starting to lean towards styling with the idea of the second trunk remaining.
 I'll probably do that work sometime in November then work on the branching  until the spring of 2013 before putting it in its final pot, much smaller than this one.
 I hope you enjoyed reading todays post and look forward to any comments you may have.
 Slowly but surely I'm coming to grip with the new technology available. So if you get a chance check out and like us  on our new Facebook page

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