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Monday, October 18, 2010

A bad hair day

Today it rained here in L.A. which meant staying in the classroom and working on trees. One of the trees I worked on today was a California Juniper that was definitely having a bad hair day.
I bought this tree about 7 years ago at a Descanso Bonsai Society auction. I think it's too tall now at 42", but you should have seen it when I got it. 58" tall! The branch that makes up the present top of the tree used to be the first branch. You can see the big bend I made then to turn the tree's foliage mass upside down. I still think it's too tall; one of my goals is to shorten it and reduce the visual weight of the foliage. I also need to do something about the stark whiteness of the trunk. I think that my assistant didn't wet the wood before applying lime sulfur as a preservative on the deadwood and it ended up too thick. Luckily some scrubbing with a wire brush should solve that problem.

Here are a couple of shots showing the whole tree not just its head.

I think that because of the amount of deadwood on this tree,  the foliage needs to be reduced. It just seems wrong for such a tortured looking tree to have so much foliage. This, like most California Junipers, is pretty old - probably 150-200 years - so I usually take my time removing large amounts of foliage.

Here I've removed the old apex. I was thinking about using the foliage mass on the right for a new apex,
but the trunk line and base didn't really work with it. So I removed the foliage on the right and turned the branch into a jin.
I've also scrubbed the trunk and removed most of the white color.

There is still too much foliage, so I used a towel to cover up some areas to see how it'll look with that foliage removed.

This is getting to be more like it. I think that this provides a better balance between the foliage and the trunk.

Now I need to wire and position all the branches, but that will be done in a later post.

I hope you enjoyed this post! As usual, I welcome any comments.

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