A Juniperus Chinensis bonsai tale
Often when we bought a tree,
especially if it comes from a nursery without any bonsai peculiarity,
we use to begin the work without scheduling a working programme to
following in different times.
It's very important before beginning, to schedule the actions and
proceed with them step by step in the right time, so that the tree
can overcome the stress produced by the work, all this has to be kept
in mind especially when we have all the necessary time, with exception
for demonstrations and daily workshops, that in my opinion should
be taken on pre-prepared trees avoiding the risk to lose the tree's
So we must force ourselves
to avoid the craving to see the tree finished in short time, I am
sure, based on my past experience, at the end the result will be definitely
more stisfacting and the tree will answer to our work without losing
any piece of health and in some cases speeding up the reaching of
our terget: the maturity of our bonsai.
The first step on this tree
was on the late spring 1994: branches selection, shari sculpture,
branches positioning and finally repotting.
In this situation it's not easy to keep the tree health after the
work, in particular if you don't have a greenhouse that during winter
and windy and dry days could help us to have the ideal climate to
treat trees in difficulties, repotted aro heavy worked.
After a short time, the tree lose a few branches and a lot of foliage
on the apex, it was a great success to save it. Afterwards, it was
let free to grow in order to build up again the foliage and bring
back the vigour for two years. In late winter 1996 it was on the right
condition to start again the work.
Before any other operation, I cleaned up the bark, during that I discovered
with great disappointment that a front linphatic vein was completely
dead, that made my work a little complicated, by the way I pluck up
my courage and began to look for a different solution,
the initial front without a live vein was of no interest so it was
necessary a front change. The choosed solution does not allowed me
to show the remaining vein but, even though different solution study,
this was the one with more harmony with the vein partially showed
and a good trunk movement.
After bark cleaning, a mill operation was necessary to make dead wood
older and sculptured by time, so I prepared the tools and tried to
make it as natural as possible.
When deadwood work was over I began to imagine the new design, as
I lose some branches before, I tried to use as much foliage as possible
keeping also some branches that I would usually cut.
In the beginning of spring 1997 I need to repto the tree because changing
the front a 30° rotation was necessary inside the same pot, I
noticed a strong rootage in that period of time.
During Autumn 1998 after final refinement I decidet to exhibit it
at UBI's best Bonsai and Suiseki award.
In this very final work I realized the first brach was too heavy and
inside a bend, so to hide it a little a 50% reduction of itself was
done, moving it on the back. A lot people suggested me to cut it,
but I think it makes the tree more particular in a better or worst
way it does not matter to me.
Pic # 1 - Spring 2001 I decided to
start the workgo deep with the project ideas.
Pic # 2 - Detail of the big stump left on the trunk base.
Pic # 3 - Draft step end, possible
development are evaluated to create a strong visual impact.
Pic # 4 - To avoid any risk, the bend
was done a little day by day without any hurry to reach
Pic # 5 - This work has been simplified
with the help of a "tension bandage", once reached
the optimal torsion point a guy wire has been applied.
Pic # 6 - Detail of the branch selected
as future trunk, it will distribute all the foliage layers.
It has been covered with rafia and bended following the
Pic # ° 7 - Front side, taking into
account all the problems and variables: slope, limphatic
vein and tree's structure balance.
Pic # 8 - Left side during refinement