Esprit Bonsai International – August 2019

(Nancy Kaufman) #1
#101 EspritBonsaiInternational - 37

for long, oily, bright-green candles to
stick out beyond the general silhou-
ette. Pinching back before this stage
would weaken the tree for a while. On
the other hand, trimming these oily
shoots boosts new growth in the axils
further back. New candles pinched in
turn will react well, quickly increasing in
number and filling out the volumes to
gradually replace the old foliage which
evolves randomly.
By helping the tree to create new
foliage that is more vigorous and
reacts faster, you can obtain bonsai
with volumes as dense as in other vari-
eties, only in a slightly longer time. Ini-
tial styling is not precise, and is often
limited to putting the future bonsai’s
architecture in place. The next lot of
candles will be more numerous and
spread out better.
A portion of the old foliage that
was serving as a stand-in can then
be removed. The silhouette becomes
clearer. By pruning the candles again,
the outlines take shape. Now you can
gradually pinch back the tips as they
extend out, without weakening the
tree, and obtain the increased densi-
ty you want in a few seasons’ growth.
The potential of Phoenicean juni-
per has been demonstrated: some
fantastic specimens have emerged
at exhibitions, particularly in Italy. Per-
haps the species is starting to acquire

This juniper developed its roots in a
pocket of earth nestled in the rock.

It’s a lengthy process to extract a root
ball that has evolved this way, as if in
a pot. The “pot” therefore needs to
be broken, to save the root ball.

Root balls like this one
are rare in wild junipers.
The right-hand side, which
is less abundant, relates
to the dead veins.

The tree
placed in
a pot after
to simplify
its form.
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