Shaping & Styling a Juniper

Let me show you first of all all these Lovely presents that I got today is the 15th of March and I was in Holland at Lauder Bonsai with three of my Colleagues Josh T-ball and Tracy and we had a lovely Time and so many of my YouTube friends I Was privileged to meet and I got some Presents and this lovely Monet a wine Shirt from one of my YouTube fans who Met me in Holland so thank you very much So that is going to be the subject of Another long video about my visit to Lauder to demonstrate there Uh so what have I got here today I Wasn't going to do any videos today but I had a customer bring a tree This morning to the nursery have a look At it it's a classic Chinese juniper and The story of a lot of the Bonsai is very Interesting to share with you This tree Used to be The tree that a 96 year old lady owned Until she died last year and she left it With her granddaughter and as is always The case the granddaughter hadn't a clue As to what to do with it she didn't even Know that there's a juniper but suffice It to say that her grandmother had it For maybe about 60 years and I'm not Surprised because back in 1961-62 there was a company in the UK

Called Bromwich and young and they were Bringing in junipers like this and they Were sold in the 60s one pound per foot So you had a two foot three or two pound Remind you remind you 1962 is almost 60 Years ago so in those days money was Worth much more than it is now anyway so She may have paid like two pounds in Those days and remember in 1962 the Average wage of most office workers was 6 pound a week so it's one-third your Weekly wage so this is the story of this Tree and this tree has been in the UK Since 1962 probably and of course junipers Live very long I've even had white pines That were brought in to the UK in those Early years of the 60s and they're still Alive so like most people they do all Sorts of Things to decorate their tree that true For Oak is doing nothing let's look at What can be done so This is not what one would imagine a Bonsai to be Projects like this I find very Interesting because you are faced with a Design problem and you have to find a Solution to it Because it is so gangly and all the Toughs at the end bare branches it's not A classic s shape it's nothing it's just Rocks of long gangly branches so the Obvious solution for most people would

Be I think you may have guessed it make It into a raft to make a forest which is Possible you'll get a forest about one Two three That's four about seven trees you can Get for making this into a forest but You'll get like a Pom-Pom type Forest And because this person this Granddaughter wants a tree that looks Like a conventional Bonsai making it Into A raft or a forest I don't think she Would be very happy with So this therefore stretches my Imagination it is a very challenging Project very very challenging And what can you do with a thing like That while I'm thinking let me clean the Bark a little bit see what happens as I Say these junipers are very resilient Juniper is probably easier to look after Them a Japanese White Pine because they Can stand drought better and they're Very Hardy so I dare say for most of its Latter years while this dear lady was Reaching her 90s it was probably not Cared for very much and yet it survives So this tree has got a lot of potentials Still In it so with most of these sort of Trees Or as I always say there's always more Than one solution to this problem So what I look for in a tree like this

I'm literally going to speak my mind as I'm thinking I'm going to talk my Thoughts So I'm looking at it and I look at the Tree and see where can I find a nice Trunk line a trunk that looks curvy and Nice it's got a lot of bends in it what Does the trunk line that looks nicest so If I turn it round I can see straight away that this side Is not so curvy And if I turn it like this It begins to look more interesting curvy That way And I can get more or less a conical Shape at the moment it's like a umbrella Shape like that inverted V I want to Make it a more conventional V so let's See what I can do so just by a bit of Bending of the branches with strong Enough wire I think I can create a Better shape of course this hasn't been Reported I would dare say for about I Think I think she said maybe about 30 Years or more it's not been repotted so It needs a report in another pot So let's see what we can do so My immediate Plan is to try and create a conical Shape With this tree I can see that some branches are Bendable so let us try and bend those Branches

So let us see With wire what we can do Possibly even using a bronze splitter What can be achieved with a bronze Splitter Um Creating Bonsai is about having vision Like in anything you've got to have a Vision if you want to start your own Business you want to start your career You want to do anything in life you have To have Vision you have to have Foresight on the plan as to what you Want to achieve if you don't have Vision Or you don't have any plan then whatever You do counts for nothing you have to Have Vision to see what your end Objective is so my end objective here is To create a triangular looking tree Which has a recognizable Bonsai shape Okay so with that in mind I am going to see if I can bend the Branches In a fashion that will create that image Or shape The angle is not too bad I will keep the Angle as it is I can see straight away That I can open it up like this Because so many tricks have died on this Tray I will show you another thing if You're home in close you see all these Birds and snags One little tip I give you that if you Clean them up it makes the wiring far

Easier and simpler if there are snags The wiring becomes more difficult so Always clean the snags up And that will help Make your wiring A great deal simpler and easier [Music] See that they've pulled some dead Branches off [Music] So that's the first thing you should Always do with any project that you're Embarking on Because this is where the wire brush is Very useful this is a brass wire brush Is used for cleaning the Box especially On junipers If you have craggyback on a pie never do It on a coin because you want to Preserve the craggy mark Okay There's another little stop there I'm Going to take that off But I'm not making a gin with short bits Like that Let me talk a little about wire cutters This believe it or not Is my favorite wire cutter it's nice and Small easy to grip I lost it the other day and I felt very Upset because I wasn't used to using Other wire cutters this is a similar one Similar design But for some reason the shape and the

Size although it's similar is not as Easy to hold as this one so you get to Know which wire cutter you like these Are heavy duty Japanese wire cutters That's for cutting very thick wire you Know something like five six ten Millimeter thick so that has a separate Purpose for just general cutting of wire I prefer these little wire cutters okay So I'm going to try and create A shape that Is more open conical shape So let us see what we can do I'm going To always use two Branch principles on The water branch and this much you see How I'm measuring the length of wire That I need I'm going to go after that a Lot of people have asked me how do you Know what length of wire to use I think If you can keep it like about 10 percent Longer than the length of the branches You want to wire that is a very good Rule of thumb The only rules of thumb or guidelines Don't take it as gospel as you want more In trees you will get to know your own Way of wiring your own preferences and That will work for you how tightly you Are and the spacing also determines the Length of wire that you use up so As I always say everything you do there Are no hard and fasting rules Everyone devices their own method which Suits their own particular style of

Working I hated when people say you got to do This you got to do that there's nothing Got through about it You do whatever suits me As long as it works you see I've judged Enough work to come to the end of this Thick branch and from here on when it's Thinner I use thinner wire to wire that So this is a lesson on wiring as well Now this one again there are some Strikes still on this Branch you see all These little snacks here I'm going to Clean them up make the wiring a bit Easier Don't worry A lot of these projects It's more the thinking or the brain Power that is a problem More so than anything else the actual Technicality Of wiring and applying the wire shaping Is only secondary Thank you The solution is the key Key to the problem we have a problem we Have to find the solution so this is What we're going to do again you see I've judged how accurate was I to judge The wire right to them I haven't cut any Wire off I hate it when people cut Oodles of wire off And let it thrown into the skip look at That not a centimeter wasted

Not a centimeter waisted to the very end Okay Okay find that piece of water And for some reason I'm more or less Homing in To this as the fun let me Mark the front Let me Mark the front somewhere here Always better to use two bits of wire to Market And your eye Will be guided like so two bits of water Like so okay now assuming I've used the Right thickness It should be able to bend and hold the Branch in place if not I can always put Another piece of wire to hold it So that is the start of the base of the Triangle Because this is such an old tree some of These branches could be 50 years old and There's no thicker than a pencil So they could be very brittle if you do Hair crack It does happen This is very famous Japanese saying even Monkeys fall out of trees so however Clever you are you can still have an Accident Okay now this one comes through Now you've got these strawberries Similar in thickness so I'm gonna wire These two so this is the next thing to Do So you see how my thought process

Is working so I want to wire those two So the lighter wire is about that I'll just show you how I use that heavy Wire cutter a good pair of wire cutters Cuts Through the Wire like butter So I'm gonna wire these two branches Okay the two bronze principle I give a Little anchor And once I've anchored this one and then I proceed to do the other branch in full I don't ever attempt to wire the whole Branch Until I've got an anchor Those of you who are very observant will Have realized That the Gin pliers I regard as one of My most essential tools I place it on par with the scissors that I use for snipping branches it is such a Useful tool that I literally can't do Without it I am forever resorting to The Gin plus to terminate the end of The Wire So let me take it to the thicker branch And We were With the gym class again see the length Wire again not a centimeter of wastage How clever is that Mr Chan I don't know How I do it but from Years of experience I've been able to Charge the right amount of water to use For any particular situation without

Wasting an inch Now although it came from the same Branch I'm going to make this on second Layer different tier And this I'm going to wire into Flat pads where I can So that is going to be the pad formation Which I'll get to So I'm still creating the structure all The time this dead bit could be a gin I Don't know let's see what happens it Could end up as a gym it could end up as A branch So Let me just wash some of these pads to See If the pads will turn off nice So I'm going to make these into pads [Music] Not only should y be efficient But it should always Do the job that you planned for the tree So I'm going to see How I can get the maximum leverage or The best connection Okay I've got a thick branch here at This end I'm going to take it all the way around I'm bending some of these Small Tricks Back on itself Because it's quite bare inside So if I bring it back on itself I could Create a tighter formation Which will make the tree

Less sparse because at the moment All the little Pom-Pom branches have Gone through the extremities I want to Bring it back on itself I will try and keep the camera working Throughout Because I don't want you to get the Impression that I'm doing any Magic or sleight of hand So what you see is what you get Oh tiny bit of waste like that You see how I've made the pad now rather Than a Pom-Pom at the end like that I've Now created a pad If I tip the ends It will force mod back Further into the branch So you've got a pad now whereas before There wasn't a pad you can see the pad Forming there And over the time Next few months if it buds back further It'll fill that very nicely in there So I've created that pad Now let's see if I can create a part With this bit So I can still see That I have to do something with the top But the base of the triangle I have Started to fill out I must say that when we were in Holland This past weekend Many of the trees that were brought For me to give opinion to work on are

Typical of the stuff that I do here so Thank you for looking because you seem To have read my mind and given me Challenging material Okay I'm gonna wire this flat so I'm not Going to show you this I'm going to wire This flat and why this flat to save on The video time I'm going to do it and Then I'll show it to you and then the Next major decision I will show you in a Minute we've got to this stage you can See that the conical shape is beginning To appear I'm going to wire these uh Three branches So I'm going to start wiring these Upright branches And create levels Where there was none I'm still cleaning the branches of all These snags Foreign [Music] To see what I'm trying to achieve Okay [Music] You want this one and that one [Music] The one I'm using by the way is three And a half millimeter wire But the snow could be telling you what I'm using because Different branches have different Degrees of flexibility Even though it may be the same diameter

If it's an older tree older Branch it Could be less pliable Pine is more flexible than a juniper The older it is the mix problem it is And So It Goes You just got to judge each situation on Its merits Huh What would we do without wire Creating a bonsai would be very Difficult indeed You see I'm using All these long branches to create Different tiers of branches not just one Tier so this branch has got about two Tiers maybe even end up with three tiers Of branches And then that's going to be a flat too Now that I've got the main branch Avoid I'm now going to wire each of These little bits into pads so I will Stop videoing for a while while we do The pen so you've seen how we've created These level pads I've got that the Conical shape is coming along nicely And with this one I might even bring it Back onto it like this Very stiff branches which means that They could be brittles so I've got to be Ever so careful And I want to do something with these Two branches As well And that one

So I got to decide how to Wire to bend it Okay so I can't decide whether to use a Really thick piece of water To do those two Let's see if it bends so let me try that Sometimes As I've always pointed out two slightly Thinner pieces of wire Can be more effective than a very thick One I don't know why it is It's like reinforcement isn't it I Thought I've got a anchor there Take it around here Oh Yeah there are so many snakes the old Dead branches The little stubs make the wiring very Difficult Talking of wiring there are some people Who refuse to do bonsai using wire I think it's very difficult to achieve Anything without the use of water So this is where we've got to so far you Can see this side of the triangle is Almost perfect And I've created a little Bend here I've Created a little Bend here But I need to Decide what to do with that back part I don't want the lines to conflict with Each other I want to be sympathetic with the rest

Of the tree All the Branches blending in the same way Movement what we call movement movement Is the most important thing Of course by applying the right grid of Wire We can get the movement right So I've got a little head you see how Much tighter the whole tree now looks These pads have still to be formed Fill in the space What to do with this one here I can Bring it back on itself like that and Then let me do a bit of jiggery pokery Bend this back on itself See what transpires So What you want to use I think three and a half [Music] So I've done that a bit of wiring now Let's see if I can bring it tighter into The triangle [Music] Foreign [Music] The overall triangular shape just by Manipulating the branches So that it forces the Triangular shape All is not done yet I've still got to Sort this part out but you can see more Or less How the Triangular shape

Has been Recreated I'm sure this is What it could have looked like in its Early days And uh It's quite quite different from what it Started off with if I compare the Photographs I will I've just got to wire Those and the butter coffee is done So this is where I've got truth you can See we've tightened the whole thing and I've managed to create a triangular Shape This dead Branch here I will probably Gin I won't waste your time showing you How to strip the back you know what it's All about when it's all done I'll get One of my stuff to do that and this back Branch here which is half dead Uh I may keep it if the customer wants To make a gin they can make a deal with It so that will also be tough now let's Look at the roots to see What the roots are like so it's not Going to be potted I would say for at Least 20 30 years And this tree as I told you has been in This country for 60 years since the Early 1960s So it's time it had a three-part so Let's see what the condition of the Roots are This black soil my goodness So you can see the condition

See the roots on life But it's badly in need of repotting See the roots are Alive but we need to Check at least a third of the roots of The whole soil out Don't do it again I don't want to show You the actual repotting because that is I think a waste of valuable video time And that's what I've chosen Is going to be a deeper pot because I Want to bring the tree back to health so I want to put it in that pot so when It's all done I'll take a final shot Okay so here is the final tray I potted in a new pot It's slightly larger than I would Normally use but because this tree was Stressed so much I think I will give it More room to grow And strengthen the tree once again so From an inverted triangle I will try and get the Editor to show a Before and after shot you can see how This tree has been transformed I know There are little bits that I can still Tinker with like pruning these Downward hanging twigs Is only minor cosmetic effects But you get the general idea so from an Inverted triangle I've managed to get it Back into more of the semblance of a Tree so although the branches are not All horizontal they are creating the

Triangular shape which makes the tree Work so I hope you're not too Disappointed and I'm sure the customer Will be very happy too so there you go I Hope you enjoyed this one Thank you [Music] Foreign [Music]

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