Making Bonsai From Juniper Procumbens with Padmapriya

In this video Padmapriya takes the raw material of a juniper procumbens and creates a gorgeous semi cascade bonsai from it.

Today i’m going to ask my colleague padma priya here to do his version of creating bonsai from these junipers this variety is called juniper procumbens meaning it is a prostrate one which creeps on the ground and i use it as a ground cover plant if you remember the videos i did for the video uh wesley walk i show the rock arrangement with the procumbers juniper this is the same thing that we use for covering the ground so this is a creeping juniper and because it’s creeping it lends itself to some very easy styles to make not that every tree needs to be a cascade but it tends to be that way but i’m going to give padma prayer free hand to do what he likes there are two sizes here this is a smaller one and that’s the larger one so start on the larger one first okay and you can explain what we’re going to do okay so i’m going to take it out of the pot as we would do normally i’m probably teaching everybody to suck eggs here but my first job is to tease the soil away from the roots so that i can expose the nabari is that right on the truck in the trunk you can start seeing in there i don’t know if you can see in there jack but it’s quite quite packed so we’re gonna try and tease that out a bit more i’m just gonna get a root hook so quite often you find that there’s a lot of the trunk is below the level of the soil in your pot so you can usually take away almost half the depth of the pot and you’re still not really getting to the main roots of the plant itself it’s probably going to be a little bit difficult for you to see in here but so now i can see there’s some of these sort of roots that have come from further up the tree i’m just going to get rid of a few of those and just start getting back to the trunk so you can probably see better on this side so there’s there’s all these roots you see where all the soil was up to this level here and um so we’ve we’ve lowered the level so all of this can go so now you’re starting to see there’s a bit of a trunk underneath there okay so then what i do next is i take some of these branches and i start some of the foliage near to the trunk so the branches near the top yeah so so all i’m trying to do is create a few branches so the there’d be less foliage towards the center of the tree so how do you decide which branch to keep which branch to remove uh what i tend to do is i tend to strip most of them back a little bit first and then make the choice will come along a little bit later so um but you’re not afraid of taking off the wrong one at the stage not at this stage because all i’m taking is either the weak growth or uh or fairly small stuff near the near the beginning of the branch so so something like that thin ones yeah so just something like that just to expose so when i’m wiring i’m not just going to trap all the foliage down as well it just gives me um so something like that jane i don’t know if you can see that so that’s very very weak growth it’s probably not going to amount to much it’s also very close to the center of the tree i don’t think i’m gonna need it so i can i can get rid of that anything that’s on the underside of a branch i tend to snip off because that wouldn’t be there in the final design anyway so that’s one branch i’ve done so then i’m just going to move on to the next one you can see this one’s done it naturally you see because i’ve just ripped that one but you can see it’s already done it quite naturally it’s actually died back in there um that one i’ll probably keep you see there’s that one’s um that’s not weak growth so i’m going to keep that but i’m still going to just take a few of the early br early sort of bits of growth of because i’m probably gonna wire that in some sort of form now if you’re aiming to make a cascade tree are you looking for a main branch or shoot that’s going downwards i think that the way things tend to work for me is i just keep snipping away and then at some point some some sort of design arrives out rather than sort of that so i haven’t got a particular idea in mind yeah that’s the way i work as well um it’s almost like the tree will speak to me at some point and say this is what i want to be but the main thing is just try and clear the trunk so that we can actually see what’s in the middle see if we’ve got any natural lines that we can just bring out rather than trying to force one ourselves because it’s always better to go with the tree i think not as quick as peter anyway might take me a bit longer i must say this is a lovely judicial because it’s so green and lush look at the color it’s a beautiful green yeah i think this um this batch in particular was just just as just lovely so again just literally working away clearing some of the branches just stripping off that first bit of growth still doing the same thing yeah so again right there weak growth that can come off growth that can come off i see so now i’m starting to see something here there’s something there’s something quite nice developing in here somewhere you can see there’s a nice curve there so it’s sweeping over that way so uh yeah that’s a possible front there don’t know a few degrees later but possible front there yeah yeah i can see that now so i’m going to be a bit brave now i think i can start taking out i think i’m going to stick with that as my front so i’ve now got opening of the front you can see now you can probably start seeing what i’m seeing there’s a there’s a nice shape starting to evolve that as pizza said they do lend themselves to cascades so i’m going to set it at an angle and um i can put that pot underneath oh that’s a nice pot i put underneath it so a lot of this i’m going to bring out like that i don’t know if you can see that i think that’s probably at least at least one option so which is your main cascading so i’m thinking and i’m going to do some bottom one yeah something like that this there’s a nice split in here yeah so i might use both of those or at least start with both yeah it might come along at the end of the day that you kind of go oh no that’s not really working for me we pick one more than the other but i think i’ll start with both so what i’m trying to do now is just clear a bit of a bit of space to get a bit of wire on these so that i can separate these two out yeah so you can start seeing these two there so i’m going to take one out back and probably one forward want to be a little bit higher than the other one one word of warning i find that with these junipers if you’re not careful you can split the branch very easily and you’ll ruin one branch so be careful how you pot the tree yeah i’m not curious i’m a little bit nervous i’m probably working a bit quicker than i would so it’s good to remind me so so i’m picking a fairly thick wire um some so roughly half the size of the branch i think that’s what would you like like three and a half do you think that’d be big oh that should do yeah did you measure the wire explain to yes so basically um i could you kind of get a bit of an eye for it after a while but i can see that there’s about a foot on there to why there’s about foot on there to wire and then i allow an extra third so that’s like so that should be two foot six roughly in old money so i’m just going to start my wiring so my first rack wants to be quite close to the the junction it’s a bit difficult to see my fingers in there so i’m going very close to that and same on this branch as well so my first wrap what i try to do is anything that’s going to be tracked by the wire i try to clear that off as i go so you bend the wire first and then sort of introduce it to the branch so this has got a lovely bit that’s going down already so i’m going to emphasize that i’m going to keep that and then what i’d what i’ll do is as i’m coming down here as i’m putting wire on this anything that i think i’m going to trap i’ll just snip off and then i can keep the wire nice and snug to the to the actual branch so again i can see myself coming back up through there i think this one lends itself to going out the back so that’s what i’m going to do with this one as it gets thinner towards the end of the branch you don’t need to snip any of the foliage off so i’ve pretty much got a bit of wire on that first branch so i’m taking that out the back you know you can kind of see now okay so that’s going to go out that way and then i’m going to take this one again bending my wire first pulling it tight so now i’ve hit the foliage i’m now deciding where i’m going to take this and which bits of this foliage i don’t need so i think i can probably safely snip off some of this bring my wire through there so what i’m going to try and do is try and create a sort of a clump of foliage here and then a bit of branch and then another clump of foliage further down um it gives the illusion of being a little more older than it really is looking at the tree from afar if we come back and get a complete view of the tree i remember in the days when bonsai was not very developed in the uk many garden centers and nurseries used to just put these in bonsai pots and sell it as bonsai as it is yeah you get away with it yes i must admit i’ve even seen them in parts of canada where they produce their own bonsai and this put in a bonsai pot without any further work looks very credible as a bonjour so you can understand why certain plants are more suitable or lend themselves to bonsai than others yes but of course we’re going to refine it a little more so carry on you’re doing excellent work okay so yes quite often you could stop um but quite often you’d end up getting rid of a lot of these thrifty end bits but i think i can use these in my design so i’m gonna bring that back round again try not to trap any foliage i don’t know if that’s bonsai thing or not but that’s uh that’s what i’m trying to do so i’ve got i’ve got something there um and i’ve got something going on back so it just gives me something to play with um so i’m just going to walk away from that and let that settle down for a minute and then i’m going to carry on with some of these but this is always going to be too long whatever i do with that so i think i can safely take that quite a way back and you can’t really see my trunk too much so i’m going to take off some of the branches that are just facing directly downwards so that starts opening up you might again be able to see jack it starts opening up the underside of the branch below so you’ve got that contrast between the gray and the dark green and the darker the trunk so so um so yeah so again just taking off some of these straight down facing branches i think there’s a crown appearing now quite a natural crown actually i’m not really gonna have to do a huge amount so i am actually trying to cut a node i don’t always manage to do it but that that means you’ll get a healthier a healthier uh tree but you can also just pick them out you can just pinch them out and pull them off and that is the way i would prune the tree once i’ve got it how i want it i just go around and just pinch them off but you can see i’m starting to open up layer there hopefully all of those need shortening but i could do that a little later so i’ve got another branch going out the back here so again i’m just stripping off some of some of the weak foliage that’s quite close to the trunk yeah i might wire that round just slightly just as almost minuscule bend but just enough to bring that into play out the back so instead of it being tucked behind the foliage it’s already there i’m just going to bring that round so i’m now looking for a branch to wire it off of which might be this one that’s next to it here because this one here i can probably bring around probably bring both of those around to that side anyway let’s have a look at the back again small weak growth just snipping those out again in my mind i’m trying to create pathways for the birds to fly through so that’s how i think of things so little birds little squirrels running through it if it’s all a solid mass of foliage they can’t fly through it so and also that that gives you this sense of depth as well i think so i think we can probably bring that round and it’s ripped off so i might have to yeah so we could lose that one so let’s just see if we lost that would it is there another branch to replace it yes there is so i think i can probably do away with this one quite a big decision but i’ve got these two smaller branches that i can work with and because they’re smaller it’ll give a greater sense of uh gravitas to the trunk itself so it’s good to take some large branches out these smaller branches make the um make the trunk just look you know you get that contrast between the thickness of the trunk and the thinner bit of the branch so i’m going to try and wire those now hopefully without ripping them off so i need a smaller wire for that i think i think this so again yes you know i’m getting a rough idea of where i’ve got to go try not to waste too much wire i’ve got to come down to there so i’m going to bring that round nice and tight and then what i’m trying to do is to try and bend the branch roughly to where i want it to be as i’m moving the wire along and that way the wire tends to stay a little bit more snug to the um to the branch that you’re wiring otherwise you get all of these gaps underneath it i’m just clearing a pathway through so that’s that’s nice i think it’s gonna come around like that now i’ve actually got two choices here i can either go for this smaller branch which was my original yeah okay so stick with that so you can see my back branch is below my horizon now so i’m just going to if i can find my ruler hook so i’m just going to clear that down a little bit more so this is probably going to be below the lip of the pot when i’m finished so let’s remind people that we’re doing a cascade tree so it’s going to be in a tall pot yeah so so now i’ve got these two these two which both come off of the same limb there i don’t know if you can see that they both come from the same place so i can wire these two together and i’ve got options i can take this one up which i think might be quite nice i can bring that down definitely or i can do it the other way around so i’ve got options so let’s get some wire on first again i’m just going to clear away some of the branches where my wire’s going to go foliage i should say not really branches so i’ve started that one i’m gonna get this one on before i rip the other branch off take some of yourself that’s better so i’m thinking that the front one probably would be i’m gonna bend anything up to form a crown i think the front one’s probably going to work better i don’t know well maybe not let’s carry on wiring i’ve got a nice um it’s a fairly uh sturdy branch there so i’m gonna take advantage of that so when you when you’re doing your bonsai you want to branches would really grow on the inside of a bend so if you want to emphasize a branch i think what you can do is you can take that opportunity to bend it and make more of it i’m just going to start thinning out some of the skin okay that would even make quite a nice front yes this is quite nice yeah so what started off at the back yeah do you know the number of times that happens oh yes the number of times that happens it’s almost like uh it’s almost like you could almost lay odds on the fact that actually when you spin it around the other side actually is going to work out better yeah like that so it’s going to be something like that close crop yeah that one i can bring more into play i’ve got this one here to do something with now that needs to be taken out back a little i think maybe not it’s difficult to know now i think that is going to be the front now yeah yeah yeah absolutely i think what i’m going to do now is i’m going to tease it out and i’m going to get it into the pot because i think the pot will probably dictate where we’re going to go with it next so he might want to pause jack but i’ve actually picked this pot here i’ve got it in a plastic bag because my hands are dirty and this lighter shade of pot will just pick up every bit of muck on it but um hopefully you’ll see the pot and the end result uh pot yeah so for now i’m going to keep it in there i’m just going to take it over to the other bench tease it out and uh get it potted up and then we’ll carry on after that so i’ve got to get most of the soil off of this because i’ve got to get it into that nice tall pot look at the lovely roots on that tree yes lovely roots so we don’t have to cut much it should fit in there it should fit in there and i’ll just show you the soil we’re using this is our standard heron’s compost we use a secret formula but basically the formula is equal parts of uh sphagnum moss peat or the peat substitute and then we use akadama there’s akadama in it and then there is uh all sorts of two types of japanese volcanic grit and sometimes we put a bit of huge in it so you see what a lovely grainy texture this soil has so that is the state of the roots so far and karma prayer is now just going to put it in the pot he’s being extra careful not to dirty the pot but he’s not hiding it for any other reason okay other than just to keep it clean now with these tall cascade parts we don’t have to tie the tree in because with the tall pots the tree is not likely to fall out so we don’t bother to tie the tree in we just ram the soil in yeah that’s going to work that’s good oh that’s lovely i’ll change the front again uh oh it could be either side it really could be either side at the moment potting it up and i’ll show you the rest of them so here we are this tree has been put in this pot and quite different character although the same type if we bring the other cascade tree we will show how different the two are so exactly the same species i know we can refine it a bit more yeah but look at this exactly the same species both juniper procumbens one was a small one one was a bigger one and within the space of about half an hour we’ve produced these two lovely trees so all these videos that we show on our channel is not to show all these great big masterpieces that you cannot attain but to show you how each and every one of you can create something nice like this and enjoy it so uh thank you padma prayer very much you’re welcome yeah uh he’s not shy to be on television on youtube but we have other stuff who do other things they’re expert in repotting or you know planting but pat’s got an artistic eye so thank you very much man okay you’re welcome thank you [Music] you

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