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Posts Tagged ‘Juniperus occidentalis’

I worked on this tree some years ago, probably 2006 or 2007. I just came across the photos the other day and it was like rediscovering an old acquaintance. Boon Manakitivipart was kind enough to give me some work shortly following my return from apprenticing in Japan. This was one of the trees from his backyard that he offered.

This was a day’s work. Curious tree, I think it is rather Chinese in feeling. I still remember working on it, snapping off the jins to create natural, un-carved deadwood. They were so dry they sounded like firecrackers. Made Boon a bit jumpy, I think. And I still have the shirt I wore that day…

This is a Western juniper, which is a fast developing, very strong species. Like most junipers there is some variability in the foliage habit, whether it is loose and leggy or tight and refined. It does tend to grow the preferred scale foliage as a bonsai. Its best characteristics are a beautifully colored underbark, which is rich brown to salmon color, and very strong roots and shoots.

A few years after collecting from Idaho

I still think of it as the 'Chinese' juniper... That lower right branch that curls in and out was a great gift of nature.

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