Cryptomeria and Foemina Juniper—Year Two

Since a few of you seemed interested in the work going on at a client’s place with these two well-known trees, I thought an update on them might be fun. We start with the first cryptomeria photo from 1 1/2 years ago:

This is how the tree looked before we began wiring, adjusting, and trimming

Cryptomeria as it looks now, in July 2012 after 1 1/2 years of work and growth. The tree was recently repotted, and we shifted it to the right slightly so that the forward facing root was less ‘in our face’. Although not so visible in the photo, the apex area needs still to fill out a bit, but that should happen within the next year. This is a big tree, about a yard tall.

And now the Foemina juniper. Here’s a progression of photos showing how that one has changed in the last two years:

Photo of Foemina juniper from a show a few years ago, in the original design.

After the initial December 2011 styling. This styling resulted in the post ‘Tar and Feathering?’ which inspired some interesting commentary from readers. Here you have yet another opportunity for throwing rotten vegetables and used computers… once again please comment/fling freely! 

Foemina juniper as it looked in July 2012. Notice that the top foliage pads are not yet fully defined, and the bottom ones are beginning to come sharply into focus. This is only possible through scissor work. Pinching any of the needle type junipers—J. rigida, J. communis, or Foemina—results in weak trees that do not have clear pad definition. The reasons for this are worthy of another post… but in short, don’t pinch any juniper—the needle junipers in particular need to grow out and extend several inches to build energy before you cut with a scissors, otherwise you’ll have a panicked and distressed tree. (Scale juniper work is totally different.) This Foemina has regained some of its natural vigor with scissor training. The lower right jin still needs reduction, and please ignore the ugly wire holding the tree into the pot, it’s temporary…

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  1. Ryan says:

    I hope you make another posting soon discussing scissor work with needle-like foliage junipers. This is something that I have observed but no one has ever told me to do this. I don’t know how many times I have been instructed to pinch or pull “all” junipers. I have 2 procumbens that we very healthy coming into this spring and I did an experiment, pinching one and letting the other grow out…result: sadly, the one pinched is super weak! 🙁

    • crataegus says:

      I will make such a post, as it’s so relevant and misunderstood. I’m sorry to hear your juniper is not doing well… leave it alone to recover, fertilize a bit, but mostly, give it good sun and water thoughtfully. Like most plants, junipers may come back once, but rarely respond well to two abuses in one year ; )

  2. crataegus says:

    Thanks, my client has done such a marvelous job taking care of this tree it’s been a simple job to work on it.

  3. Tina says:

    Hi, I came across your blog while researching for: biggest cryptomeria air-layer. I have a 12 feet cryptomeria tree that I want to move with my family. What was the diameter of the trunk that you started with?

  1. […] better. Remember this tree? It’s a somewhat famous Foemina juniper that Michael Hagedorn has been working on (and improving) for a while. We featured an earlier version last […]

  2. […] I’d long wanted a cryptomeria bonsai after watching a friend’s tree develop over many years. Although the tree is now in a different collection, it’s under the care of Michael Hagedorn and is looking great (see Michael’s post “Cryptomeria and Foemina juniper year two“). […]

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