Needle Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis "Foemina")
Foemina is a shrub with very prickly foliage somewhat similar to the Rigida.
The best known example of Foemina Bonsai is the J.Naka forest named “Goshin”.
The bark gets shaggy with age and tends to have long lasting deadwood which contrasts nicely with the foliage.
I got this plant last year from a nursery and have watered and fertilized so it has regained some lost vigor.
It is very rough stock and has branching on 2 opposing sides and a trunk that had died and was cut off about 2′ from the ground. The branching rises above the trunk about another foot so it is about 3′ tall currently and the foliage spreads about 3′ at its widest point at the top. This tree has a few possibilities but it will be a big challenge to create something special from this shrub. It has some redeeming qualities and I want to challenge myself with this project. I am hopeful for a dramatic transformation.
One Quarter progression
The focus of the initial work was light pruning and cleaning while assessing the tree.
Several designs were considered and a general direction was chosen.
The considering potential fronts and the planting angle were part of this process.
Initial wiring was completed.
At this stage, the top of the trunk was left with foliage while the design was crystalizing.
The tree was photographed with the garage door hiding the top of the tree intentionally as my thought was to use it as a tenjin.
The focus of this stage was discovering existing dead wood that was still covered in old bark
and well as more rough wiring and more pruning.
Some branches are left longer and bushier to provide options in the design process. The all the foliage on the upper live trunk was removed and and then jinned. The fresh ten-jin was wired to create movement.
Three Quarter Progression
The focus of this stage was carving and deadwood manipulation. Also pruning and wiring while refining the design.
The tree was cutback drastically from where it started as the design revealed it self.
More than half the existing foliage was removed during this stage. Carving continues and will intensify during the final stage.
Still much work before its done, but its getting there. I wanted a challenging project and I certainly have that!