Grafting American Species
3 years ago Nebby 0
Source: Bjorn Bjorholm Bonsai Blog.
Itoigawa Shimpaku (Juniperus chinensis var. ‘Itoigawa’ – the most sought after Junipers in Japan, both for their deadwood features and, more importantly, for their foliar characteristics. The most famous examples of naturally occurring yamadori Itoigawa Shimpaku all came from one tiny area in the Niigata Prefecture of northern Japan, specifically from the high elevation peak of ‘Kurohime’ (a.k.a. the Black Princess Mountain). Today, Itoigawa can no longer legally be collected from this region and so the Japanese now simply graft cultivated Itoigawa foliage onto Junipers from other regions of Japan, such as Tohoku and Hokkaido Shimpaku from further north. For example, the tree featured to the right is a famous Tohoku Shimpaku grafted with Itoigawa Shimpaku foliage and aptly dubbed ‘Fujin’ or Wind God. So what is it that makes Itoigawa Shimpaku foliage so desirable? For starters, its fast growth habit allows for rapid development of padded branches. Itoigawa foliage is also more stout than other Juniper varieties and thus requires less frequent wire application and maintenance. And of course, the dark green color of the foliage in summer and the unique purple-brown color in winter provide added interest to this variety in bonsai culture. Now, it should be noted that not all Itoigawa foliage is created equal. As with all Juniper species, Itoigawa foliage will vary in terms of coarseness from tree to tree. Of course, the most desirable Itoigawa Shimpaku are those that have been collected from the mountains with naturally occurring compact foliage. However, there are many…
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