‘This Is The Tree I’ve Had The Longest’

12 months ago Nebby 0

Source: Crataegus Bonsai Blog.

Anyone with a bonsai garden can point to that one tree that predates all others. For me, it’s a juniper. And that’s the tree that I wish to share today. The history of this one is memorable for me, collecting it as an Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) on the rocky shores of a lake near Bloomington, Indiana. I was pretty young. Likely in sneakers. And low on collecting experience.  Some may note the odd ‘collected it as’ sentence in the last paragraph. Most things remain what we collect them as, and arguably the lower half of the trunk is still Red Cedar. The top half became a different species in 2002 when I was studying with Boon Manakitivipart. He offered some Kishu juniper (a variety of Shimpaku) for the graft, and after the scion took and grew for a year I cut off all the spiky Red Cedar growth. Only one scion was used. It was a young tree when I collected it, maybe about 5 years old, and the trunk was tiny, about 1/4″ / 0.64cm. Now it’s 1″ / 2.5cm. It’s still a slender tree, but it’s been in a small pot for 30 years, almost all its life. For years it sat on the bench, mostly ignored. About 5 years ago I brought it into the studio, being a bit embarrassed to have a tree that long with so little to show for it. The current style is due to the intervening years of adding a little information…

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