Blue Alps Juniper Prep Work

I have a progression of my work on this tree in 2011 posted here. The species is Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Alps’, and it is an incredibly vigorous variety. It was crammed into a shallow pot this spring, but bounced back nicely. I detailed wired it in July 2011 and today and it has already outgrown most of its wire. So today, after coming back from the US National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester, NY, I was itching to do some bonsai work so I removed the wire from this tree and gave it a trimming in preparation for its next round of wiring.

It may be worth noting that I unraveled the thin copper wire instead of cutting it away. Unraveling it is usually faster, makes less of a mess, and is better for the tree as it minimizes the chance that small loops of wire will be left on the tree that could later girdle or otherwise weaken a branch. I only unravel the detail wiring. The thicker copper wire applied to primary branches is cut away.

After a light round of scissor thinning, the tree went back on its bench. I will give it another month of growth until I have more free time to rewire the tree. Detail wiring this tree will probably take me the better part of a day.

Late March 2012 after repotting.

Today, before work.

After removing wire.

After a light trim. Only the strong middle shoots were cut back. The goal was just to balance the energy in some areas without weakening the tree overall.

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