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Giant Redwood Style, Juniper Bonsai, Sept 2014

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I begin to create a Juniper bonsai in the style of the worlds largest tree, General Sherman!
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Text Comments (61)
Kruell (6 days ago)
How come you don't use flush cutters or concave cutters very often?
I may not have had them back then, most of my early work was with simple tools anyone could buy.
Krista Awesome (27 days ago)
Do you use your cut branches as cutting starters for new Bonsai, or do you just toss them?
thabest007 (5 months ago)
What if you broke off branches instead of cutting them? In the spirit of creating a look as natural as possible
I have seen a tree pruned in this manner, the person used rocks hit against each other to prune the branches and also some hand pruning (or ripping). It was a very wild looking, but unique tree! I would like to try developing a tree using just my hands some day!
Lazarus_aap (6 months ago)
I'm a little confused... Since English names for trees are different than dutch names, I have to look up or guess what they are, but I just watched your video of your blade runner style juniper and I wanted to see how to prune it, but this tree looks very different and it's also called a juniper? And If you were to grow a cutting of off this one, what part would you use and when would be the best time? You put them in clean sand right?
Lazarus_aap (6 months ago)
Thank you Nigel! I want to grow a cutting of a huge tree in my backyard. I just don't know if it is a juniper or a cedar. I also have two little trees that could be junipers, but they also look a lot like your birds nest spruce, only they (started) as upright trees
The Blade Runner Juniper is a needle Juniper. They always have the sharp needles even when they get old. The Chinese Junipers will start off with sharp needles, but as the tree matures, they turn to soft scale like foliage. Yes the cuttings do well in damp sand. I will try a variety of different size cuttings and see what works best. I think a vigorous tip that is just going woody is best.
John Rossi (6 months ago)
the squirrel at the end was awesome!
I miss the little fellow, he went wild as fall approached. We did see him the next spring, alive and well!
Paul Schaefer (9 months ago)
Is the squirrel a pet or just really friendly?
We raised him from a baby, most go wild as soon as they get outdoors, but Dandelion stayed tame all summer. He lived outdoors, but would come to play almost every day! He did go wild the following year, but we were at least able to see he was alive and well.
Beth C (1 year ago)
We have been training are Giant Sequoia for 4 years. We bought it in Sequoia National Park as a seedling. We've named him General Short Stuff! Are you planning an update video soon?
I'll be working on it over the winter doing some styling. The tree has grown really well this summer, it survived my major root pruning! I an going to try and order some Sequoia seeds this winter, I really want to start one from seed!
Spring 101 (1 year ago)
Hi Nigel I really apprécia te your videos you are a good teacher. I wanted to ask you if it is ok to wire a sequoia during winter (dormancy) or is it better to wait spring Time Thank you!
Winter is a good time to wire! Spring is usually so busy, I find it best to do as much work in advance and just save spring for re potting.
Jerry Anctil (1 year ago)
Hi Nigel, your well explanation of why your doing with what your going to do on your juniper.
The tree is doing well, it will be a long time before it looks really good. I did major root work to it this spring and it survived nicely. I've been letting it grow to thicken the new roots and try and get my root flare back at the base of the tree, I had to cut off a lot of roots that were growing out of the root plane and the base has some reverse taper now. As the roots begin to thicken up, this reverse taper will grow in to a nice flair at the base of the tree. It will just take time!
Will you ultimately place General Sherman in a shallower pot?
Thank you, Nigel.
Yes, I have done some really severe root pruning to it this year and it survived well and is growing really nicely. It is in a large training box at the moment, but some day in the far future it will go into a shallow pot. I have to get the roots growing and fix the lower trunk. The large roots that I pruned off, left the lower trunk with all kinds of taper problems., but in time I will work to resolve my trunk into something nice. Here is the latest video on this tree.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RMFbuz7hvY&t=36s
クリ (1 year ago)
Nigel one of my Ficus has been damaged by the cold, and I cut the some branches off that has a lot of dead leafs on it. But now it is doing badly, what should I do ?
No, I would keep it in the sun, but only if it is warm outside. Inside, in a sunny window.
クリ (1 year ago)
+Nigel Saunders do I keep it in the shad ?
クリ (1 year ago)
+Nigel Saunders thank you so much Nigel !
I would keep it indoors by a sunny window. If the weather gets warm, take it out on sunny days and bring it back inside if it is going to get cool at night. I bring mine inside when it gets down to 10 C at night.
クリ (1 year ago)
+Nigel Saunders where should I put it ?
Eram Abbasi (1 year ago)
I like ur style of bonsai & esp like ur explanation. So I often try to follow ur trees. Today I got hold of a similar Juniper. I chopped the trunk as u have done. Would follow ur followup videos for this tree & train my Juniper accordingly. 😃
I have a playlist for the tree, it makes it easy to check for updates! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQouTWwmTQoyr36Bs9kP1sDPBmyoDFk87
Lalchhanhimi Ralte (1 year ago)
is all kind of juniper is available to bonsai it nigel sir
Yes, but some are more suited to bonsai then others. There are some species that just don't want to back bud easily, so your tree will just keep getting larger every year. Here is a good overview.... http://www.bonsaiempire.com/tree-species/juniper
Ryan Huston (2 years ago)
Wow, how did you meet Dandelion??
We have raised many rescue animals in the past, raccoons and squirrels, I'll have to add some shots to the end of a video, they are quite funny! We no longer do this any more, I miss having critters around.
My daughter raised Dandelion from a small baby. The mother got killed by a car and the babies had crawled out of their nest. He was one of the only squirrels that stayed with us for the summer, the rest tend to go wild quickly once outdoors. Dandelion also went wild after the first winter, we still saw him around, but he never came close to us.
Ryan Huston (2 years ago)
You should make a video compilation of Dandelion visits. I haven't seen Dandelion in your recent videos, so I hope he is still around.
venalicio (2 years ago)
Would you do a video of taking a nursery juniper or similar, and making your initial branch selection etc? Also, where did you get your root rake?
The root rake came from a miniature gardening kit. I can't find one like it anywhere.
The KW bonsai society will be doing a nursery stock to bonsai styling workshop this year. I'll video it for YouTube.
Josh Wilder (2 years ago)
Nigel so if i let my juniper grow the spiky foliage will grow in to the desired foliage?
Eric Brown (2 years ago)
Did the wound ever heal over? I made a large cut once on a procumbens, and my friend said that it would never heal completely. The wound was actually larger than the living vein. They won't heal because junipers only move resources up and down the vein, not side to side along the trunk like pines or deciduous trees. I now always leave a stub and carve it for deadwood. Six years later and the wound is still there, so I won't be doing that again. Love the tree you're working on. I am in the process of grafting red cedar foliage unto a procumbens. I love the shimpaku like foliage and pollen cones in the spring.
+Eric Brown The tree suffered badly last spring during a sudden cold snap. I have just been letting the tree recover and is now getting healthy again. I will be re potting it soon. Thanks for the insight on pruning junipers!
Gabi Trandafir (2 years ago)
Hi Nigel, really nice video. How do you take care of a plant like this during winter if you leave it outside? Can the freezing weather hurt it? Thx and i really enjoy learning about bonsai from your videos.
Gabi Trandafir (2 years ago)
+Nigel Saunders Thank you for the quick response. Unfortunately i live in an apartment building, i could keep it in my balcony but it wont get too cold in there because its heated. I do have a little ficus colection that i keep there and i really wanted to give it a go with a juniper tree too.
+Gabi Trandafir It is OK to leave the juniper outside during winter, but it must be protected from the dry winds. They will scorch the foliage and could kill the tree. I place my trees in the unheated basement. Many people leave them in sheds or garages.
The Hillbilly Piper (2 years ago)
I had a real Giant Redwood sapling (Seqoiadendron Giganteum)from a garden center that I made into a bonsai. But it died after a few years . Not sure what went wrong,maybe my climate in Arkansas . But my Dawn Redwood That I bought at the same time is still strong.
The Hillbilly Piper (2 years ago)
+Nigel Saunders I've read that the Dawn Redwood did grow all. across North America during. prehistoric times but was thought to be extinct until discovered growing in a remote part of China. Course now they are cultivated and sold at many garden centers. I got mine at Sutherland s.
+aikidragonpiper71 I think I'll grow a Dawn Redwood too. You can get them in this area and they seem to be able to handle the cold.
Kalista Hall (2 years ago)
It's so relaxing watching you work on trees.
+Kalista Hall Hi Kalista, I have found it is best to bare root the trees and place them directly into bonsai soil. Keep the trees out of the wind and direct sunlight until they are growing well. Don't let the soil dry out also. The best time to collect the trees is in spring when the buds are swelling, but the leaves haven't opened up. Good luck.
Kalista Hall (2 years ago)
+Nigel Saunders I have a couple specimens I was wondering if you could help me with what I should do. They're on the forest floor, and I cut them down to just a couple feel tall a year ago. They have ramified some twigging, and I thought I'd collect them this Spring to put in training pots. The one is a maple....not sure which kind, probably just a sugar maple, the most common in West Virginia, and the other is a beech tree I believe. I'm not sure what I should put in the pot just like native soil and compost? I think I should let them recover before bare rooting and bonsai soil. The maple is really fascinating; it germinated on a log and has a perfect mat of roots that would be sooo easy to collect, and the trunk slides off the log into the ground, so I thought I'll just lay it on its side, in a long pot, and it'll have two points of entrance into the soil....or, if I were handy with carpentry, putting it in two separate bonsai pots, one on a pedestal, having an elevated portion connected to the bottom one....never seen an arrangement like that, anyways, thanks!
+Kalista Hall Thanks for watching Kalista!
L. A. Nolan (2 years ago)
Funny little squirrel. That is so cool that it is friendly to you! Great tree also - I can't wait to try my hand with some Junipers.
+L. A. Nolan The squirrel has gone totally wild now, I do miss him, but I'm glad we got to raise him and return him to nature, even if its an urban style nature. I will be doing more videos on this tree, I almost lost the tree in spring, due to a sudden plunge in temperature when on the bench. The tree has recovered and is almost back to where I left off.
Chee Peng Tan (3 years ago)
Thanks for Sharing, i'm bonsai lover too~ Pls visit my Bonsai Carving and Wiring demo 盆景的年代艺术视频 https://youtu.be/FG5H-F9nEHo https://youtu.be/r9qNWdJFIGU
Kennet De Bondt (3 years ago)
Hello Nigel. Thanks for the serie. In order to get an even spread in the rootbase: did you think about airlayering the tree? Greetings Kennet Belgium
Quang le (4 years ago)
I really like your works.
deadeyeski (4 years ago)
Hello, thanks for sharing your video! Recently, I dug up a couple of landscaping Alberta Spruce.  They are about 3-4 feet tall, although I did not get exact measurements on them.  My buddy recently bought a house he is going to "flip"m so I took the opportunity to take his trees before he cut them down to nothing.  I guess houses with no landscaping are a clean canvas and are easier to sell? One of the trees I put into the ground, and the other, I made a wooden pine decking container and stuck it in there.  This was maybe a week ago or so, so I am not certain if the trees survived the ordeal.  I guess maybe they will live, or die.  I did my best to get them out of the ground, keep the roots watered, and got them back into some kind of soil and growing material.  Now it is up to nature. I have bought much smaller(dwarf) trees like this from the local big box stores after the Christmas season ends, they sell them as decorations, and usually are pretty cheap once the season is over.  Well, I have not had luck with them.  Usually by spring time, they dry out and die. I was wondering if you had any tips, or maybe had a spruce that you could show in a video as a demonstration of how to prune and such.  I think here in CT, USA it might be a little late to do any pruning, so I will have to wait till spring time.  But if these trees make it that far, I would like to start styling them. Thanks again for sharing, and I look forward to your next great video.
+deadeyeski Congratulations Dad!, I know the feeling of not having enough time. Sounds like you have done all you can for the trees. It's up to mother nature.
deadeyeski (4 years ago)
+Nigel Saunders   I will wait for the spring before I do anything.  For now I only water it.  I covered the trees in plastic garbage bags, and some plastic vapor barrier(makeshift greenhouse?).  Every once in a while I mix in some small amounts of transplant fertilizer, and some Superthrive.  I am not sure how long it would take for the tree to show me signs of life or death. My fear is that when I removed the trees from the ground, I cut roots off, removed some soil from those roots, and did not do a good enough job of filling in those gaps, although I tried my best.  But since I took some roots off by digging it out, I hope I do not have to much foliage on the trees?  I did cut some branches off the one I put into the container.  Nothing major, just a few branches out of a 100. If they are still alive by spring of next year, I will let them be.  Let them grow that entire year with out any extra pruning.  Just a watering.  Maybe I will take the plastic off of them? So it seems like in 2016 I will be able to style them in some way.  B then I hope to have some idea of what to do with them. This year, I have a new born son, and a project at the house that needs finishing.  Once the project is done, I feel like I will be able to work on some of my trees.  But for now I barely have enough time to water them.  None of my trees are in bonsai pots, but in nursery containers of one sort or another.
Hi there, most of the spruces that you buy from a store around Christmas already have had the roots die. It just takes a little longer for the top to go brown. The Spruces and Junipers need the cold winter in order to stay alive. Bringing them indoors just messes up their natural cycle, and this with lack of water, is a death sentence. Junipers can be kept alive indoors for a few years, but eventually they weaken and die. They need the cold rest period and the full sun of the outdoors. Check out my video on pruning a pre bonsai garden for some tips on pruning your Aberta Spruces, also the video on the Birds Nest Spruce should applly. I have a Alberta Spruce bonsai that I'll be doing a video of in the future also. Thanks for watching and good luck with your new trees, let me know how they are doing in spring. If they make it, I would just let them grow for the first year to recover.

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