This Sabina Juniper bonsai (Juniperus sabina var. sabina) was collected from the wild in 2011 from a mountainuous area in Spain (see previous page). When I saw the offering images of the tree, I was very impressed with the coiling deadwood and live veins that the tree exhibited.
The tree was taken out of its container and exported to me, here in the UK, at the end of July 2013.
The Juniper bonsai as it was received in July 2013. The tree had its roots wrapped in damp newspaper to keep them from drying out en route to the UK, and then bound with plastic wrap to stop the rootball falling apart.
As soon as I had finished photographing the tree, the Juniper was planted into a training pot.
Planting the tree into a pot was my first opportunity to start the process of styling the tree into a bonsai; I wasn't entirely happy with the angle the tree had previously been planted at. Despite the movement of the coiling and twisting life-lines, the tree had a prominent and very static 90º angle between the upright trunk and the heavy first branch.
I decided to turn the Juniper clockwise 25degrees, and backwards a little, so that the heavy first branch was slightly below the horizontal, and the main trunk leant forwards over it, in a semi-cascade form. This placed far greater visual emphasis on the natural beauty of the first branch.
The 'negative' aspect of this repositioning was that a large dead root at the base of the trunk was no longer buried and instead, ran across the soil surface. However, as this root displayed great natural deadwood and was a continuation of the visual line from the first branch, I saw this 'fault' as a huge bonus to the overall design.
The rootball itself was in excellent condition with the presence of many white fleshy root-tips and I was able to simply slip the tree into its new training pot without disturbance.