Working on a customer’s San Jose juniper.

A couple of days ago, a customer brought an older San Jose juniper bonsai for me to work on.  The tree has been in this pot for over 15 years.  The tree is quite old and large.  The juniper is in a basic pom pom form and is laying flat.  I trimmed the roots just a bit to raise the tree up.  By raising the tree up, I was able to show an interesting twist in the trunk.  I wired what was left, but it will take several years of wiring and pruning to get this tree to its final shape.  The branches are quite large so I used a lot of guy wires to be able to bend the branches.  It is hard to see the finished tree, but you will be able to see how different the tree becomes by raising the trunk upright.  I have included several pictures of the steps that I took.

Fixing a cork oak air-layer.

Last year I worked on a cork oak air-layer. The toughest part of the air-layer was getting through the bark.  It was a challenge to remove enough of the cork to get to the wood.  As you can see from the photo's, I was not successful.  The bark grew right over the area that I removed.  This year I took my air-layering tool and gouged the bark completely off.  The air-layering tool has many teeth that bite right through the bark.  Last year I removed the bark with a grafting knife.  After I was done, I dusted the area with rooting hormone.  I put a six inch pot around the area and filled the pot with wet moss.  I have included pictures of the different steps.  The area that I removed the bark is about two inches in diameter and with the bark is about three inches.
before pruning

after pruning

picture of healed over bark

picture of removed bark

finished product
Click onto the photo's for a close up of the picture.