Story of an "old gold" juniper

text and photos by Alfredo Salaccione


This photo shows a garden juniper (old gold juniper) in "nature". Some years ago, it was very simple to find trees like this in many urban sites and that kind of material was very wanted. They look like urban yamadori.


After some years since its collection, I decided to work on it during a demonstration.

This is the result of the first step on tree.

The following spring I decided to repot it, and so I cut some big roots to position the tree in a new pot.

A part of vein died and in this way a large shari was naturally created.

One year later, I decide to wire the juniper again.

Wood is carved using manual tools. The living vein is cleaned and oiled.

Little details of the wood's structure are pointed out.

The first branch is in position.

I need to bend a branch on the right. An iron bar helps me to do this.

The work goes on. I try to position the foliage in such a way that the sunlight and air can reach the inner and lower parts. With this kind of juniper it is better to work as a broadleaf tree. It is very important to let the foliage grow and create a solid and strong structure of the branch so as to limit the use of thin wire on an otherwise drooping foliage.

The wood of garden juniper is not so strong and it often becomes rotten. So I use hardener resin after the normal jin liquid.

This step is done. The next spring, a poor nitrogen fertilizer and the right exposition to the sun will make the tree grow faster and stronger.

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