This is a beautiful yamadori Chinese Juniper from Japan that I acquired for my personnel collection. In this photograph you can see that the tree is really healthy and growing very strong. However it was not perfect, but despite the wires cutting in and the tree being very out of shape and overgrown, I could not resist this tree. It had great potential.
The dead wood is superb as you would expect with a collected tree. The trunk has nice movement, good taper, and power in a compact frame. To find trees which have thick powerful trunks with movement and which are also compact is not so easy. Usually trees which have good movement are linear. There was plenty of foliage to work with. In fact so much so, that the tree was top heavy.
My work on the tree would be, to clean up the deadwood areas, remove some areas of car body filler and expose the ‘real’ deadwood beneath. Do some fine carving work on those areas which did not have as much detail or interest as some other areas. Thin out the foliage and remove any branches deemed unnecessary to the design. But the important part would be to arrange the foliage in such a way as to balance the whole design. I have to show off the trees features without hiding them and without creating something that would detract from or hide these areas.
This is how the Shimpaku looks after the first styling. Not a really good photo. But you can see that all the key elements or features of the tree can be seen in the design. The natural deadwood and hollow trunk. The movement in the trunk and the jin, which I have framed with the foliage. And of course the foliage itself, which sits comfortably around the core of the tree and holds everything together visually.
For me, this is a satisfying result for the first styling. The proportions of the different elements are good, including the pot. The movement and direction of the tree, the wonderful deadwood, the foliage placement and the proportions of the tree give a balance to the composition.
This tree has a great future and I will enjoy every minute of watching it grow.
“Sogno” Yamadori Shimpaku.
Noelanders Trophy VIII Winner 2007.
Photo Willy Evenepoel.