Carving and Styling a Juniper sabina Bonsai

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The Sabina Juniper featured in this article was collected from a mountainous area of Northern Spain in 2011. After collection it was been left to recover in a bonsai nursery before being wired and given something of a first styling.

Juniper sabina bonsai styling

June 2014: The original 'offering' images of the Juniper bonsai I was sent by the bonsai nursery who were selling it. The tree was obviously very healthy and had some great natural deadwood in the form of a shari running the length of its trunk.

AT Juniper sabina carving and styling

June 2014: My slight concern over this bonsai was that the base of the trunk sat 'on top' of the soil surface rather than plunging into it; aesthetically this gave the tree the impression that it was not properly 'grounded' or stable. This fault could however be rectified during the styling process.

AT Juniper sabina carving and styling

July 2014: The Juniper arrived with me in early July and I slip-potted it (planted into into a new poot without disturbing the rootball) into a different training container, a generic Chinese bonsai pot. At this point I took the opportunity to tilt the tree clockwise a few degrees and changed the front view slightly as well; this improved the appearance of the trunkbase considerably.

AT Juniper sabina carving and styling

July 2014: The deadwood and live-veins had already been given a clean at the bonsai nursery

AT Juniper sabina carving and styling

July 2014: As previously mentioned, the Juniper had been given a rough first styling. Note the dropping first branch on the tree when seen from the back (the lowest branch in this image). Although the tree had been wired and some branches placed, the branches had not been pruned and prepared as thoroughly as I would have liked.

AT Juniper sabina carving and styling

July 2014: The Juniper sabina seen from the back. I preferred the base and the line of the trunk from this side, however, the absence of visible deadwood/shari made its appearance mundane.

AT Juniper sabina carving and styling

July 2014: Whereas the existing front-view had plenty of interesting deadwood

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