Continuing the work from the last post, the Juniper is now ready for the next (third step) in its progression. The arrangement of the branches and canopy is often some of the appealing work for many, because it is here you may change a tree totally in a new direction, and show off some dramatic styling. But this is a slow progress work on this specimen, prepared as a longer termed task, with small changes each time.
in opposition to the work ahead, the branches were shortened dramatically in the first step five months ago (see previous post), and now the remaining branches are arranged for the future development. Branches are shortened especially at the lower part, were some long branches were left to speed up the positioning after wiring earlier. Leaving some branches for growth speeds the healing and hardening up time of the thicker branch wired, and later these sacrifice branches are removed. The time was now. Because it is winter (although unbelievable mild this year with nearly no freezing even in night-time) I leave a little of the branch back, because cutting it back to its offspring might harm the bigger branch if freezing is heavy even when the tree is protected. Better safe than sorry, and the then dried piece left can be removed in spring.
Achieving a good shohin means working ahead of a compact tree. This demands shortening the branches and pinching the needles carefully but steady during the growing season. A good feeding is necessary too as is plenty of light, placing the tree in full sun.
The styling for now is done, and thoughts can be made of the future pot. In spring the tree may be repotted, and the future development is much about pinching and filling in the canopy, with small adjustment now and then.
Also the deadwood will be worked on again, but I always let it dry out completely and let the weather influence it before touching it again after the basic work is done. new fissures and crack may occur when the sun has dried it out later on.
Final height of the tree is 17 cm including the deadwood top jin. Height from base to the top of the canopy is 11 cm.