Juniper bonsai with big visual change

In 2014 I received a nice gift on a trip to China. A rectangular curved pot for a cascade style bonsai.

It came to good use for a tree in my collection a few years ago when I flipped the tree from upward slanting to cascade. A huge change.

Now I am looking for a new style maybe. Always taking a critical (but positive) look at bonsai. Looking out for improvements and small changes that might be interesting and bring a tree to new heights.

The tree that went down

The bonsai is a Juniperus chinensis bougth at a garden nursery centre back in my young bonsai days. In 2003 to be exact. A simple tree collected when I didn’t know much about bonsai. It never really came out with that bonsai look, looking like an old tree. So changes had to be made.

The simple tree as it looked like in 2010. Juniperus chinensis `Phoenix`.


Changes had to be made to improve the tree. It could have stayed as it was, just developing the foliage and with a simple elegant movement. But it didn’t fulfil my dreams of an old tree.

At a time I grafted on deadwood to add a more aged and fuller image of an old tree. But more importantly, I tilted the tree and changed it to a dramatic and powerful cascade style tree.

All branches had to be repositioned and fill out again after the change. All made in small steps, so the tree didn’t suffer from being overworked.

2018 in the Kisetsu-en Bonsai Garden of the changing seasons.


This season it was in ned for a repot, and I had two options. To continue as it is, or make another small (or big) improvement. This winter I created several rock like creations and slaps. One of them designed especially for this bonsai. I wasn’t sure though if it would fit and look as I hoped for.

The full process can be viewed from June 1st when the Kisetsu-en Online Bonsai Magazine June edition is published. Honesty, I had no idea if this was going to succeed or not. Having to put the tree back in its fine Chinese pot, or successfully being transformed with a more natural rough base.

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