This juniper started out as an upright variety with prickly bluish foliage. It spent a few years in the grow beds to get a thicker trunk and was transferred to a polystyrene fruit box for training.
I spent a few years trying to control the very upright growth habit without much success. I also got a bit sick of the scratches and prickles from the foliage but rather than giving up on the great trunk I decided to graft ‘shimpaku’ foliage onto it.
Approach grafts were successful but it still took 3 years to get all the branches grafted to ‘shimpaku’.
The remaining original trunks made good jins to add to the wild, aged appearance and the possibilities were looking great.
Last year I took this tree to a workshop with Hirotoshi Saito in Melbourne.
I had imagined a tree with a single apex and spreading branches but after trimming and wiring Hiro’s design included 5 separate apexes – it is a multi-trunk tree after all.