Old pictures of the first styling of a Juniperus Sabina Yamadori.

During my last week’s search through, thousands of photos I came across some forgotten foto I made of the first styling of a Yamadori Juniperus sabina I did way back in 2004. This tree was a gift from my old Bonsai friend and highly regarded college Serge Clement from Switzerland. He gave it to me right after that year’s Noelanders Trophy and it was if I remember it well used as a demo tree by one of the other demonstrators that year?!

Below: At home the next day I removed all the copper wire and then this Sabina is basically needly cleaned virgin material again! It now was pretty basic material with a nice Shari running along its trunk.

Below: The biggest problem that I faced was that the long base of the tree that was growing from the front of this container to the back of the container where it finally decided to grow upwards, but still away from us, and it would take some heavy bending to make it more compact and interesting! Basically, that top needs to be placed above that section where the trunk appears from the soil!

First, the whole top was tightly wrapped with a layer of water-soaked Raffia and then lengths of aluminium wire were placed lengthwise on the outside to make the heavy bend. Then the other layer of wet raffia was applied over it all and only then was I able to slowly and safely but with great force bring the whole top section into its new place!

Now fast-forward some 8 years to the year 2012 at the last edition of dear friend Tony Tickles famous/infamous Burrs Bonsai weekend experience where I was once again one of the lucky teachers. My friend Mickey from the UK who the year before became the new caretaker of this tree was also there and had brought along the Sabina of this story to further improve it. A college teacher had told the disappointed owner Mickey (below) that it would be difficult to bend the thick and old trunk that far. So really motivated we first tightly applied a layer of water-soaked Raffia and then a few lengthwise placed 4 mm copper wires on the outsides of the curve and then another layer of Raffia and then normal wiring on top of that. And then we together slowly bent the whole top section from the back side (see picture) to the front side of that trunk without any trouble. Micky had the time of his life! 😊 I wonder how they both are doing and I hope fine and healthy! 👍😊

Above: before bending with owner Micky. I am so excited!!!😬😁

Above: Success! The whole top is completely on this (front) side of the trunk now! But because of all the heavy bending, the fine wiring would be done later when the tree shows she is healthy and without any ill effects or weakness from what we have done! Patience is an important basic tool we all need in this hobby/art form! The deadwood was treated with Lime Sulfur to bleach it and protect it. 

Cheers and stay healthy,

Hans van Meer.

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