This Blue Star Juniper was planted in my flowerbed back in 1993. Over the years I cut it back and eventually I pulled it out. It struggled for years loosing branch after branch. At one point I thought it was dead. After removing all the dead branches I was able to scrap away all the dead bark from the trunk. I couldn’t believe it when I saw just how small a live vein remained. It took a further few years to get it to full health.
Today I decided to style the tree. A few things needed sorting out. Most of the deadwood moves to the right but the bit top left goes against this flow.
I decided to heat the jin with a blow torch and bend it into a more complimentary position. I protected the foliage with tin foil while I heated the jin. I used jin pliers to hold and twist the wood as I heated it. Once I got it to the right spot I held it for a minute or so for it to cool down and set in it’s new position.
As you can see, the heating treatment allows for decent bends to be added and has the benefit of ageing the wood with fire.
After a quick coat of Lime Sulphur I applied self Amalgamating Tape to the upper trunk area to protect it while I applied a bend or two. The upper trunk was bolt straight and I wanted to bring the foliage in tighter to the main body of the tree.
This is it after bending and some basic branch placement. It isn’t very refined as the foliage quite heavy and I wasn’t prepared to pinch it back any harder at this point. I reduced the jins at the base as they distracted from the rest of the tree. These will also be refined further at a later point as they are a bit clunky as they sit now. Further growth will be needed to fill out the image but the basic structure I wanted it there now.