Juniperus Communis “Repanda” cliff, December 2017


2 years ago with the bonsai friends we experimented with creating stone plantings and out of some slate stone I created a cliff looking “pot”.








A year ago I bought a basic Juniperus communis “Repanda”/Kääpiokataja (fin), Obicna borovica/klela (cro), Common juniper (eng) from a garden shop for something like 7€ and did the kind of first styling. Removed 30% of roots and left it in its own plastic “pot”.

This spring I planted the pre-styled tree into the cliff (May, the plant already started growing again) and with no removal of any branches left it growing the whole summer.


End result, in June 2017 looked like this:











And the view from the “top”:










Now, in December, I did the second styling (first in this pot) shaping the tree to fit to the pots atmosphere, strong wind over the cliff and effects on the branches.

I would not consider this a windswept style, rather slightly shaped by the wind.

Tried to photo the best out of it:


Next year I will remove the most of the jinned branches on the left. Some I will leave but as they are now are definitely an over-engineering.

Today is the 100 year anniversary of Finish independence so in honor of that I did the following photos 🙂


And no, the cliffs don’t look like that in Finland but does it have to be?! 😉

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  1. Jani

    Very nice result indeed. Beautiful. I would not hurry removing those jinned branches, they give the tree nice direction. Even if you end up having it a little bit fuller. Hars conditions justify them, IMHO. There are strong forces of nature present, and those branches that didn’t conform, died.

    Perhaps I would remove the lowest branch, or jin that too. Result would be more triangular, which doesn’t hurt. Just my 2 cents.

    This is a dramatic and expressive tree already. You should do it justice. Background should disappear, again IMHO :). Pitch black is simplest to do.

  2. Jani

    Forgat to say, I really, really like the setup, with flag and all. Has strong metaphorical meanings.

    • tato

      Thanks Jani for your positive words/opinions! 🙂

      -Jinned branches: I will keep in mind your opinion and thanks for those! I have been worried I am overloading the tree with too many jins which I noticed I like a lot. You are right, they are the ones giving the clear indication of wind/direction. They are slightly misbehaving, not wanting to stay in the exact position I want and they are so thin that blowtorch burns them too quickly.
      -Lowest branch: I actually agree with you. On the photo showing the pot from its right side (wind blows to the left) the lowest branch gives some kind of depth and layered looks but in the main photo (wind blows to the right) it is not having an impression I would like. Jinning remains as an option.
      -Black background: Yes, yes and only yes! Fully agree with you! I tried with the black and somehow didn’t get the contrast of the rather black pot against also black background so I decided using the grey one which (you are correct) didn’t disappear 🙁 Grey though gives a better feeling of bad weather and slightly better contrast with the pot but now thinking again I am pretty sure with better lighting I could have got the wished contrast even on the black one or I should have had longer distance between the scene and the grey one and then adjust aperture.
      Tonight I will do a post with the redesigned Tickled larch with the black background, 2 photos came out very nicely, both though better in different things.
      Would be nice to have the permanent setup to speed up learning and fine tuning. Like this I am always starting from scratch, moving tables in the house, putting chairs, swearing at falling objects or members of my family wanting to pass over a piece of equipment which took me an hour to position 😀
      -Objective: I noticed that photos are not as sharp as I wanted. Seems I have an issue with this fixed focal point objective. Will troubleshoot.

  3. Petar

    Beautiful and deep. You are The Artist 🙂

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