Literati Re-Design

Hey all,

Few months ago I acquired the following shimpaku juniper. Thinking of a redesign but am unsure which path to take. Any ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

It does look like a nice tree. My first thought is that the foliage mass is too big and too dense. It’s hard to tell from the photo because of the shadows, but it looks like there are four or so major branches right below the foliage? Usually a literati would reduce that kind of branching, so there’s an obvious single line from top to bottom.
If it were my tree, I think I would start by thinning and cleaning through the foliage, and dividing it into visually distinct sections. Then maybe remove a couple of larger branches.
For the future, reduce the above-soil roots and repot into something a little narrower and deeper?

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Thanks for the input! Your assumption on the branches was correct! Here’s a pic -

Thanks for new picture. So now the question becomes which way does the trunk line need to move? Removing major branches on the left would kinda make it look the tree is hunkering down into itself. Removing branches on the right would make it be stretching out and reaching for something. Either way could work.

My personal opinion, based only on the photos, would be to remove the lower right hand branches, including at the fork where you have a double strand of wire. Try hiding those branches with paper or a bag or something so you can get an idea of the silhouette first. Go easy on creating jin. Also, double check that you like the front as it is. I know it’s a round pot, but the tree still has a front and back.
Anyway, that’s my armchair amateur advice. Honestly, I’ve only been actively attempting bonsai for about 3 months. Please post more pics once you’ve restyled it.

Finally bit the bullet and dove in to redesign! It’ll definitely need 1-2 growing seasons to fill out but I’m very pleased with the results.


Really good feedback.

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