Need help with Parsoni juniper

I stopped by an absolutely wretched nursery. This place doesn’t care, but I figured that there may be some neglected gems in there. I found very little, but did come away a couple Parsoni juniper. These need to regain strength before any major work is done, but I figured that I can go ahead and set structure now as long as I don’t make major cuts?

Before cleaning:


I’m still looking for the nebari, but as far as styling goes I was thinking a tension design. I’m struggling with what to do with the leader on that apex. Do I use some wire to make the trunk more vertical? I plan on letting all of the branches around the trunk grow/thicken and then Jin them to form a “crown of thorns” sort of thing with the main trunk growing out of the middle.

My wife took the smaller of the two:

Not sure what to do with this either other than to tilt it almost 90 degrees and go with a cascading design.

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Forgot to mention that the smaller one has that acute bend in it because it was growing on its side lol. That’s the level of idgaf that this place has. :laughing:

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