A Study in Deadwood 5/18/17


A great tree for a study in deadwood. It's a Juniper procumben from Luis Vallejo's website. I cropped the photo a bit, but you can see the full size original just below.

Very busy right now with little time to put together a new post. Yesterday it was the remarkably talented Luis Vallejo’s bonsai, so today we’ll stay on the same track. This post originally appeared in June, 2015.

I just spent the last digital hour or so wandering around Luis Vallejo’s Bonsai Studio (Estudio de Bonsai) and his Bonsai Museum (Museo del Bonsai). Given just how prolific Luis is, we need to narrow our focus for this post. So I’ve decided to feature two Junipers with great deadwood.

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The tree above the way it appears on Luis Vallejo's website. I picked this tree because it's beautiful and because it shows truly remarkable deadwood. Not overstated but strong and in good proportion to the rest of the tree. And white! (blame it on lime sulfur). Sometimes when deadwood is too white it looks unnatural, but it works here. And then there's that snaky dead branch on the right.



A fuzzy deadwood close-up (mea culpa) with guy wires.

Tanuki? I don’t think the tree above is a tanuki (phoenix graft), but you can’t tell from the photos one way or the other. Many people frown on phoenix grafts, but some people accept them as a legitimate bonsai technique.



Powerful (to say the least) fluid sculpted deadwood with a strong living vein and some playful action lower right. This one is a Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis). Looks like the Shimpaku variety.



If you're interested in learning about deadwood, this excellent book by Francois Jeker is the place to go (short of a workshop with Francois, that is).

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