January has been a ticking clock of work that must be done this month. Today, I finally took on the last major re-potting of the month. Everything else can wait til February and warming temperatures. This month, I had to complete the California Juniper. The California Juniper is an old legacy tree that has been in some state of bonsai for over 40 years. It was recently taken to a rehab area and got much stronger before I purchased the tree from the caretaker two years ago. This tree has not been root-worked by me until today so I found some surprises. I had taken the tree to my sensei and we were determined to re-pot with a change of angle. All of the branch wiring was done a few months ago. The angle was marked with chopsticks so I could complete it today. I had also wanted to change pots to a more refined pot. All great plans, though, must await the reveal of the roots to see if that is possible.
On popping the tree out of the original pot, I found a robust root mass; much of it was beginning to wrap around the bottom of the pot. Good timing on this one. I discovered a VERY important little root mass on the high side of the base. I had wanted the angle to be severe but upon finding those feeders of the life line and I to adjust the angle some and keep those viable roots, at least until the next re-potting.
I was able to come close to the angle desired but only by putting it back into the original pot. It is not a fine pot but it will have to do for this year. On final review; I will also shorten the deadwood horn on the left side as I still have two arms outstretched even with the change of orientation. Challenges are always given and we must answer to the tree until we can get it pointed in a new direction.