Tree: Tree #2

Species: Prostrata Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis Prostrata) or San Jose Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis "San Jose"), both cultivars of Chinese Juniper more info here on kuromatsu bonsai

Style: Family (Raft style) of Informal Uprights on a Slab (rock)

Obtained: Won this from a SBBK raffle demo! Demo was on how to do a raft. Tim K. showed how a trunk was turned sideways and the branches are now the various trees. This one was a little version which showed some of the steps. The material, which ended up in a wooden box, was maybe 35 YO already? I kept it mostly healthy for about a year. Then I did the other part which I had also won in the same deal, which was re-potting it from the wooden box to a slab.


  1. Small tree growning in ground natually from seed.
  2. Ground-layered and trained as such for ~35 years! (Bent over, or low branch used, to touch ground on one side (branches cleared off) and allowed to grow new root from what was its side.)
  3. Lived in largish wooden pot for some time. This is known as raft style; previous horizontal branches are now a grouping of trees.
  4. Put over rock ~2012.

Style Ideas: Keep it alive, green moss mound, finish a perminate bird's (Eagle?) nest, build a little door and path from this one trunk part that looks like a entrance to an underground home.


  1. Minimum of four hours of direct sunlight daily - all shade bad
  2. Frost tolerant and cold hardy - should protect the soil in the pot from freezing tho
  3. Aggregate. These junipers like loose, free draining soil, and a constant flow of nutrients
  4. 100% aggregate and a lot of organic fertilizer on top of the soil to feed the tree
  5. Water daily in both warm and cold weather

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Didn't like the 3/11 repot, so put the whole family back together on the larger of the two slates. (Smaller slate wired and clean and ready for something else.)
This time added some other rock features to give more of a mountain substance and rocky outcropping feeling. Some erosion features. I like it better. Miss the old one some - hope this growns in nicely.

Major "repotting". Always found the wood base annoying and the whole thing heavy - weight turns out to be from slate rock. At this point there are two dead trees, and most of the growth and foliage up and out too far.
Removed the wood base, split the two pieces of slate apart, seperated the family into two, and re-planted root over rock with muck (clay) sytle.
Vision was a series of tropical islands at high tide, surrounded by sea.
Turned out I didn't like it and redid it a few days later.
Plan: HiRes

The muck. I removed the clay wall (btwn moss and roots) and re-vitalized it: HiRes

Smaller island: HiRes

Larger island: HiRes

Before: HiRes

hiyahhhhh! - from Bruce Lee Fan night at SF ballgame.


Note that a few weeks ago I another 'tree' in this forest was totally dead (right-most in this pix). I shortened it and stripped the bark. (Easier and more consistent aged look when bark is peeled ealier.)

2015 MAY 6:
Collected some moss a few days ago. Going to show the tree at a book signing later this week! Got a small fern to use as the companion plant. Started working on a caligraphy (painting/scroll) too. Brought tree to mothly SBBK workshop; lowered height of one tree to make a more pleasing constitent group canapy, cleaned up dead brown needles, cleaned up crotches, changed up some jin. The widening of the "V" of the trees (when the piece is viewed from the side) may be due to the center of the root mound rising up from new root growth under. To do: Soak it some some hours to fully wet the roots and rootball, thought was that heat on the balcony and the wind is desicating this tree - and the soil is soild, resisting a pointed chopstick pushing through. Also remove more of the heavy, not in use, hold-down wire.

On display! 2015 May 07 with a shady forest floor fern. Family (Raft style) of Informal Uprights on a Slab (rock). The family here shares a common canapy line, and there is incuded a dead elder.

Taking a nice soak 2015 May 06:

2015 APR 26:
Constantly weeding this one. Moss is mostly all dead, except for top, stripped it off. Over the winter the rains overflowed the overhang gutter and the downpour eroded away an side of the mound. Months ago I turned it around and moved some clay around to patch it.

Here it is Aug 9, 2014:

Here I built a (little) bird's nest; it's on the dead tree and can't really be seen from the Bonsia front.
Photo on 2013 DEC 31