Kaipara ‘Hurricane’ Juniper

A very old Juniper battered by the constant onslaught of the westerly storms coming straight off the mighty Kaipara Harbour. This Juniper was shown at the National New Zealand Bonsai show in November 2016, and has lead to many enquiries about the tree. Below details the design choices and tree’s progress since initial collection.

Above and below show detail shots of the juniper right after collection from the Kaipara Harbour area, unfortunately I’ve miss-placed the pic of the entire tree from collection day…

The tree was very large when first collected, with a ton of deadwood swirling all around it. I based the initial design & styling on a combination of 2 famous junipers in Japan. One resides at Kimura’s garden, very large, with beautiful deadwood twisting out low to the left. The second tree has swooping deadwood that comes up and over the apex, framing it almost entirely. I wanted to achieve a similar effect with this Juniper as it had a lot of deadwood up high, and great deadwood flowing out to the left.

Design Inspiration, Tree 1 – A very famous Juniper from Masahiko Kimura’s garden.

Design Inspiration, Tree 2 – Another famous Juniper, and a personal favourite from Japan. I’ve always loved the deadwood framing this tree, giving the foliage a feeling of protection from the elements. Great drama, great contrast.

Now, bear with me here… If we layer both trees on top of each other, whilst also flipping Tree 2 horizontally… We’ll get a rough idea of where my head was at for that initial styling of the Kaipara juniper.

The 2 trees layered up.

So, with our 2 famous junipers merged into one-ultimate-beast Muse of a tree, let’s get back to our own tree… And the real work. Once again I seem to have miss-placed a lot of the progress shots of the tree (many thanks icloud?!). However, all you’re missing is a heap of deadwood work and unnecessary branch removal… Leaving us with all remaining foliage on one heavy upper branch. Below is part way through bringing said branch (that grew straight out the top to the left) all the way down to get the foliage within the body of the tree, allowing us to form an apex within the deadwood.

Part way through bringing upper branch/foliage downward.

Fast forward a wee bit, branch brought down into position, loose foliage pads set on one side…

After initial styling.

As it looked at the 2016 New Zealand National Show.

Above (and below), some details.

Very old deadwood ten-jin.

Looking through the swirling deadwood in the image above gives an idea why the Farmer who owned the land called this tree the Kaipara Tukauati or ‘Hurricane’…

Our little darling Miko-Rose, 3 weeks old, with the tree and I at the National Show, Nov 2016.

The future direction of the tree

Below is a ‘virtual’ pic of where we’d like to get the tree within the oncoming years (the foliage is a bit on the heavy side/overkill, but we’ll get the actual foliage into finer pads IRL…). When we do get the green mass close to that of the virtual pic, the tree will have the appropriate foliage to balance out the weight of the deadwood, really bringing the tree into it’s own.

Above – Where we want the tree to be within the next few years :)… And below –  We can compare it to the initial design idea, getting a better feel for where I was wanting to head with it back then…

The Hybrid Muse next to the Future Hurricane.

With the tree having put on a crazy amount of growth through summer thus far, we’re well on our way to preserving and furthering the ‘Kaipara Tukauati’s story. Long may it continue through the many storms yet to come.