I just got back home from a great weekend of Bonsai in the Bay Area where I participated in workshops with Boon. I wired two trees this weekend and one was this Sierra Juniper aka Juniperus Occidentalis Subsp. Australis or Juniperus Grandis depending on who you are talking to or ask.
Here is close up shot of the natural deadwood on the tree. I extracted the plant from a long and skinny crevice in the granite of the Sierra around 2-3 years ago. I kept as many roots as I could get which extended about 2-3 feet past the trunk. I used rope to tie the tree firmly onto my old school metal frame backpack so it wouldn’t move too much while I packed it back down to my truck. Once I got back home I potted the tree up into pure sifted and washed pumice. The long root system was coiled into this black Anderson flat and secured with aluminum wire so that the tree would not wiggle in the pot and break all the new roots.
Examining the back of the tree gives us clues about how this tree was growing in the mountains. The unusual shape of the lower trunk was made because this section of the tree was under the soil line before collection. The tree was forced to grow around a rock which was in the shape of this indentation. It wasn’t until I got home and rinsed the dirt off that I noticed the smaller chunk of granite firmly embedded into the trunk. While some might chisel or pry the rock out, I like it's uniqueness and plan to keep it.
Here's the tree after wiring and styling. One long branch at the apex was kept to maintain strength even though it's not part of the design. In the picture this branch is hidden by a paper towel and will likely be removed during the next styling.