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Visit from Boon and Kaya

On Friday night I got to hang out with Boon and Kaya Mooney in San Luis Obispo. Kaya is a twenty years old from Florida who's passionate about photography, Yerba Matte and bonsai where he plans to spend at least a few years studying with Boon as his newest apprentice.  He also took the pics of my tree below and is an all around awesome dude!  I took them to one of my favorite local restaurants called Goshi's for some amazing, high quality, traditional style sushi and then stopped by SLO's famous Bubble Gum Ally before heading back to my house to get some sleep before the next days work.

Kaya & Boon


On Saturday, we got a full day of work in.  It was nice to have help moving this tree around!  This Sierra Juniper aka Juniperus Occidentalis Australis was collected last October and has grown really well since then.  This is the earliest that I've ever worked on a juniper after collecting.  It's something that I can't recommend as a general practice. Typically I would like to wait at least two years before jumping in to the first working of the tree.


Because I was able to collect almost 100% of the trees fine root pad, which fills the entire length of the box, the tree didn't seem to skip a beat and grew nicely. Sierra's are also some of the strongest of our native junipers.  Because it was so newly collected, we were very gentle when wiring and removed only a limited amount of the old foliage.  We kept all the strong foliage tips, because Junipers strength is in their foliage and especially the elongating tips.  I think the foliage quality on this Sierra might be the smallest and tightest Sierra in my yard, I plan to keep this one with it's natural foliage.


We placed four root grafts on the tree so once the grafts 'take' the tree will be shortened using the roots in the black nursery can.  I'm stoked to someday see what the final image of this tree will look like, making a smaller tree will create a much more powerful final tree in my opinion.  We also placed two Kishu foliage grafts, to create two smaller trees with the remaining lower section of the tree.

Shari Detail


I imagine the final tree tilted slightly to the viewers left-hand side and the angle of the front rotated slightly.  During the first time placing wire on the tree, I was not concerned with making it look super nice.  More so, I wanted to get the main branches close to in place.  Now I plan to allow the tree to grow strongly without touching it to generate back budding and get the grafts to take.


Boon also helped me graft some Kishu scions onto a couple of my smaller Sierras as well.  Here's a true Shohin sized Sierra.   On this one we used a chisel to scion graft directly onto the live vein/trunk.  The Kishu scions are rolled with parafilm tape purchased through which keeps the foliage from drying out until the graft takes. I experimented by adding some plastic screen/mesh to help keep these slightly shaded from the summer sun.  Please cross your fingers for me that they will take, and thank you for reading!

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