1st Attempt at Styling a Nursery Juniper

sikadelic

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I picked this tree up from a local nursery for $10 bucks. It had an interesting trunk size but not really any foliage tight to the trunk line. I thought it would be a nice one to help me learn with and I decided to try and style it.

Pictures are below as I purchased it and what I have done so far. This is also my first attempt at creating any deadwood too so I only removed the bark (and didn't do the best job at that) and want to let it age a little naturally a bit before cleaning it up a little more.

I wanted to expose the decent trunk size and incorporate what I saw as the best moving main branches with usable foliage. I don't want much more vertical growth and want to fill in and create a nice medium sized tree.

Any comments are welcome. Thanks.
 

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Vance Wood

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I picked this tree up from a local nursery for $10 bucks. It had an interesting trunk size but not really any foliage tight to the trunk line. I thought it would be a nice one to help me learn with and I decided to try and style it.

Pictures are below as I purchased it and what I have done so far. This is also my first attempt at creating any deadwood too so I only removed the bark (and didn't do the best job at that) and want to let it age a little naturally a bit before cleaning it up a little more.

I wanted to expose the decent trunk size and incorporate what I saw as the best moving main branches with usable foliage. I don't want much more vertical growth and want to fill in and create a nice medium sized tree.

Any comments are welcome. Thanks.

It's a good start but you need to slow down a bit. Removing this much foliage off of a Juniper could be disastrous. Also be careful that you leave life lines intact for the living portions of you trees.
 

edprocoat

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If it lives it will have an interesting trunk for certain. That is a ton of green you removed, Junipers are more foliage dependent than most other species.

ed
 

Poink88

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Based on what I have been reading about juni, you removed way too much foliage at one go, as Vance said. The tree looks nice and I think you did good...lets just hope it survives. :)

What kind of work did you do to the roots?
 

fourteener

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Your better off chasing growth back up the branches. I would have left all of that foliage on, given it full sun and fertilize and as the new growth appears, pinch it and wait for budding to appear . When it gets strong, trim off the extension. Repeat for several years to get growth back toward the trunk.

As it stands, I wouldn't trim off any more foliage. Let it sit in the sun and grow for a season or two.
 

edprocoat

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It's a good start but you need to slow down a bit. Removing this much foliage off of a Juniper could be disastrous. Also be careful that you leave life lines intact for the living portions of you trees.

"Disastrous" you cheap old bastard, it was only $10 ! :p LOL

Rumor has it that Vance still has the first dollar he ever earned working as a Blacksmith, it was a newly printed 1920 $1 Silver Certificate !

ed
 

sikadelic

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I should have included that I removed it in stages. The foliage was removed over the course of about 4 months or so. The first pic was last summer. The second was in December, and I removed the rest last month.

I held off on posting until I saw new green tips on the remaining foliage. It looks like it has survived. I'm guessing it will be a while before it fully bounces back to vigorous growth.

Thanks for the comments. I keep updating when there's something interesting to post.
 

discusmike

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Your probably going to get mostly juvenile foilage for sometime, it may take two seasons to recover if it makes it.
 

sikadelic

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Based on what I have been reading about juni, you removed way too much foliage at one go, as Vance said. The tree looks nice and I think you did good...lets just hope it survives. :)

What kind of work did you do to the roots?

I cut off the bottom half and washed them out pretty well removing about half of the original soil...mainly around the edges. I figured since it was from a standard nursery, and no real attention had been paid to it, it would probably be better to try and square them away now.
 

Poink88

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Let it be for now...as mentioned, maybe the rest of the season or even longer. Having new growth is promising. :)
 

discusmike

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If it were mine I would only water and fertilize this season, no pinching or cutting, and a good possibility next season aswell, let it get strong again for a good while.
 

GO-OK

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Removing that much foliage in 4 months and repotting....into a huge box will not help the odds. Big box=wet soil, lack of foliage on a juniper= no roots, no roots= wet soil....west soil, no roots, minimal foliage equals dead juniper.

What happened to the pine next to it? Those big boxes are the opposite of what you need.
 

sikadelic

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Removing that much foliage in 4 months and repotting....into a huge box will not help the odds. Big box=wet soil, lack of foliage on a juniper= no roots, no roots= wet soil....west soil, no roots, minimal foliage equals dead juniper.

What happened to the pine next to it? Those big boxes are the opposite of what you need.
I had planned to put it in a smaller box, but I only had ones too small or too big. I didn't want to take too much root mass just to fit it in a smaller box so I went with the lesser of two evils in my opinion.

The pine was the result of a shitty ebay seller. I would toss it but I took a small cutting from this very tree in December just for a test. It's still green so I'm pretty sure it's rooting. I'm afraid to take the pine out yet as it might disrupt the cutting.
 

Vance Wood

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"Disastrous" you cheap old bastard, it was only $10 ! :p LOL

Rumor has it that Vance still has the first dollar he ever earned working as a Blacksmith, it was a newly printed 1920 $1 Silver Certificate !

ed

I really appreciate your humor in this post, I really do, and yes in some respects I am a cheap old bastard but; cheap-ol'-bastardism has served me well. I have learned to respect every thing I get my hands on whether it is worth ten bucks or a hundred. The same is true of the material I am able to get with it. It does you no good to look at stuff and being throw away bonsai, God knows that we live in a throw away society as it is we don't need to add to it.
 
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Vance Wood

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I had planned to put it in a smaller box, but I only had ones too small or too big. I didn't want to take too much root mass just to fit it in a smaller box so I went with the lesser of two evils in my opinion.

The pine was the result of a shitty ebay seller. I would toss it but I took a small cutting from this very tree in December just for a test. It's still green so I'm pretty sure it's rooting. I'm afraid to take the pine out yet as it might disrupt the cutting.

Leave these guys alone for at least two years to regain strength. I think you will be amazed at how well the will come back--- if they do. You can always get more stuff to work on. It's OK to make mistakes but the only way mistakes become learning lessons is if you find ways of working through them and not simply abandoning them.
 
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lordy

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So, Jarrod, I guess the reason everyone is saying essentially the same thing is perhaps we all have learned the hard way that these junipers dont react the same way as a lot of other varieties. If I recall correctly, my first big box juni looked like yours after about 6 months, and it lasted just about 2 years. The foliage is the lifeblood of junipers and evidently you need to take it down slowly. I really hope yours has enough so that you can see that trunk develop into a nice package. Fingers are crossed here!
 

woodguy

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Removing that much foliage in 4 months and repotting....into a huge box will not help the odds. Big box=wet soil, lack of foliage on a juniper= no roots, no roots= wet soil....west soil, no roots, minimal foliage equals dead juniper.

I was thinking the same about the planter size. The number reason that I have had trees die is from over potting. This was a lesson I learned the hard way loosing a couple nice trees. Now I always try to err on the smaller size with pots.
 

Dav4

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I believe Walter Pall is the one credited with the phrase "make the smallest tree possible"...and you did just that. Perhaps you were too aggressive and quick to remove foliage, but I have always said that junipers are extremely tough and can handle ALMOST any insult, given the appropriate aftercare. This is where the current pot is going to be an issue. As others have said, it is way too big for a tree with such a small amount of foliage. Roots and foliage on a healthy, appropriately potted tree act together to pull a significant amount of moisture from the soil every day...if you only have a small amount of either, the whole process slows down dramatically, and can keep the soil too wet to allow for normal root growth. How long has it been in the box? It may be worthwhile getting it into a smaller pot now if you did the root work recently. Alternatively, if there is a lot of soil without roots, you could remove the soil and replace it with something solid, like solid Styrofoam. Obviously, full sun and really watch the watering. Good luck.
 

fourteener

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I love the phrase, "make the smallest tree possible". It's a good principle heading into some design work.
 

Vance Wood

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I love the phrase, "make the smallest tree possible". It's a good principle heading into some design work.

I have been saying for years that good bonsai are made by cutting larger trees down into smaller trees.
 
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