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milehigh_7

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I was at the nursery just looking around and they were clearing out these Juniperus sabina buffalo for $2.00. They are 5gal and average 1" trunk size. I figured for the price I should give them a shot so I got 7. I think the second one is a Juniperus chinensis 'Sea Green'

In any event, they are in pretty rough shape so some advice on first aid and a best course of action for development would be appreciated.
 

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Vance Wood

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Most of the dead wood will probably not be useful because of its age and not having much in the way of heart wood. I would start by cutting out some of the dead and dying growth and check to see if you don't have a spider mite infestation,-- if so treat it. It looks as though these trees are suffering from too much water, another reason they may be in decline. The bottom line is trying to get these trees back to a healthy state.

This probably means waiting till spring and repotting them all in fresh soil. Any attempts at a successful use of bonsai techniques at this point are likely to meet with failure due to the weakened condition of these trees.
 

milehigh_7

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Most of the dead wood will probably not be useful because of its age and not having much in the way of heart wood. I would start by cutting out some of the dead and dying growth and check to see if you don't have a spider mite infestation,-- if so treat it. It looks as though these trees are suffering from too much water, another reason they may be in decline. The bottom line is trying to get these trees back to a healthy state.

This probably means waiting till spring and repotting them all in fresh soil. Any attempts at a successful use of bonsai techniques at this point are likely to meet with failure due to the weakened condition of these trees.
I kind of suspected mites when I got home so the first thing I did was blast'em with the hose up under all the foliage. So tonight I followed up after they were dry and did the white paper thing and none fell off. So for now they are clean.

I cut off a bunch of the dead stuff also.

Other than that, all I have done was to take the sawzall to the pots and cut them down to just above soil level. They do have a bit of new growth on them so we will see.
 

Vance Wood

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I kind of suspected mites when I got home so the first thing I did was blast'em with the hose up under all the foliage. So tonight I followed up after they were dry and did the white paper thing and none fell off. So for now they are clean.

I cut off a bunch of the dead stuff also.

Other than that, all I have done was to take the sawzall to the pots and cut them down to just above soil level. They do have a bit of new growth on them so we will see.
I think it is important to know that not all species of Juniper are as hardy as those from the Chinenses family. Sabina is not Chinensis, and will probably not respond as well.
 

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In Zone 9, you probably can dose these with fertilizer, even in December, and expect some benefit. Do that, and then keep them on the dry side, trim as Vance suggests and hope they get healthier.

It's hard to tell from those pictures, but your biggest problem with some of them may be growing some foliage close to the trunk. A lot seem to have tassels of foliage out on long, spindly branches.

As you study them, think about combining some of these itno one planting, too. That's often a good wat to get decent use of less-than-optimal stock.

Enjoy and good luck.
 

Vance Wood

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In Zone 9, you probably can dose these with fertilizer, even in December, and expect some benefit. Do that, and then keep them on the dry side, trim as Vance suggests and hope they get healthier.

It's hard to tell from those pictures, but your biggest problem with some of them may be growing some foliage close to the trunk. A lot seem to have tassels of foliage out on long, spindly branches.

As you study them, think about combining some of these itno one planting, too. That's often a good wat to get decent use of less-than-optimal stock.

Enjoy and good luck.
I agree with one caveat: Don't mix species. Often disparate species do not do well together as a bonsai because of differing care requirements. In order for one species to prosper the other is often made to suffer. Appearances can make this difficult to pull off so that the trees look like a contiguous planting of natural occurring trees in a forest setting and not a conglomeration of different trees plopped in a pot.
 

jk_lewis

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I don't like to disagree with Vance. He's been around bonsai a long time -- maybe as long as me. <g> I also don't recall where you live, Vance, but if you ever come to western North Carolina, I invite you to visit the NC Arboretum in Asheville, where you will see masterpiece bonsai of mixed plantings -- species AND genera. One designed by Yugi Yoshimura is especially interesting, but Arthur Joura, curator of the collection, is a wizard with mixed Appalachian Mountain plants. I've shone these on other forums, but not here, that I recall. I'll show a couple here.


I've mixed junipers before -- Procumbens, virginiana and chinensis -- with no ill effects. I think he's fairly safe as all were brought from the same local nursery so would generall be expected to live in he same general envionments.
 

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milehigh_7

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I likely won't do anything but get nurse them a bit, put them in pond baskets and slowly try to get some foliage closer in. Like was said they have some really leggy branches from being really low in the 5gal pots.

I am thinking that they will be a good way to practice on stuff that I won't cry if I lose.

Thanks guys! I really appreciate the sharing of your knowledge and experience.
 

milehigh_7

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LOL! This thread was about 10 disasters ago! No, about two years after this we lost our house and everything else and what I could not sell went into the dumpster. Spent a few years homeless then back in the saddle! I have restarted a few times since. :)
 

AZbonsai

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Victorim

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LOL! This thread was about 10 disasters ago! No, about two years after this we lost our house and everything else and what I could not sell went into the dumpster. Spent a few years homeless then back in the saddle! I have restarted a few times since. :)
Wow, had no idea. Guess I'll leave your old threads where they are.. Glad to hear you've made it out the other side :)
 
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milehigh_7

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Wow, had no idea. Guess I'll leave your old threads where they are.. Glad to hear you've made it out the other side :)
You can ask about stuff but all my old trees are dead or in other collections. :-(
 
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