Another conifer ID


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Rosh Pinah, Namibia

First post here, I got my first potential bonsai 4 years ago, always tickled by the art but never got into it seriously until about a year ago.
It has turned into a total obsession and I've been soaking up info on the few great sites like BonsaiNut.......buying/digging/planting anything that might be turned into bonsai if I get old enough.

Okay, my problem...
I've killed 2 conifers already, mostly due to haste I suspect, and I kinda decided to avoid them.
However, my landlords have a prostrate conifer of some sort in the garden which they dislike intensely, and the other day a hint was dropped and they jumped on it - I get the conifer and replace it with a bauhinia (discontinued bonsai project).
The tree is about 15cm high with a trunk diameter of 2-3cm, and at least 20-25 years old, it definately has potencial, so I seriously don't want to kill it during the removal.
I've researched as far as I can and I'm sure I can dig it up without unnecesary harm, if only I could identify and thus determine the right time of year.

I know I know - photos.:)

I hope to have some on Monday, but in the mean time some general ideas/guesses would help - I know how to drive Google for the best results.
I've looked at Juniperus horizontalis and procumbens etc etc, but the foliage is wrong. My tree has tiny opposed needles (about 1mm long) to try and explain in something other than my mother tongue.....
If you look at a branch from the tip down, one set of needles point East-West, next set North-South, and so on.
As far as I can see definately needles rather than scales, tiny needles none the less, and I saw the new growth if slightly purple.

Also a general question, I live In Namibia, for the most part a desert country in South Western Africa, we are in the dead of winter but obviously it's not really cold in global terms.
I'm also lucky in the sence that my home is on a slight rise so temps are even more moderate, a bonsai buddy with 15 years under the belt lost some trees this week due to cold, my Ficus Carina hasn't even dropped all it's leaves yet.
Considering all this, does it really matter when I dig up this beauty?

Like I said, photos on Monday....


PS: The thickest branch (rooted) will make out the beginnings of a cascade hopefully


Here are the pics, firstly the foliage.
I was slightly off in my description, but I'll let the pictures do the talking.

There's a top view of the whole plant, and then there's a side view I'm hoping for comments on the potensial of this tree.


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I hope this helps with the ID, and again I would appreciate even a wild guess as to when would be best to dig this up.
I have no time limit, except if the petrol price goes up again I'll be forced to look for accomodation closer to work!



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Welcome to the forums!

I have transplanted a fair number of junipers in all seasons here in Southern California. The key to success (in my opinion) is with the roots and foilage:

1) Get as much of the root mass as possible, and be gentle with the roots until the tree is well-established in a new growing medium. Do not uproot the tree and then immediately cut the roots back hard.

2) Because the roots will be damaged/stressed, it is critical to not allow the foilage to dry out. This usually requires a combination of sun and wind protection, and frequent misting of the tree. There are many options here, and some people have gone to great lengths to protect newly transplanted junipers - including creating humidity tents over the tree or building automatic misting systems. For trees that I have transplanted in landscape (large mature junipers 3' or more in diameter) I have been successful wrapping the entire tree in burlap (so it looks like a burlap ball) and keeping the burlap wet/moist as much as possible.

There are many other articles and information about transplanting that you can run searches on, and there are other recommendations. Regardless of what else you do, it is important to allow the tree to fully recover its strength before you start working on it (trimming, wiring, etc). Small trees will recover quickly and may spring back in 6 months. Larger trees, like wild collected California Junipers, may require two full years.
Hi BNut


So I must go for it NOW!:)

I've been reading articles by Randy Brooks on KoB (BTW, these pages are infected by a virus, I emailed to inform them but be warned) and everything else I could find, so I have the basic idea.

I was just worried about the exact species, but I suspect now the ones you would have to be carefull with wouldn't grow in our climate.......

No idea on the ID? I feel slightly stupid for not being able to find it, the general gardening websites have been no help, too many varieties I guess.

I've resigned myself to previously unknown levels of patience with this tree:p

One more question, since I have time I could use a spade to trim the root mass one side at a time with time to hopefully produce feeder roots closer in, but reading about the growth cycles of junipers I suspect that would take 1 year + each side to get real results.

And another question:D I get doing as little damage to the roots as possible, but do I bare root as per Randy's article (he specifically recommends this for nursery stock junipers) or just plonk the intact root ball in a big pot?
The area is extremely rocky just below the top soil, I don't know how that bed was prepared all those years ago, but I hope not very thoroughly as that would mean a shallow root ball.

Thanks again

Prince of Wales


I'm about 99% sure it's a juniperus horizontalis "prince of wales", I dug it out this weekend.

Firstly the ground is even rockier than I suspected, the tree part didn't have that many roots to begin with, but the spreading branches did.

Other than that the few roots are a mess, there's a severe narrowing between the base and the roots.

So I'm not sure about the survival chances and the suitability of this species for bonsai, but it's in a pot and can look forward to a year of nothing except watering.

BTW, looking back the main reason I struggled to identify the tree was websites with incorrect information - I skipped looking closer at some possibles based on the height of the tree, some websites have the Prince of Wales at 1-2' in height, 6-8" is closer to the truth.

Hi GerhardG, your beautiful tree like a juniper procumben nana

Saludos desde Chile
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