Culper Woodhull

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Does anyone know kind of bonsai tree this is? I've bought this from a foreign man selling them out of a parking lot, so the language barrier prevented me from getting answers to my questions. I've always wanted a bonsai tree and after seeing this one I had to have it. It is the next day now and looking up on them, I'm shocked to see how much goes into taking care of these tree's and even how old they can get if cared for properly. I'm definitely excited about it but have a lot to learn. I feel its probably best to figure out what kind of bonsai tree I have before anything else. Any advice you could give me for this tree would be greatly appreciated as well. I live in central Kentucky and currently the average temp is low 70's and will of course be dropping in the next few weeks as fall becomes more apparent. Also, how old do you think it is? Not sue if measurements I gave are good enough to determine that. I am guessing it is a Juniper Bonsai? I think I've read somewhere there are different types of Juniper Bonsai? I also found a wire after checking the soil content and density. What is it there for? I have it exposed for the last picture at the base of the tree in the root system. And finally, can I have this tree indoors all year? Only so many photos are allowed uploaded, so I the width of the trunk is about 1 inch and the width from the furthest points is about 18 inches. Thanks everyone!BonsaiTree.jpgBonsaiHeight.jpgBonsaiTrunk2.jpgBonsaiTrunk.jpgBonsaiCanopy1.jpgBonsaiRootDiscoveredWire.jpg
 

JoeR

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Looks like a procumbens nana Juniper. They can most definitely NOT survive indoors for more than a few days at a time. You should put it outside ASAP. It appears to have mature adult foliage, so that means its healthy. I'm guessing that wire is a tie-down wire, used to secure the tree into the pot. No idea how old, but probably not very.
 

rockm

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Won't survive indoors. It's a juniper. Outdoors immediately and leave it outside through the winter. Do some searches on "overwintering bonsai" FWIW, trees like this are usually entry level bonsai for many people. Unfortunately they also become the "exit level" tree too. People get frustrated because they're not really beginner trees, or rather, tend to have stricter care requirements than "easier" "indoor" tropical trees like ficus, or easier outdoor species like elm.

Contrary to popular belief, bonsai, when kept in appropriate soil in appropriate location, don't require all that much care. Overcaring for a bonsai is arguably the most common cause of their deaths.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

vicn

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You've come to a good place to learn some things, but if you can find a local bonsai club, you will get hands on help. You have gotten advice on the cultivar/variety of your juniper, and advice on taking it outdoors. Tropical trees must be kept warm in winter, but most evergreens and deciduous trees must be kept outdoors all year. The exception to this is for just a few days to show the plant indoors. You don't want to do anything to this plant at this time of year. You can get familiar with it by learning how to water it.....more importantly....how to NOT overwater it! Keep it outside in sun for now. When temps are below 40°F, you should protect it from strong winds through the winter. Lots to learn....and remember: It's not about the destination....it's about the journey!
Welcome to the site!
 

Culper Woodhull

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Thank you for your replies and advise. Would any of you know the average lifespan of a procumbens nana Juniper if cared for properly?
 

Grant Hamby

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I don't have much input on the tree, but judging by your username, we're probably equally excited for the new season of Turn.
 

Culper Woodhull

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I'd rather watch Game of Thrones and read Patrick Rothfuss' next book, "Doors of Stone". Anyway, is there a possibility this could be a Japanese Bonsai? What are the differences in Japanese and "Nana" Bonsai?
 

rockm

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Thank you for your replies and advise. Would any of you know the average lifespan of a procumbens nana Juniper if cared for properly?
Tough question. There are exceptional juniper bonsai that have been containerized for hundreds of years. They are exceptions, though.

If the tree is getting proper care, it can be expected to live as long as its owner. Once the owner is gone, however, things get very dicey for Western bonsai, Japanese bonsai too. Depends on who gets it. Even with proper care, exceptionally hard winters, hotter than average summers, bug/squirrel/rat/chipmunk attacks, etc. can kill them off.

The is a substantial amount of myth surrounding bonsai that sometimes fogs the practical facts around it. Longevity is one of them. Age is part of the illusion that bonsai is built on. An ancient looking bonsai, if its owner is good at design, might only be a decade old. A young looking tree can be very very old.

Age is important in bonsai mostly if the original material the tree is made from is old--or if it's history is verifiable--as in Japan.
 

Culper Woodhull

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You had me all excited thinking this book had finally come out... :(
I probably check once a week for any news on the release date. Sorry for any pain I may have caused. In the mean time I've started the audio book for book one and got a bonsai tree from a tinker!
 

Potawatomi13

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Anyway, is there a possibility this could be a Japanese Bonsai? What are the differences in Japanese and "Nana" Bonsai?
Likely near ZERO % chance this is Japanese Bonsai of any kind. Japanese is "where" it is from while "nana" is a variety of this Juniper plant. There are many of these vendors selling these or other trimmed and potted plants as Bonsai but reality is it is very poor example of any true Bonsai and at the very beginning of any training regimen. Please put personal location in profile for better feedback results as well as added encouragement to join up with local Bonsai club;).
 

rockm

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Juniper bonsai such as this one are mass produced in many places, like China and even Israel. Japan is not on the list for entry level trees, because import restrictions on plants coming from there make it very expensive. The import route is viable mostly only for higher-end bonsai like those found at places below.
http://www.bonsai-s-cube-shop.com/

From the look of this tree, it could be from a U.S. landscape nursery converted for bonsai. The bunched branches at the top suggest that to me.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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The type of plant = Juniperus procumbens nana

where it came from, most likely a USA nursery, possibly Brussel's in Mississippi, just south of Memphis, not Japan or China. Taiwan has an APHIS waiver with USDA so it is possible it came from a Taiwan nursery if it did not come from Brussel's.
How old is it? maybe 5 to 10 years old, most likely closer to 5 years.
How long can it live? at least 800 years with good care. Junipers as a group are very long lived.

Juniper procumbens is fully winter hardy in Kentucky, It is hardy as far north as Chicago, maybe even a little further north. Keep it in full sun. When it has frozen completely, move it to a shady spot out of the wind, for the rest of the winter. Foliage will go from green to a bronze-purple color, this is normal. Leave it in shade until after danger of a hard freeze in spring, then back to full sun.
 
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