First Bonsai.

YaBoyMyth

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Hello all! Brand new to the forum and this is my first post. Also brand new to bonsai. Got my first juniper the other week at the mall. ( yes I know that’s a terrible place to get one). When I brought it home it was in a very tiny ceramic pot with very thick organic soil. The first thing I did was a report into some Boone substrate mix. This was about a month ago. Since then I have watered almost every day since I am in so cal and the weather has been 90+. No fertilizer yet as I wanted to wait the month to avoid fertilizer burn, but I have noticed no growth at all. Even with side by side comparisons from the first day I brought it home. I have also notice some of the needles browning and one branch starting to brown. First pic was day one or two of having it. Second and third just after repot. Last ones are today. Any ideas on why no growth? Did I purchase a dead tree? (Didn’t see a lot of white roots during repot)
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Welcome to the site!

Tree looks fine to me. I would have delayed repotting until after the heat of the summer had passed... but still it appears to be doing fine. Any time you repot the tree usually rests a while before pushing new growth, so as long as the foliage doesn't start to dry out you'll be fine.
 

YaBoyMyth

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Welcome to the site!

Tree looks fine to me. I would have delayed repotting until after the heat of the summer had passed... but still it appears to be doing fine. Any time you repot the tree usually rests a while before pushing new growth, so as long as the foliage doesn't start to dry out you'll be fine.
Yes I almost decided to wait but I’d read a lot about the fact that most bonsais you get from malls are overwatered and close to dead so I wanted to get it out of that bad soil.
 

Shibui

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The good news is that young junipers are resilient and can usually survive repot at any time of year.
Pretty sure @Bonsai Nut has the reason for slow growth since repot. It should get going when it has re-established properly and got used to the new location.
Some brown inner needles is normal as individual needles only live for 2-3 years then die off. We need to trim regularly and have inner branch backups to replace over long branches every few years. A few brown needles after a repot is also normal as the tree balances supply and demand.

Junipers don't give much warning that they are dying. Sometimes they look good for a few months before collapsing after trauma. You just have to wait and hope it recovers.
I would not be blaming the seller if this one dies though. It was not the seller that repotted out of season.

procumbens are one of the quicker growing junipers. Even the dwarf form 'nana' is reasonable quick. That's why there are so many sold as mallsai- quick and easy.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Oh wow I thought juniper were fast growing lol
There are tons and tons of different juniper species and cultivars out there. The Latin term 'nana' means 'dwarf', so @AcerAddict was suggesting that if your juniper is that cultivar, it is a dwarf cultivar that may grow more slowly than a regular J. procumbens. That said... they both grow relatively quickly compared to other dwarf trees.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Must be an old screen name cuz the myth is a fully grown man now!

Sorce
 

Forsoothe!

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Yes I almost decided to wait but I’d read a lot about the fact that most bonsais you get from malls are overwatered and close to dead so I wanted to get it out of that bad soil.
I get tired of pointing out the inane dumbness of people insisting that the soil that trees are living in when they bought them is going to kill them unless they are immediately repotted in a media that no grower outside the bonsai community uses. The bonsai community comprises such a teeny tiny percentage of growers that it would be impossible to express it as a percentage. It is insignificant.
 

YaBoyMyth

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The good news is that young junipers are resilient and can usually survive repot at any time of year.
Pretty sure @Bonsai Nut has the reason for slow growth since repot. It should get going when it has re-established properly and got used to the new location.
Some brown inner needles is normal as individual needles only live for 2-3 years then die off. We need to trim regularly and have inner branch backups to replace over long branches every few years. A few brown needles after a repot is also normal as the tree balances supply and demand.

Junipers don't give much warning that they are dying. Sometimes they look good for a few months before collapsing after trauma. You just have to wait and hope it recovers.
I would not be blaming the seller if this one dies though. It was not the seller that repotted out of season.

procumbens are one of the quicker growing junipers. Even the dwarf form 'nana' is reasonable quick. That's why there are so many sold as mallsai- quick and easy.
Thank you for all the info! Yes I definitely should have waited to repot till next spring, but I had read a lot of bad things about mallsai. Won’t make it again. Any idea on how old this juniper could be? And how old should a juniper be before beginning to wire it?
 

Shibui

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You have not given us anything for scale except maybe the needles on the tree. Age is hard to pin down for trees and bonsai in particular. A tree that is looked after really well will grow much fatter and bigger than one that has had a tough time so size alone is no guide to age. Growth rates also depend on the local climate and whether the grower has any means to speed things up - glass house, etc.
Commercial growers want quick turnover. As this is a mallsai we can assume they know how to grow trees well and it would have been developed as fast as possible. My guess is the tree would be around 1 year old from a cutting. Could be from 6 months to 2 years given the above info about different growth rates and given I cannot properly judge the size from the photos.
 

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