First Juniper (Newbie)

Messages
6
Likes
2
Location
Philippines
USDA Zone
11b
#1
Hello all,

Im new here and just started being interested into bonsai a few weeks ago. I recently acquired a Juniper tree but not sure which variety. Any help identifying this would be great.

Also, there is some browning on the foliage and I am not sure how to go about this. Although there are new growth and some runners on the tips I am not sure what to do about the browning. Should I leave them and let the new growth grow or cut out the brown or dead portions of the tree to help it recover? There is also new growth on the main branch, should I let this one grow or cut it out? I am not sure what state this tree is in and some advice on how to restore it would be of great help.

Thank you!
 

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797
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463
Location
Western West Virginia
USDA Zone
6a
#3
Yes remove the brown, but before you remove any living part what history can you give us
on this juniper? What all have you done to it so far? What season are you in?
Do you keep it outdoors?
 
Messages
250
Likes
235
Location
MD
USDA Zone
7a
#4
Hello all,

Im new here and just started being interested into bonsai a few weeks ago. I recently acquired a Juniper tree but not sure which variety. Any help identifying this would be great.

Also, there is some browning on the foliage and I am not sure how to go about this. Although there are new growth and some runners on the tips I am not sure what to do about the browning. Should I leave them and let the new growth grow or cut out the brown or dead portions of the tree to help it recover? There is also new growth on the main branch, should I let this one grow or cut it out? I am not sure what state this tree is in and some advice on how to restore it would be of great help.

Thank you!
Standard things you will hear: Outside, lots of/full sun. Don't trim too much (myself I would recommend that since the tree is new to you that you first just focus on keeping it alive, healthy and growing). Also your wiring is very tight and overdone.
 
Messages
6
Likes
2
Location
Philippines
USDA Zone
11b
#5
Yes remove the brown, but before you remove any living part what history can you give us
on this juniper? What all have you done to it so far? What season are you in?
Do you keep it outdoors?
Not sure of the history I just passed by a bonsai shop and purchase this juniper. Owner said he grew it from a cutting. I haven't dont anything to the juniper and the wire was done already prior to purchase. We are entering summer season but its mostly warm here in the Philippines. I keep it outdoors in full sun. Before buying it, it was also kept outside in full sun.

There are some runners growing from brown parts of the tree. Is this normal? Or should I only cut the brown ones without runners?
 
Messages
6
Likes
2
Location
Philippines
USDA Zone
11b
#6
Standard things you will hear: Outside, lots of/full sun. Don't trim too much (myself I would recommend that since the tree is new to you that you first just focus on keeping it alive, healthy and growing). Also your wiring is very tight and overdone.
So i shouldn't trim also the brown and dead foliage? or can i only trim those and let it grow? The wiring was done prior to purchase. Should I remove it and start over?
 
Messages
352
Likes
528
Location
DFW, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
#7
It doesn't look like the wire is digging into the tree so it should be fine to leave for now. Just inspect it once a month to make sure the tree has not grown so much that the wire digs in.
Do you have a close picture of the brown parts? I am not really seeing anything jump out as being dead. If it's just random small bits of brown you can leave them. It won't hurt anything.

All those green tips are a good sign. Looks like it's growing pretty well to me.
 
Messages
797
Likes
463
Location
Western West Virginia
USDA Zone
6a
#8
Yeh I agree with the responses, above and since you don’t know when it was last repotted
do not repot this year. Next year for sure. You want more trunk girth.

The wiring is atrocious however.

The shape of the trunk is fine for now, but let it rest.
Not good to flex, then re-flex lignified wood.
Feed the tree well weekly, and remove the wire in a month.
Pinch out rub off any dead brown vegetation now and trim off any
downwards growing shoots when you remove the wire. Cut back upwards growing shoots.
Have some good bonsai soil and
repot next year after all frosts have stopped and the tree has been growing
2 months. It will grow putting on new vegetation before frosts stop.
Increase pot size for training or plant in ground, and allow to grow .

Visit craftsy.com search bonsai wiring essentiasl with. Colin Lewis.
Join-free, add to cart-free the free class. You’ll need some bonsai wire too.
Mostly 2, 2.5 and 3mm aluminum bonsai wire will suffice, but 1.5 will get used too.
 
Messages
6
Likes
2
Location
Philippines
USDA Zone
11b
#9
It doesn't look like the wire is digging into the tree so it should be fine to leave for now. Just inspect it once a month to make sure the tree has not grown so much that the wire digs in.
Do you have a close picture of the brown parts? I am not really seeing anything jump out as being dead. If it's just random small bits of brown you can leave them. It won't hurt anything.

All those green tips are a good sign. Looks like it's growing pretty well to me.
Thank you for your input.

Here are some close up pictures of the foliage.

There are some long runners with new growth at the ends but brown at the base? Do i cut these off with scissors? And it is quite top heavy i dont think this was pruned for some time. There are also some tips with 3 or 2 new growth growing, is it okay to prune one tip part and leave the other one growing? I plan to thin oit the top but not sure which ones to trim out. But overall the tree seems to be giving new growing tips throughout.
 

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Messages
6
Likes
2
Location
Philippines
USDA Zone
11b
#10
Yeh I agree with the responses, above and since you don’t know when it was last repotted
do not repot this year. Next year for sure. You want more trunk girth.

The wiring is atrocious however.

The shape of the trunk is fine for now, but let it rest.
Not good to flex, then re-flex lignified wood.
Feed the tree well weekly, and remove the wire in a month.
Pinch out rub off any dead brown vegetation now and trim off any
downwards growing shoots when you remove the wire. Cut back upwards growing shoots.
Have some good bonsai soil and
repot next year after all frosts have stopped and the tree has been growing
2 months. It will grow putting on new vegetation before frosts stop.
Increase pot size for training or plant in ground, and allow to grow .

Visit craftsy.com search bonsai wiring essentiasl with. Colin Lewis.
Join-free, add to cart-free the free class. You’ll need some bonsai wire too.
Mostly 2, 2.5 and 3mm aluminum bonsai wire will suffice, but 1.5 will get used too.
Thank you for the tips. I agree, the wiring is bad. I tried to move the trunk but it seems hard to move compared to the branches. Will try to rewire next month. We don’t have frost here where I am from though, its typically warm all year round.
 
Messages
797
Likes
463
Location
Western West Virginia
USDA Zone
6a
#12
Thank you for the tips. I agree, the wiring is bad. I tried to move the trunk but it seems hard to move compared to the branches. Will try to rewire next month. We don’t have frost here where I am from though, its typically warm all year round.
Well, that said, you should update your profile to include your USDA grow zone.
Not sure how long procumbens will last without good annual dormancy.
Next, visit your local landscape nurseries and see what type of plants are native to your area
that are sold and in peoples landscapes. If procumbens junipers are typically in landscapes locally
or other similar junipers, White pines, Mugo pines, Japanese maples and so on, then this should fair ok.
If not, don't be too disappointed if it doesn't last 5 years. I'm hoping it does.
Artifice 1st Juni 1.jpg
^ There isn't 5 minutes of pruning and pinching that needs done to this currently.
This is all I would do now.
You WANT to keep as much foliage as possible to absorb Sunlight for now.
That lone "candle" like shoot on the right, 1st branch this pic, leave it, cut it later.
You will know where. At an intersection with other side branches all the way back
if necessary. Anything growing underneath that does not collect Sunlight, and blocks
lower branches light, or crowds air out (none at this time) can go now. Leave apex mostly alone for now.
If it's dead, it's not helping anything. If it's brown in the middle of a branch, be sure the brown
does not spread. If it spreads, cut below the brown to just above the next viable branch, discard
and clean shears with each cut. Yes scissors are fine and dandy. Clean them with rubbing alcohol
and after each cut if disease is ever suspected. Always clean cutting tools between subjects/trees.
Artifice 1st Juni 2.jpg
Not all these cuts would be good to make now, but something to mull over.
Still a quick 5 minute task, but with a bit more vigour.
I have another idea for the 1st branch on the right in this 2nd pic too.
It involves keeping that 1st fat branch I put a prune here line through, and remove all else
putting a nice zig zag into this. Thing is, the rest of the branches do not have this and will need
wiring similar before they get too big to do so.

You're really going to want to flatten those roots out, in a more shallow pot, so keep all the foliage that gets good Sun.
Click on the Resources tab, scroll to bottom of 1st page. Read the 3 short articles on how to trim
and establish foliage pads.
 
Messages
197
Likes
315
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
#13
J. procumbens is good for tropical areas and should do well in Phillipines.
There are some long runners with new growth at the ends but brown at the base? Do i cut these off with scissors? And it is quite top heavy i dont think this was pruned for some time. I plan to thin oit the top but not sure which ones to trim out. But overall the tree seems to be giving new growing tips throughout.
The brown leaves are normal. Leaves only live for 2-3 years then get old and don't work so well so the tree lest them die and new leaves grow to take over. As bonsai we need to make sure that new shoots grow closer to the trunk and branches rather than at the ends or the tree will end up with long, bare branches. Regular pruning is important for this.
Long shoots can be pruned with scissors any time of year. If you want new buds to grow make sure you leave some green leaves. New buds can grow from the base of the leaves but not always on bare wood.

There are also some tips with 3 or 2 new growth growing, is it okay to prune one tip part and leave the other one growing?
One aim of bonsai is usually to have well ramified branches with lots of small branches. To do that you need to encourage 2 or 3 buds instead of just 1

New buds over most of the tree shows that it is healthy so I think that pruning and reshaping would be safe and even desirable now. Just don't cut off too much at one time. Junipers seem to need plenty of green leaves to keep healthy.
If I interpret your red marks correctly your plans look fine to me.
 
Messages
797
Likes
463
Location
Western West Virginia
USDA Zone
6a
#14
J. procumbens is good for tropical areas and should do well in Phillipines...
Good to know. I thought they needed a Winter dormancy to do well. Hardy to zone 4 through 9.
I guess I'm not familiar with the upper end of the hardiness zone and thought the lower end indicated a dormancy need.
Still would not recommend for a zone 10 to thrive.
 
Messages
6
Likes
2
Location
Philippines
USDA Zone
11b
#15
I
Well, that said, you should update your profile to include your USDA grow zone.
Not sure how long procumbens will last without good annual dormancy.
Next, visit your local landscape nurseries and see what type of plants are native to your area
that are sold and in peoples landscapes. If procumbens junipers are typically in landscapes locally
or other similar junipers, White pines, Mugo pines, Japanese maples and so on, then this should fair ok.
If not, don't be too disappointed if it doesn't last 5 years. I'm hoping it does.
View attachment 232403
^ There isn't 5 minutes of pruning and pinching that needs done to this currently.
This is all I would do now.
You WANT to keep as much foliage as possible to absorb Sunlight for now.
That lone "candle" like shoot on the right, 1st branch this pic, leave it, cut it later.
You will know where. At an intersection with other side branches all the way back
if necessary. Anything growing underneath that does not collect Sunlight, and blocks
lower branches light, or crowds air out (none at this time) can go now. Leave apex mostly alone for now.
If it's dead, it's not helping anything. If it's brown in the middle of a branch, be sure the brown
does not spread. If it spreads, cut below the brown to just above the next viable branch, discard
and clean shears with each cut. Yes scissors are fine and dandy. Clean them with rubbing alcohol
and after each cut if disease is ever suspected. Always clean cutting tools between subjects/trees.
View attachment 232407
Not all these cuts would be good to make now, but something to mull over.
Still a quick 5 minute task, but with a bit more vigour.
I have another idea for the 1st branch on the right in this 2nd pic too.
It involves keeping that 1st fat branch I put a prune here line through, and remove all else
putting a nice zig zag into this. Thing is, the rest of the branches do not have this and will need
wiring similar before they get too big to do so.

You're really going to want to flatten those roots out, in a more shallow pot, so keep all the foliage that gets good Sun.
Click on the Resources tab, scroll to bottom of 1st page. Read the 3 short articles on how to trim
and establish foliage pads.
I've checked our USDA zone and it states that we are 11B. But I have seen some Juniper bonsai being raised here. So I think this Juniper will surive. Fingers crossed.

Thank you for the detailed explanation on how and where to cut. Will try it this week and will post pictures. Hopefully I don't make too much of a mistake. Will review the foliage pad article thank you very much! :)
 
Messages
797
Likes
463
Location
Western West Virginia
USDA Zone
6a
#16
I

I've checked our USDA zone and it states that we are 11B. But I have seen some Juniper bonsai being raised here. So I think this Juniper will surive. Fingers crossed.

Thank you for the detailed explanation on how and where to cut. Will try it this week and will post pictures. Hopefully I don't make too much of a mistake. Will review the foliage pad article thank you very much! :)
One of the biggest mistakes people do when styling, is removing inner growth, growth that could be cut back to
a later date to have a better more tight branch. The mistake of removing all inner growth leaves a long langy
sparse branch before the foliage.
Not all inner growth should remain if it reduces air flow, but think ahead, I will keep these here, they could become
the new leader for this branch one day...I will keep these there, it would promote symmetry along the branch...
I will let these grow to lengthen and thicken the branch in a sacrificial way, and since I left those behind, the branch will change direction and tighten up back there where I will later cut back to. That’s for development.

Yes I saw the zone for Manila is 11b and Tokyo is a 10a. With Japan many areas get snow and frosts though
especially for those around the mountains. Good that you updated your profile 🙂
 
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