Free junipers, now what?!

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20190126_150216.jpg

So I got these bad boys for free. Or actually, they did cost me my entire stock of bonsai soil in one single go. The mailman that delivers the stuff wasn't happy. And I wasn't happy because that amount of wood would have gotten me at least 6 pine grow boxes.
But here we are. With a hurt back and some muddy skateboards and two enormous junipers.
Wrong season, I know. But they were going to be dumped otherwise. I managed to sneak in before the chainsaw did and the guy declined my monetary offer.
"Make sure you dig them all up and don't ruin the tulips."
They're either sabina junipers or a pfitzer variety, which I both own and know how to work. Just not as yardadori's and especially not at this size.

Honestly, I have never collected junipers of this age and this size. The foliage on the right one is at least 21 square feet (2m2). I'm not that worried about the left one. It's the right one that has the most awesome trunk, and I put all my effort in collecting it as complete as possible.
They both have rootballs (in sandy soil, as collected, backfilled with bonsai soil) that are about 50x50 cm. The left grow box is made to fit that rootball exactly. The right one is a bit (15%) bigger, to accommodate all that foliage.

What would be my next logical step? Reduce the foliage? Do nothing and see whatever makes it? I know junipers don't handle reduction very well after these procedures.
They are completely dormant, but I think that as soon as they wake up, there will be a giant water shortage. Weather is starting to lean towards spring, so I want to know how to act accordingly. Some branches were removed on location because it simply didn't fit in our car.

I'm admitting right here and now, I'm in over my head. But I couldn't pass up on these because I believe they'll force me to raise my skill level to new heights.
I have every hormone available at home, as well as most other plant-tech related material. I was thinking to just treat them as in vitro cuttings and dose their juices accordingly, but that doesn't help me get over the fact that there's so much foliage evaporating water, with just relatively few roots supporting it.

Any advice?
 

R3x

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Make sure you anchored them well and just let them recover for at least on year when you see some proper growth. If there are some bigger branches that you do not need you could remove them with a saw. But it would be better if you removed them before potting the trees.
 

0soyoung

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Shade/part-sun until you see new growth. Then progress into full sun which is what will do the most for growing roots.

My experience with cuttings in general is that new growth = got new roots and ready to resume normal plant behavior. At my place rH stays above 50% except on a few rare afternoons. I get the best rooting of juniper cuttings, by just keeping them shaded. They have always failed to root when I've tented them. I think your rH also stays pretty much above 50% too, so I don't think tenting will do you any good either. At most, maybe sprinkle/mist the foliage on those dry afternoons.
 
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They are locked in with heavy substrate, there's no way you can move them, partially because the boxes are kind of built around the rootball. Anyone who does get them out, will be crowned King Arthur.
It's all snug and tight. 80 kilograms a piece.

Just to make things clear, they do have roots and they are not cuttings. I just figured the aftercare is more or less the same as with cuttings, that's what works for all of my other collected conifers.

I'm wondering mainly if I can remove some more foliage. Right now they're at the most humid place in the yard, but when springtime starts the sun will shift, causing them to be in full sun for almost the entire day.
 

Dav4

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They are locked in with heavy substrate, there's no way you can move them, partially because the boxes are kind of built around the rootball. Anyone who does get them out, will be crowned King Arthur.
It's all snug and tight. 80 kilograms a piece.

Just to make things clear, they do have roots and they are not cuttings. I just figured the aftercare is more or less the same as with cuttings, that's what works for all of my other collected conifers.

I'm wondering mainly if I can remove some more foliage. Right now they're at the most humid place in the yard, but when springtime starts the sun will shift, causing them to be in full sun for almost the entire day.
I wouldn't remove anything until the tree is clearly growing well and recovering from the collection. The only reason I might remove some branches now is -1) if there is clearly lots of foliage remaining after its' removal, 2) the branches to be removed obviously don't fit the envisioned future design and may shade out a potentially important branch. Otherwise, wait. I suspect you'll need to graft foliage closer to the trunk anyway, so patience may be a virtue here.
 
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Well, 1) is a given fact. The canopy is roughly 10-20 times the size of the rootball. It's so dense that I need flash photography to get enough light in.

Here's the trunk on the big momma. It continues down into the soil for a five or so inches.
20190205_160537.jpg
 

leatherback

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Wind is much stronger than king arthur. Connect the trunk tightly to the box, at least 3 points. You want the whole thing vibrating and twisting in the wind. Not the roots agains the substrate and box.

Keep foliage moist. Kee substrate relatively dry. Shelter from wind. Vive morning and afternoon sun if possible. Wait. Be patient. Wait.

Orr....
I can give you my address and I will take one of your hand ;)
 
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Wind is much stronger than king arthur. Connect the trunk tightly to the box, at least 3 points. You want the whole thing vibrating and twisting in the wind. Not the roots agains the substrate and box.

Keep foliage moist. Kee substrate relatively dry. Shelter from wind. Vive morning and afternoon sun if possible. Wait. Be patient. Wait.

Orr....
I can give you my address and I will take one of your hand ;)
If the branches that were cut off before transport shoot roots, then you can pick one up. Not as big, but still 5cm diameter trunks.
 

Shibui

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While foliage does drive root growth and it is important to retain plenty on a collected juniper, 2m2 is a lot of foliage for a reduced root system. If I had that larger one I would probably remove a bit more in line with
The only reason I might remove some branches now is -1) if there is clearly lots of foliage remaining after its' removal, 2) the branches to be removed obviously don't fit the envisioned future design and may shade out a potentially important branch.
look for overly long branches that could be shortened and branches that clearly won't be part of any future design that you can remove entirely. I'd be more comfortable with around 1/3 to 1/2 less on that large one but I'm sure there is quite a bit of leeway in foliage v roots. The other tree looks comfortable as is.

Would any of the experienced (successful) juniper collectors leave this much green on a collected juniper?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Would any of the experienced (successful) juniper collectors leave this much green on a collected juniper?
Absolutely. In my experience, leaving all the foliage leads to a higher success rate. Important to mist the foliage and trunk several times a day for the first couple months, but I let the tree “decide” what to keep for the first year or so.
086183E5-16A5-409B-8E28-47D45FB4ECDA.jpeg
 

Cattwooduk

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Absolutely. In my experience, leaving all the foliage leads to a higher success rate. Important to mist the foliage and trunk several times a day for the first couple months, but I let the tree “decide” what to keep for the first year or so.
View attachment 226097
Whats with Mr. Buckethead at the back on the left? What's he hiding under there?
 
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Remove all the dead stuff, cut tips and let air in. ( it's dense in opinion) This tree (s) are week at this time. Brain is right. Let it go....
I cut this one hard and see what it is going too do. Don't like this juniper.o_O
IMG_8569.jpg
 

BunjaeKorea

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I find that wild collected junipers really appreciate partial shade. I keep newly collected trees under reed/bamboo screens so they get broken direct sunlight. The cover also helps keep humiduty up and helps them cope with dehydration after having their roots butchered......
Pic is just a little tyke but it shows you what can be done in 2 or 3 years......
Give juniper ample time to recover and they will reward you with glorious forms.
 

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They seem to be! They're forming yellow clouds of pollen. So there is some activity.
But the dullness of the foliage is a sign of struggle. It looks like they're going to make it though. No signs of real damage, no loss of branches. Yet..


The 'cuttings', or just entire branches stuck in the dirt, are having a bad time though. I'm giving those a 20% chance.

I've set up some blaauws juniper cuttings so I can start grafting next year.

I'll take some pictures next week.
 

Shibui

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In my experience, junipers can take up to 6 months to decide whether to stay alive or die. They often seem to exist on stored energy for quite a long time but with no new roots death follows. Flowering is not a sign of successful transplant. Trees under stress will often flower profusely in a last ditch attempt to pass on genes before they die.
Good strong new growth is what you need to see before assuming success.
All the best with these monsters.
 

Wee

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I dug 4 of these a few years ago.....Only put one in a grow box while putting the rest in the ground. The one in the grow box is still alive.....Doesn't look much like a bonsai but I like it anyway.

Good luck...

Brian
 

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