Garden Center Juniper Species Suitable for Bonsai?

jasonpg

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Greetings from Michigan.

The garden centers here are beginning to stock up. The closest bonsai nursery is ~100 miles away, so I'm curious what species of junipers are suitable for bonsai that I might find in a garden center.

I'm familiar with Procumbent 'nana' - and I've seen quite a few of those out (by the way, how do you guys check the trunks of these things without destroying your hands?).

What other species in this climate are good to work with? Thanks!
 

KennedyMarx

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Juniperus Chinensis cultivars like Sea Green are good. You can usually find Blue Rug, but I'm not sure how well it works for bonsai. Blue Star is one I'd avoid. I haven't seen it with any mature/scale foliage only the spiky juvenile stuff.
 

ColinFraser

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how do you guys check the trunks of these things without destroying your hands?
Your hands will toughen up eventually, but I still keep some cortizone cream in the car - procumbens in particular will often make my hands itch.
 

Jarath

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Oh, come on, junipers aren't that bad on your hands. I guess you all must work inside. Never meet a plant or tree that affected me.;)
 

Wilson

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I never had a job that didn't require me using my hands, construction all my life! I guess that qualifies as working inside.
 

sorce

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Your safe as long as it's only speaking too soon....

Parsoni too....
But they don't get em here anymore.

Sorce
 

milehigh_7

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Oh, come on, junipers aren't that bad on your hands. I guess you all must work inside. Never meet a plant or tree that affected me.;)
Spoken like someone who never met Cylindropuntia bigelovii, the teddy bear cholla. I promise this cuddly fella would affect you. I know of family pets that had to be put down following such a meeting...

 

Jester217300

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My rule is if it has a big, interesting trunk, buy it. Simpaku whips are a dime a dozen and you can buy then cheaply on eBay or Facebook. If the parent foliage works for you, cool. If not graft shimpaku on it and learn another bonsai skill :)

I've worked with Chinese Juniper "Old Gold" which are OK with the parent foliage. Ultimately I'm going to graft them, though. That cultivar is fast growing so it's easier to find large trunks.

FWIW I always find better stuff at Mom 'n' Pop landscape nurseries than I do at Big Box stores. YMMV, though.
 
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Alain

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Spoken like someone who never met Cylindropuntia bigelovii, the teddy bear cholla. I promise this cuddly fella would affect you. I know of family pets that had to be put down following such a meeting...

2 days after we moved to Tucson our cat (who was pissed by the 7 days of trip from Newfoundland to Tucson via Miami) ran out but came back not long after entirely covered with jumping cholla needles... :eek:
It was a Saturday evening (of course) so night and week-end emergency vet, morphine shots, one night at the clinic in observation: net result of the adventure $900...:confused:
but, as the vet said: 'the good thing with cats is that if it happens to them once it never happen again, with dogs you could be back every 2 weeks' :)

Parsonii are great for the bud backing,
Chinesis, well those ones kind of sting on the hands but are fine too,
Nana of course,
I also have a Virginiana, no freaking idea what I will do with this one, it's store in my 'what was I thinking?' category for the moment, may stay there for the next 10 years or so...o_O But at least it takes wiring like a champ.

Normally you can find all of them in every garden center (although @sorce is right: it has been a long time since I saw a parsonii)
 
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