Gray owl,eastern red cedar juniper.

Messages
3,319
Likes
5,115
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#2
Often people make the mistake of getting overly concerned with picking a ''front'' with young material that is not really ready to be ''styled'' yet.

Also, it is your tree, not mine, you need to make the choices. The photos are not real helpful. See the photo tutorials in the resources sub-forum.

My suggestions would be to first explore the appearance of the nebari, nebari is the term for the zone of flare where the trunk flares out to meet the roots, including the top of the surface roots. Gently scrape away the top layer of soil and see where the roots actually start. Often the appearance of the nebari is the main feature determining what the ''front'' of the tree will be. Once you have seen the nebari, and perhaps photographed it, with young trees such as yours, you then bury the nebari again to aid further development. Bury the surface roots at least 1/4 inch deep. If you expose young roots, they will frequently die, or grow poorly in favor of roots further down in the pot, causing problems for nebari design later as the tree matures.

Second, before picking a front, you need to decide what size and style you would like this tree to be. If you want a 36 inch tall tree with a 6 inch diameter trunk, you won't need to do any choosing of front for quite a number of years, it just needs to grow. If you want a 6 inch tall tree, you are probably ready to do some branch selection and pruning. Only you can make the choice, you need to tell us what you want before we can give you useful advice.

Once you know what size you want, or general style you want, ask yourself whether the trunk is the diameter you want. Usually better bonsai have trunks that have diameters that are at least 10:1 height to diameter, thru 2:1 height to diameter. Most common is somewhere between 5:1 to 3:1. This means for a 10 inch tall tree you want a trunk that is 2 inches in diameter. So look at your tree, what is the trunk diameter? If it is less than desired, you have some growing to do first before starting to style the tree. Don't worry about picking a front until after the tree has the desired diameter.

There is more, please read through a number of the posts about junipers in the ''Juniper'' sub-forum of BNut.
Then take better pictues of your tree, and post them here with your new questions. And I am certain many of the BNut community will offer their advice.
 
Messages
3,319
Likes
5,115
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#3
One more thought

Gray Owl is a cultivar of Juniper virginiana. As a general rule, J. virginiana is not the easiest of Junipers to use for bonsai. It prefers to be in very upright styles. I would not try to make a cascade with J. virginiana. There are also tricks about when to repot J. virginiana, they dislike being repotted. Use an all inorganic mix, so the next time you repot this you can leave it alone for 5 or more years at a time.

Read through the Juniper sub-forum and in particular look at the posts about J. virginiana, Eastern red cedar. Ignore the people that say ''it can not be used to make bonsai'', but do accept it is a difficult species to do bonsai with. It is not material for a new beginner.

The cultivar 'Gray Owl' may have some genetic anomalies that will make it easier to use for bonsai than its ''wild type'' parents, but I am not certain on this. Read and get ideas.
 
Messages
24
Likes
11
USDA Zone
9
#4
Thank you. Will read all the post you suggested. There was a post, about starting, but I can't find it. I have printed your post.
Pictures ??. Not very good at it. Thank you again.
 
Messages
24
Likes
11
USDA Zone
9
#5
I have measured the base 2" . I would like it to be about 10\12" . I think it would be easier to carry and work on in doors. It is very hot down here. Thank you again.
 
Messages
24
Likes
11
USDA Zone
9
#6
One more thought

Gray Owl is a cultivar of Juniper virginiana. As a general rule, J. virginiana is not the easiest of Junipers to use for bonsai. It prefers to be in very upright styles. I would not try to make a cascade with J. virginiana. There are also tricks about when to repot J. virginiana, they dislike being repotted. Use an all inorganic mix, so the next time you repot this you can leave it alone for 5 or more years at a time.

Read through the Juniper sub-forum and in particular look at the posts about J. virginiana, Eastern red cedar. Ignore the people that say ''it can not be used to make bonsai'', but do accept it is a difficult species to do bonsai with. It is not material for a new beginner.

The cultivar 'Gray Owl' may have some genetic anomalies that will make it easier to use for bonsai than its ''wild type'' parents, but I am not certain on this. Read and get ideas.
I am also i
One more thought

Gray Owl is a cultivar of Juniper virginiana. As a general rule, J. virginiana is not the easiest of Junipers to use for bonsai. It prefers to be in very upright styles. I would not try to make a cascade with J. virginiana. There are also tricks about when to repot J. virginiana, they dislike being repotted. Use an all inorganic mix, so the next time you repot this you can leave it alone for 5 or more years at a time.

Read through the Juniper sub-forum and in particular look at the posts about J. virginiana, Eastern red cedar. Ignore the people that say ''it can not be used to make bonsai'', but do accept it is a difficult species to do bonsai with. It is not material for a new beginner.

The cultivar 'Gray Owl' may have some genetic anomalies that will make it easier to use for bonsai than its ''wild type'' parents, but I am not certain on this. Read and get ideas.
I am also adding AI Keppler's beginners tips.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,518
Likes
24,999
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#7
I left my ERC alone this full year...and even with some poor growth due to what I believe do be tip blight. .....
It still threw a great new top set of radial surface roots and flared tremendously.

S
 
Messages
1,234
Likes
1,224
Location
Bethlehem, PA
USDA Zone
6b
#8
My experience with ERC was vigorous growth, root and foliage. Very upright and needley, BUT grey owl seems more "meandering". I'd like to try the cultivar someday soon. It seems like the mature foliage comes along much faster than run of the mill ERC. I agree with Leo, definitely use inorganic soil. When they are young (in my experience) they will fill a pot with roots quickly and respond well to repots but I'm sure like all other trees they get fickle with age
 

Similar threads