Grey Owl Juniper


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I stumbled across this and thought it has some possibilities although I can not find much reference to this variety used for bonsai...
Does any one have any experience with Grey owl juniper ??
One of my concerns is being able to get the lower branches to back bud,,,
I cut it back pretty hard once last fall.
The pics are b-4 and after....
I would apprecieate any input.....


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I probably have 20+ in the landscape. They are not currently being grown specifically for bonsai but I am keeping my eye on them. I have read that they are successfully used for bonsai. If you plant yours in full sun, in the ground it will grow like gangbusters. The trunk would gain some nice girth. Mine have grown several feet in less than 3 years- and that is with hard Georgia clay and 3 yrs of drought. Given that they are so vigorous I would think that backbudding would occur with enough sun and some pruning to keep the lower branches from being shaded out.

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"grey Owl" is a Juniperus virginiana cultivar. J. virginiana grow literally like weeds all over the east coast. They are not the best subject for bonsai (or so I've heard) but there are some descent specimens out there. Because you have a cultivar, it may not behave like the species when bonsai techniques are applied, which may be a good thing or a bad thing. As kirk has said, they seem to be vigorous growers, so it may be worthwhile to give it a shot. Good luck,

Thanks for the feedback guys, I think I will put it in the ground to "beef it up" a bit more.....I will keep pinching and If I can get it to bud back and fill in....I will keep everyone posted...
Grey owl is indeed a cultivar of "Eastern Red Cedar." ERC is a very bad subject for bonsai. Mostly non-responsive to bonsai culture at worst. At best it is a difficult species to work with even for advanced bonsai folks-specialized pruning and trimming is needed to induced backbudding and keep any resulting growth in workable shape.

They are vigorous growers--but they tend to turn into weedy messes when grown out in the ground. They require extensive "re-education" to get into containers in any bonsaiable fashion. Trunks tend to be rather uniteresting--especially when grown out in landscapes. The best trunks come from wild ERC that have been repeatedly and brutally cut back by tractor mower bars, deer, cows and 4x4s. I've been collecting wild trees for over 15 years in ERC territory and have yet to come across one worth digging up.

There are a handful of nice ERC bonsai out there. They are not that common. More than a few have had their ERC foliage removed and had shimpaku juniper foliage grafted onto them over the years.
They're a nuisance here in Oklahoma, they make lousy bonsai, sorry..........
keep it green,
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