hey Yall! new to bonsai here, need advice with this first Juniper please!!

cooldaddyfunk286

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hey guys, first of all my name is Jason, Im an avid forum-er, so I knew as soon as I got into this hobby hard, I would have to find the best Bonsai forum, and it looks like I landed at the right place! I have been an indoor gardener, lots of outdoor gardens aswell for about 12 years now. I manage an Indoor gardening and Organic supply grow shop, and have been in the hydroponic industry for many years.

so, anyway I went to a Bonsai nursery here in Upstate NY and I got myself a dwarf Japanese Juniper. now, had I had done the research first, I probably would have gotten it into a training pot, worked at it for a season, and then put it into the display pot later on, altho this pot is pretty deep and wide...plenty of room for new roots to grow considering how much of the root mass I was able to ax. So shes planted in there nicely, anchored in with the wire, I bought traditional bonsai mix that they use for all their bonsai instead of some bagged scotts looking stuff the kid tried to push on me, well I didnt have enough substrate, so I filled in the gaps with some cleaned stone, some live moss and some expanded porous clay pebbles (hydroton). a day or 2 after planting I watered in pretty heavy with a very wide range of microbes, mostly fungal based as I know this is better for harder roots and trees...also a SPEC of B-1 to alleviate any transplant shock (altho there has been none!)

so a few days later I begin to prune away some branches to expose the beautiful stem, I messed around with wiring some limbs (altho I may undo it and redo it in a more appropriate manner). the real problem Im running into is, Im not quite sure how I would like to style this tree. I mean, I love the look of it so far, but that big long front end, I dont wanna chop it, I wanna kind of cascade it and have it hang down...its propped up alittle w that bowl and wired up alittle so that I wasnt pulling on the new transplant....kind of wanted to make sure it took to the new pot before I started weighing down the trunk and possibly uprooting or slanting it. but...now that I think about it, if I want the front end to cascade down, It would probably look cool, maybe eventually even exposing some roots as per the weight on the front pulling on the stalk.

Im knee deep into this hobby already. I understand how to care for the juniper, still alittle cloudy on pinching back and how and where to encourage new growth. if we were talking anything without needles Id be the expert...but Im new to this type of gardening.

anyway guys, take a look, let me know what you think. I only have it inside now because I wanted to give it a week or so to relax after axing the roots, planting into bonsai pot, chopping a few small limbs and what not. the rest of the week is supposed to be in the 60s-70s with no frost yet, so I will introduce it to the outdoors again tonight. I hope my baby is OK!

please forgive my newbie ignorance, thats why Im here. I plan on getting fully into this hobby and I know you guys will hold my hand through it! thank you so much in advance for ANY advice, words of wisdom, anything at all, even just to say hello!

thanks guys, on to the pics...(finally) (also, I can take more tonight from different angles...I need a turn table bonsai display...I know I need to focus on the whole tree 360, not just one point of view)

-Jason-



 

cooldaddyfunk286

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some more pics, shows the whole thing better...the front hang off section actually consists of 4-5 branches. any ideas?? thanks guys!

 

jk_lewis

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Once is probably enough . . .
 

sorce

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I like it.

Id get it outside now.

Looks like that long part wont fit into a design too easy, but I see why you like it.

Welcome to the Nuthouse.

Sorce
 

jeanluc83

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Welcome.

First piece of advice, don't repeat the same post in different sections. It annoys people.

It looks like you have a good start. I would wait until next spring before doing anything else to the tree. Right now start reading up on winter protection.
 
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Welcome!

Rome wasn't built in a day, but you also sound like you've got some horticultural sense about you. I'm sure your baby will be fine. Doesn't really need any indoor time unless it's roasting hot outside. :)

Slow your roll with this one now.... :) join a club.... find a mentor.... and enjoy. Did you get yourself to Rochester last week? There would have been lots of inspiration for you there. Since you don't live that far from the location of the National Exhibition. :)

Kindly,

Victrinia
 

berobinson82

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Welcome aboard new friend. Certainly sounds like your horticultural background will be a help to your bonsai pursuits. As far as I've seen, you'll still have to tweak your approach for bonsai if only slightly. Junipers are going to do best for you outside, of course.

After you've gotten comfy with this tree's care requirements, I'd do a google search on cascades for styling inspirations.

Here, I did one for you highlighting a particular juniper that reminded me of yours: CLICK

Read as much as you can as often as you can and have some fun. You're lucky to be close to an American bonsai treasure (Bill V) being in New York.

Cheers,
B
 

cooldaddyfunk286

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mods feel free to delete one of the posts. I was just trying to do the RIGHT thing by putting it in the Juniper section. If I could get some advice and maybe a warm welcome instead of getting flamed for trying to post it in the appropriate place, that would be great. Thanks for the advice guys, please keep it coming...

I also was wondering howcome Tam Junipers will not make good bonsai trees? I read this online, I just picked up a Tam Juniper for 10 bucks, it has a gorgeous trunk and branch direction...looks like it could make a fine specimen...but apparently not? thanks guys!

also, if I decide to plant this Nana in the ground that I have goin, should I wait a while for the roots to establish in the pot I just planted it in last week? or the sooner the better with it starting to get close to freezing temps at night?

I have soooo many questions, I really hope you guys can bring this newbie up to par. Iv gone from zero-sixty with most hobbies that GRAB me like this one. We may be looking back at this one day laughing! lol

thanks again everyone! seems to be a great group here, much knowledge. I hope to fit in well here! :)

-Jason-
 

KennedyMarx

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Looks like decent material for your first tree. Be aware that it needs to be outside year round, only inside for short periods if you want to show it off. It may not show any signs of stress now, but a general rule for junipers is only one insult per year to the tree. That means if you've done any major rootwork, pruning, etc to let it regain its vigor before doing any more work. You can wire that long branch downwards to start a cascade or semi cascade. Just sit the pot on top of something to elevate the downward hanging branch above the ground or bench.

Check out Bonsai4me.com for a lot of good bonsai info. And the articles at EvergreenGardenworks.com
 

cooldaddyfunk286

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man, you guys are great, some amazing advice JUST in the time it took to post that last message! now I feel bad about taking offense to the double post thing. I should have known that being on maaany forums like this for veeery niche hobbies. I hope I didnt come off the wrong way, because you guys are great! thank you.

so Rochester has a national Bonsai Exibit?! I will have to get my butt out there ASAP unless its something I missed out on? its a good few hours away but would be well worth it. Im only about a week into this, so I still need to look at local clubs and what not. I used to keep and breed Discus Fish, and we had forum gatherings and speakers all over the northeast. it was a blast and taught me a whole lot!
 

cooldaddyfunk286

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Looks like decent material for your first tree. Be aware that it needs to be outside year round, only inside for short periods if you want to show it off. It may not show any signs of stress now, but a general rule for junipers is only one insult per year to the tree. That means if you've done any major rootwork, pruning, etc to let it regain its vigor before doing any more work. You can wire that long branch downwards to start a cascade or semi cascade. Just sit the pot on top of something to elevate the downward hanging branch above the ground or bench.

Check out Bonsai4me.com for a lot of good bonsai info. And the articles at EvergreenGardenworks.com

Thanks Kennedy! I was kind of thinking the same exact plan of action for this first jap. juni...I plan on putting it back outside tonight after work...its only seen a few days n nights inside...should be fine, but I do understand the importance of keeping this outdoors. like keeping a panda in a zoo, just not meant to be.

The thing that really kicked off this hobby is the BEAUTIFUL full grown japanese maple that I grew up with at the end of my driveway. easily my favorite piece of my property. turns every shade from pink to deep purple maroon. I'll have to get a pic...but once I get some exp. under my belt, I want to eventually try to mimic this japanese maple in my yard (yes I know, it will probably take 15-20 years, but Im a patient guy! just get very excited...there IS a difference. :)) I actually got so excited that I dug up and potted a sapling from under it a few weeks ago. hopefully it survives the winter. I'll get some more pics up for you guys tonight.

as for this first one, I will probably just put it outside on the table on the back deck and wire that main branch downward hanging off the table so I can work on the semi cascade next season. I will focus my attention into care and overwintering. I was told that for the coldest 3 months I should put it in my unheated shed or garage correct? cool. thanks guys.

now howcome I cant bonsai the blue Tam? if not, owell...only 10 bucks. I can try for sharts and gargles anyway right? or are they totally not bonsai-able?

many many thanks!
 

CHUCHIN

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man, you guys are great, some amazing advice JUST in the time it took to post that last message! now I feel bad about taking offense to the double post thing. I should have known that being on maaany forums like this for veeery niche hobbies. I hope I didnt come off the wrong way, because you guys are great! thank you.

so Rochester has a national Bonsai Exibit?! I will have to get my butt out there ASAP unless its something I missed out on? its a good few hours away but would be well worth it. Im only about a week into this, so I still need to look at local clubs and what not. I used to keep and breed Discus Fish, and we had forum gatherings and speakers all over the northeast. it was a blast and taught me a whole lot!

The exhibit was held in Rochester. It's a national exhibition but as the previous member said terrific opportunity to learn, commingle and broaden your senses. This btw is held every two years and will not occur again until 2017. Welcome to bonsai, bonsai nut remember failure is a lesson in itself. Keep coming back!

James
 

coh

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The exhibit was held in Rochester. It's a national exhibition but as the previous member said terrific opportunity to learn, commingle and broaden your senses. This btw is held every two years and will not occur again until 2017. Welcome to bonsai, bonsai nut remember failure is a lesson in itself. Keep coming back!

James

The next one is scheduled for September 17-18, 2016. See http://valavanisbonsaiblog.com/ for a review of the recent exhibition.

Chris
 

cooldaddyfunk286

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thanks Chris, I was already checkin out the pics and entries from a few days ago...if only I had decided on this hobby a week or 2 earlier! DOH! Iv actually been fascinated by bonsai since probably the karate kid (born in 86') ...I know, I know...cliche.

Well guys and gals, I got my juni outside on the table, its resting place for the fall/early winter...I see what everyone says about doing the research BEFORE you get into this...I would have done a better job anchoring my tree into the pot, altho I did fairly well...also I would have used the substrate alittle more wisely, but I wasnt given enough by the bonsai nursery. the kid that helped me was awesome, but he just didnt predict enough medium for my pot...or didnt think Id do that well of a job cleaning up the roots! either way this plant seems suuper happy and healthy. I'd like to fertilize it, its funny because working in the indoor gardening/organic gardening/hydroponic industry for so long, we shun words like miracle grow, scotts, peters, 10-10-10, 20-20-20 lol...thats all dinosaur stuff to us, but it is seeming like the easiest/most complete way to go, I mean its a juniper shrub, its not a crop meant for consumption or medicine...so I'll probably pick up a shults or MG 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. I have SOOOO many good nutrients on hand tho. I have this amazing liquid african sea kelp, I have azomite and earth tonic, both containing like EVERY trace and micro element in them. and I have some "Grow/veg" nutrients too that are more along the lines of 10-4-6, or 10-5-14. alot of these products are LOADED with L-amino acids and humic/fulvic acid, all very good for plant growth and root growth, and aiding in boosting soil biology...but the more I read on bonsai, I may just wanna give it some shultz and shut the heck up! haha. not too sure yet. I watered in with 3 different 90 dollar a bottle quarts of liquid microbes of every end of the spectrum. I bet bonsai mainly focuses on ecto-mycos fungi? if any of you soil nerds can help me w that one...feeling like keeping it extremely simple will do me best w the bonsai junis...maybe a foliar with kelp and earth tonic every now and again...did I hear Juni's love foliar spraying?

check out the pics from last night...I think all I will do is snip back some of the brand new growth pods, give it a little mini haircut, maybe help cascade those long branches down with some wire, but I wont do much else as advised...I got rashes all over my hands from messing w that Blue Tam juni I got last night for 10 bucks...got a ton of die off in the middle, Im assuming thats why they suck for bonsai, but still I will repot it into an air pruning pot (smart pot, they make roots like no other, look them up guys... "High Caliper" is the company, "smart pot" is the product. I never grow in anything else.) and Ill just feed it well and see how she looks next season. if this was a dif. species of Juni that didnt have so much die off, I could see this being a WINNER...maybe the die off is from it laying toppled over on the ground at the nursery for 10 bucks. time will tell guys. any words of advice on anything would be greatly appreciated as always!

Still deciding what I want to do with the long protruding branches...I kinda dig the flat look, but it may also look very cool over time if I train those front ones down? maybe prune alittle length off it and make it alittle more traditional tree lookin? cant decide. thats the beauty of Bonsai...no rush, I got all the time in the world to decide how I wanna shape this baby. I was told to prune off the new growth tips? that will encourage bushing out? and still up in the air about the nutrients.

thanks!

hope everyones having a fine afternoon!

(I wrote this over the corse of 4-5 hours in between working at work, so forgive me if I repeated anything)

-Jason-





 

Dirty Nails

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Enjoy it and don't keep dinking with it. If you only have a couple of trees it is easy to dink them to death.
 

cooldaddyfunk286

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Man, I hear that. good thing Im too busy these days. keeps me from messing w my one tree too much. But I came into this hobby with that notion in my head, luckily...I can see how it would be a problem...had to catch myself already! lol
 

Skinnygoomba

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If I am not mistaken a humidity tray is not needed for a juniper.
 

jk_lewis

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There are way too many procumbens Cascades already (IMO), so here's where you might want to look for your bonsai. It still could be cut back to be less wide than this. (below).

HOWEVER, if, as it seems, you did a lot of root pruning and cleaning up, do NOT do it now. Wait until spring. Sit and look at and think about your tree until then.
 

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Skinnygoomba

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Seems like the only effect it would have is to keep the bottom roots wet, which I understand to be something junipers do not like.
 
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