Itogawa in need of TLC

SnickersUK

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Hi everyone,

I bought this tree last year as my first juniper. Its fair to say that its been a steep learning curve.

I pinched some of the lower foliage in early spring but didn't do it correctly and lost more foliage than I wanted. A couple of months later I noticed the top foliage had a load of new growth but the bottom foliage didn't, I then looked at the roots and decided to repot it. I trimmed back a very small amount of the root base which I'm starting to think was another mistake and I've put the tree into shock.

I've placed it out of direct sun except later in the afternoon / evening when it gets some but it's not strong. I'm also trying to ensure I get the water levels right.

I've read that when a tree isn't healthy you can try putting it in a bigger pot. Would do you guys suggest?
 

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sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Japonicus

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I've read that when a tree isn't healthy you can try putting it in a bigger pot. Would do you guys suggest?
another repot could be fatal.
Where are you? Please edit your profile similar to others so we know where in the world you are.
Some better pictures on the level with the pot, and some history as to how this became a rock planting.
In other words did you do the rock planting, or was it that way when you got it?
 

SnickersUK

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another repot could be fatal.
Where are you? Please edit your profile similar to others so we know where in the world you are.
Some better pictures on the level with the pot, and some history as to how this became a rock planting.
In other words did you do the rock planting, or was it that way when you got it?
Hi I live in the UK. Purchased from bonsai plaza as a root over rock. Photo of how it was when purchased vs now.
 

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Japonicus

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Hi I live in the UK. Purchased from bonsai plaza as a root over rock. Photo of how it was when purchased vs now.
Cool looking shimpaku. The lower branches foliage will recover as the top put on growth last year.

You don't want to remove any foliage now to regain vigour, but if you check out the resources tab
on pg 2 are 3 articles on developing juniper foliage.
Here's part 1.

Also check out BVF's page and illustrations on juniper foliage at
This is a better hands on photo illustration, but now is not the time for this tree.

I know this doesn't help the immediate issue of the stress, but it may help you not do more.
By all means do be certain
you let it dry a little before watering in well, and mist the foliage often, especially on breezy days.

When did you repot it?
 
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SnickersUK

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Cool looking shimpaku. The lower branches foliage will recover as the top put on growth last year.

You don't want to remove any foliage now to regain vigour, but if you check out the resources tab
on pg 2 are 3 articles on developing juniper foliage.
Here's part 1.

Also check out BVF's page and illustrations on juniper foliage at
This is a better hands on photo illustration, but now is not the time for this tree.

I know this doesn't help the immediate issue of the stress, but it may help you not do more.
By all means do be certain
you let it dry a little before watering in well, and mist the foliage often, especially on breezy days.

When did you repot it?
Thanks for this I will check it out. I repotted a few weeks ago, probably first week of April which I know is a bit late. I've been misting it this past week and will carry on to try and help bring it back.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Give it a year or two of no work at all and you might be able to save those damaged branches.

Fertilize and water.
 

SnickersUK

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Give it a year or two of no work at all and you might be able to save those damaged branches.

Fertilize and water.
yeh, that's what I was thinking... I'm not going to fertalise it until I see it look healthier and it will be natural fertiliser.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Since you repotted this year with fresh soil, which is usually devoid of nutrients.. I'd recommend a light feed.
It needs building blocks to rebuild, carbohydrates alone don't add a whole lot.
There's a thread about it somewhere, where you can find that the general consensus is that a light feed shouldn't hurt.
 

SnickersUK

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Since you repotted this year with fresh soil, which is usually devoid of nutrients.. I'd recommend a light feed.
It needs building blocks to rebuild, carbohydrates alone don't add a whole lot.
There's a thread about it somewhere, where you can find that the general consensus is that a light feed shouldn't hurt.
Thanks, I put in about 4-5 natural fertiliser cubes around 2-3 weeks ago before the tips turned brown, I have left a few in for the moment. It doesn't help that we had a cold snap 2 weeks ago which I did try to protect it from but I'm concerned that it has been harsh on some of the new growth.
 

Dav4

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What kind of soil is it in? It looks like there's lots of organics in there which might keep the soil moisture too high for a juniper. Also, junipers need full sun, even after a re-pot. Lastly, itoigawa are finicky at the best and the tree doesn't look sick, but they definitely need good horticulture to thrive.
 

SnickersUK

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What kind of soil is it in? It looks like there's lots of organics in there which might keep the soil moisture too high for a juniper. Also, junipers need full sun, even after a re-pot. Lastly, itoigawa are finicky at the best and the tree doesn't look sick, but they definitely need good horticulture to thrive.
Its an evergreen mix from herons bonsai, it appears really dark even when dry so I'm having to do the finger in the pot check to keep an eye on the moisture.
 

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