Juniper Question

power270lb

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So this is the first bonsai tree I bought back in late November. Really wanted to keep it inside but everything I read said NOOOOOO so I made a cold frame, insulated with pine needles and it made it through Winter. In regards to my research amongst different bonsai trees in regards to care, pruning etc I know very little in regards to this tree. The tree is still outside and it's grown a bit over the last month the foliage mostly being very fluffy. My question is down the middle the foliage is different it's almost crisp? Difficult to explain but u can see the difference in the pictures. Is this just blocked and not getting enough light? I've also read that in regards to pruning you should pinch and something about if you prune wrong it could kill the whole shoot? I just want the tree to grow so any recommendations in regards to pruning, growth, watering etc I'd appreciate.
 

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Vance Wood

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So this is the first bonsai tree I bought back in late November. Really wanted to keep it inside but everything I read said NOOOOOO so I made a cold frame, insulated with pine needles and it made it through Winter. In regards to my research amongst different bonsai trees in regards to care, pruning etc I know very little in regards to this tree. The tree is still outside and it's grown a bit over the last month the foliage mostly being very fluffy. My question is down the middle the foliage is different it's almost crisp? Difficult to explain but u can see the difference in the pictures. Is this just blocked and not getting enough light? I've also read that in regards to pruning you should pinch and something about if you prune wrong it could kill the whole shoot? I just want the tree to grow so any recommendations in regards to pruning, growth, watering etc I'd appreciate.
It appears to be either a Procumbens Juniper or a San Jose Juniper. In both cases it is normal for growth inside the tree to brown off due to lack of light; however spider mites could be responsible.
 

Japonicus

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Unfortunately a cold frame can work against you. It needs to be open to not build heat
during the day, and you absolutely must water the plants inside when the need it.
In zone 7 you do not need a cold frame for juniper. I killed most of my collection of juniper
using a cold frame about 18 yrs ago. It’s trickier using a cold frame than not

This is part 1 of 3 part tutorial under the resource tab pg 2.
Theres a better illustration on Nebari Word Press I can’t find ATM on the iPad platform
There’s no search engine on the website.
 

Japonicus

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My question is down the middle the foliage is different it's almost crisp? Difficult to explain but u can see the difference in the pictures. Is this just blocked and not getting enough light? I've also read that in regards to pruning you should pinch and something about if you prune wrong it could kill the whole shoot?
The pictures do not convey the crisp (generally considered dead) foliage.
You the owner know it and can see it when you look at your own pictures
but your description of crisp is most concerning as juniper hold their colour beyond
the point of no return in such areas Before they brown out.

You can pinch juniper but it is best to learn proper thinning and wiring.
Pinching begets issues. I have a procumbens with so many structural issues due to pinching
for many years, that since I’ve been on this forum and learned how better to thin and prune
that it is taking me years to butcher some very irregular growth patterns, which now deforms
what I spent years building incorrectly. A pad that has structural issues, is a pad with issues.
Eventually it catches up with you. So start young and develop correctly.
 

Paradox

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Unfortunately a cold frame can work against you. It needs to be open to not build heat
during the day, and you absolutely must water the plants inside when the need it.
In zone 7 you do not need a cold frame for juniper. I killed most of my collection of juniper
using a cold frame about 18 yrs ago. It’s trickier using a cold frame than not

I agree with part of this statement and disagree with part of this statement.

I am in the same zone as the OP. I have had J. procumbens nana junipers die when left out without protection all winter.
So I disagree that a cold frame or some sort of protection is not necessary.
With so many things in Bonsai, it depends. Some winters I would have been able to get away without putting them in the cold frame. Other winters, not.

Here we never know if we are going to get adequate snow cover or any snow at all to give insulation against the very frigid periods we sometimes get.
This year we didnt get really any snow at all but we did have a few days where the temperatures dropped to 20 deg F and below. We always have wind that is detrimental.
Every winter is different and you just cant predict how its going to go until it happens.

I will agree that, again like most things in bonsai, you have to be vigilant and think about what you are doing and what is happening, not just put the trees in the cold frame and forget about them until spring.
I monitor the weather constantly and cover or uncover the cold frame as necessary. If the cold frame is covered for too long, I open it and water my trees.
I did that once this winter and its the first time I had to do it in the 5-6 years I have been using the cold frame.
My cold frame is located on the north side of my house and gets very little if any sun at all so it really has no chance at overheating.
None of my trees have ever been lost from being in the cold frame. In fact I have had better winter survival in the cold frame than not.

Again it boils down to monitoring and thinking about what is happening and being proactive.
 
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Japonicus

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So I disagree that a cold frame or some sort of protection is not necessary.
1620600442531.png
I never said some sort of protection was not necessary, but for the most part in zone 6
even this cave was not necessary this year thanks to global warming.
In fact, just prior to the worst part of this Winter, with 2-1/2 ice storms back to back
I pulled all my trees out from their protection fully exposed. We had a total of .6" of ice followed by a snow storm.
Honestly I moved my plants out of protection that might have crashed down on them due to the ice
and away from any gutters that might fall on them, so completely away from the house.
My cold frame was on the North side of the house too, but I did not use it properly out of ignorance.
Semi clear plastic enhanced the heat of the Sun too, even though it was on the protected side of the house.
The snow cover is a great point, and why folks up state Michigan can get away with
putting some plants on the ground that I must provide protection for.
Rewind a few years back, I left a Sargent juniper out on the South side of my house on the ground in pot,
in the full brunt of the Westerly winds and fronts that come through. It was a cold year and the tree had no issue with it.
No mulch, fully exposed. I wouldn't do it again though.
 

Paradox

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View attachment 373593

even this cave was not necessary this year thanks to global warming.
This past winter was a totally different animal. It was a VERY mild winter comparative to what we normally get.
I think we got a few inches of snow at most and it only lasted a day or so.
I probably could have left some of my trees out this winter but there is no way to predict that.
Other winters would kill most of them if I did that. A few winters ago we had snow storms every few days and piles of snow 10 feet tall all over the place.
Another year I had pots freeze in my attached garage. There is just no way to predict how mild or harsh a winter will be.
I prefer to err on the side of caution.

You say you didn't use your cold frame properly. We all make mistakes. Ive made plenty of my own. We just need to make sure we learn from them.
 

Vance Wood

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You can kill a Juniper with kindness. They do not for the most part need any winter protection other than being kept near or on the ground in an area out of the sun and protected from the wind. Most Junipers, at least the ones I know of, which includes Procumbens Juniper, do well in cold climates. I have been doing mine this way for over fifty years.

As to the cold frame: A number of years ago one of my friends and colleagues built a large, below ground, cold frame to keep his trees in. He did not notice that an animal had gotten into the cold frame and taken up house keeping. In the end the critter desimated his bonsaui collection.
 
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power270lb

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Unfortunately a cold frame can work against you. It needs to be open to not build heat
during the day, and you absolutely must water the plants inside when the need it.
In zone 7 you do not need a cold frame for juniper. I killed most of my collection of juniper
using a cold frame about 18 yrs ago. It’s trickier using a cold frame than not

This is part 1 of 3 part tutorial under the resource tab pg 2.
Theres a better illustration on Nebari Word Press I can’t find ATM on the iPad platform
There’s no search engine on the website.
I'm on the 5th floor and where I am it's sustained winds 30+ mph for extended periods of time. Built to protect against the wind which I've read dries out the plant and kills it. For clarity the frame was opened the whole time, just in a box protected from winds. Plus we had more snow than usual which helped.
 

power270lb

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This past winter was a totally different animal. It was a VERY mild winter comparative to what we normally get.
I think we got a few inches of snow at most and it only lasted a day or so.
I probably could have left some of my trees out this winter but there is no way to predict that.
Other winters would kill most of them if I did that. A few winters ago we had snow storms every few days and piles of snow 10 feet tall all over the place.
Another year I had pots freeze in my attached garage. There is just no way to predict how mild or harsh a winter will be.
I prefer to err on the side of caution.

You say you didn't use your cold frame properly. We all make mistakes. Ive made plenty of my own. We just need to make sure we learn from them.
We're in same zone but we got a lot of snow. One Storm was 16" at least, another was 8", another was 6" and another was 8".
 

Japonicus

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I'm on the 5th floor and where I am it's sustained winds 30+ mph for extended periods of time.
Yeh that definitely needs some sort of protection for sure.

Here before a cold spell I covered up a Japanese maple with snow, leaves and more snow
that is too heavy for me to lift alone. Then a weedy pic of it today in the same place.
You cannot make out the JM, it is a pile if snow in the bottom of the pic.
1620670882672.png1620670904135.pngDSC_6410.JPG
Japanese maple are more susceptible to cold damage than juniper .
The juniper behind it in the 2nd pic stayed there all winter in the nursery can and is thriving like a bucking bronco
but nothing like up in an apt building. That brings its own micro climate I cannot identify with.
 

Paradox

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We're in same zone but we got a lot of snow. One Storm was 16" at least, another was 8", another was 6" and another was 8".

Yea I think we had one storm that gave us 4 inches and it was gone in 2 days.
Thats what I mean about unpredictable
 

power270lb

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Yeh that definitely needs some sort of protection for sure.

Here before a cold spell I covered up a Japanese maple with snow, leaves and more snow
that is too heavy for me to lift alone. Then a weedy pic of it today in the same place.
You cannot make out the JM, it is a pile if snow in the bottom of the pic.
View attachment 373771View attachment 373772View attachment 373773
Japanese maple are more susceptible to cold damage than juniper .
The juniper behind it in the 2nd pic stayed there all winter in the nursery can and is thriving like a bucking bronco
but nothing like up in an apt building. That brings its own micro climate I cannot identify with.
Yeah we're moving up the road (finally) and I'll have a patio/yard with a room where it gets cold I can put my trees in during the winter. Any tips on spidermites? Got a beautiful desert rose a month ago and just found webs. I've read DE is like spidermite genocide.
 

power270lb

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Yea I think we had one storm that gave us 4 inches and it was gone in 2 days.
Thats what I mean about unpredictable
You're close to NYC? Any tips on spidermites? Desert rose I got a month ago, just found webs then another on my schefflera (same nursery). I've read DE is like genocide for mites.
 

Japonicus

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Yeah we're moving up the road (finally) and I'll have a patio/yard with a room where it gets cold I can put my trees in during the winter. Any tips on spidermites? Got a beautiful desert rose a month ago and just found webs. I've read DE is like spidermite genocide.
I abhor DE maybe a bad batch but anyway...
Grab a white envelope
Hold it horizontally under various branches as you tap sort of sharply down over top of the paper.
Bring the envelop to your focus and watch. Soon, if mites are present, you'll see tiny teeny tiny specs
crawling about. Take you fingers across the paper slight down pressure. Spider mites will smear a red streak.

If a lot, you should support the foliage with your hand where necessary, but a good blast with the shower
setting from a garden hose, in an apartment maybe the shower? but you have to finish them down the drain.
Garden hose outdoors is best. They can invade house plants. Take back outside and spray with ...

after the foliage has dried somewhat from your hosing off.
Repeat weekly, for a month. If in the meantime the paper test does not reflect progress
you will want to use a stronger miticide. Neem oil or Malathion. The schefflera may be sensitive to either IDK.
 

Paradox

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You're close to NYC? Any tips on spidermites? Desert rose I got a month ago, just found webs then another on my schefflera (same nursery). I've read DE is like genocide for mites.
I am about 70 miles out on Long Island
Spider mites are a conundrum, because often treating with insecticides just gets rid of the bugs that prey on mites and leads to a worse mite infection.

This is a good source of info about spider mites: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7405.html

I have only really had an issue with them one year. At the recommendation of another Bonsai Nut member Dav4, I now stock Sultan Miticide.
Its VERY expensive for the bottle but you only use a very small amount at a time so the bottle lasts a long time.
The good thing about it is that it targets the bad mites and leaves the good predatory mites and insects alone.
I figure that I have a number of trees that cost more than that bottle of miticide so its a good investment

 

Carol 83

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I abhor DE
Me too. I had a couple of nice bougies that came in DE when I first started. Unfortunately, I left them in it and it just stayed too wet. The one thing bougies will not tolerate.
 

power270lb

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Me too. I had a couple of nice bougies that came in DE when I first started. Unfortunately, I left them in it and it just stayed too wet. The one thing bougies will not tolerate.
What soil would u recommend for bouginvillea? Mine came in mostly pine bark
 

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