Juniperus scopulorum

JRob

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Good Morning All,

While attending Shohin St. Louis, Andrew Smith from Golden Arrow brought down some trees I had purchased from him over the winter. Great material, several Pinus ponderosa and a killer Juniperus scopulorum or Rocky Mountain Juniper which he estimates to be about 400 years old with great dead wood structure. The RMJ was collected by Andy in May 2007 and the ponderosa trees in April/May of 2008. My plan is wait several years to repot the ponderosa trees since they were recently collected.

I for got to ask Andy a question on the RMJ and he is still on the road doing more workshops.

Walter if you are out there please comment on proper time of year to repot the RMJ in St. Louis Missouri and how long to wait after the collected date. All the trees are extremely healthy and have not yet forced new growth. Andy still has snow on the ground.

Regards,

JRob
 

JasonG

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I repot a few hundered Pondersa and RMJ every year..... The tree will tell you when it is ready to be worked on. We have worked on ponderosa that were collected less then a year ago with good success.
The key is, if the buds are pushing and growing and you have visible active root growth. If you have both of those then you can work on it. Typically we will have roots growing through the bottom of pots or boxes within the first year after collecting. No need in waiting beyond that point.

Many of the old killer collected trees in America have slowly died because people were waiting 5+ years to do root work. The native soil chokes out the roots and the tree gets weak and dies.

Personally, I have only lost one tree from working on it too early.... and that was about 4 years ago.

**If the tree doesn't show you that it is healthy and ready for work then by all means wait until is shows the signs....but if you are getting close to 3 years and nothing much is happening then I would repot it anyways into a good free draining mix. For us we have found nothing that works better than pumice, 100% pumice. We do use a mix of pumice/lava/akadama or bark. But a mix of pumice/lava is just as good.

Jason
 

Walter Pall

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I agree with Jason and want to add that NOW is a good time to repot RMJ and ponderosas. Actually I will leave tomorrow for Harrisburg, PA where we have several workshops to show folks what to do with these trees and how to repot. There are around 75 collected trees available for the workshops. But in these workshops people do not have to purchase trees. They can though. Some have astronomical price tags. But it is very interesting to be able to actually work on a tree that one does not want to afford.
 
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That is a very interesting concept for workshops Walter. Enabling participants to work on excellent material, without the expense of purchasing it.

Great educational idea.



Will
 

Walter Pall

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Will,

evilminded folks say that my students pay me well for doing work for me. Yes, in a way, but they learn a lot and many come again. They cannot be all masochists. And, yes, my work gets done.
There are always lurkers at Nature's Way Nursery. That's fine, but when they stay a bit longer we charge silent observer's fee.
 
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JRob

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I met Jim for the first time here at Shonin St. Louis. He spent some time helping me underestand the proper display of Shohin and I learned so much from him. I belive it was his display that was awarded the Best Display in Show.

One thing that I am quickly discovering is how helpful everyone is to those of us who are new to bonsai. My 17 year old son and I bought our first tree last september (a 40 year old Buxus microphyllia 'Compacta' and we just wintered our first trees).

At Shohin St. Louis Drew took a workshop with Tiger Urushibata on Shimpaku that our club imported from his father's nursery Taisho-en at the foot of mount Fuji. I took workshops with Guy Guidry, Andy Smith and Dave Kreutz. All were very helpful and extremely patient with us newbies. Don Blackmond and Brian Cass have been extremely helpful as we've ventured into our study of trees in pots. I even had a tree I purchased from Don take 2nd place in the show. A sweet 5" high Pinus thunbergii cascade with great ramification.

Albek and Pall's sites are real inspirations and even they returned our emails and answer our questions.

It is great when peple who are well respected in what they do care enough to pass along what they've learned to those of us just starting out. Its a great art form and from Drew's and my experience a fantastic group of people involved in it.

Walter and all who have responded to my thread, thanks for your imput. I appreciate it very much.

PS. Sara Rayner's pots at the convention were wonderful and she was very helpful as well helping us understand how to chose the perfect pot for the trees we purchased.

JRob
 
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evilminded folks say that my students pay me well for doing work for me.

I see it like a mini apprenticeship and the students get the better end of the deal, although some may not see this.

Are you visting other states during this trip as well?



Will
 

Walter Pall

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Will,

no, I will only stay a week in PA. I may come back by end of June. On the way to Colorado and Washington I might drop by some other place.
 

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