New member and new little Itoigawa

BLNorCal

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Hi there : )

I have been browsing/lurking on this forum for a couple of weeks now picking up on all the great info. Also looking at all of your beautiful Bonsai! So many ideas to learn with for sure.

I had some Bonsai back when I was young and in high school. Probably for about 4 years and had a small collection of maybe 6 to 8 trees. Mostly maples, a elm and a juniper. I then ended up giving them away when I got into my late teens because I lost interest and didn't want to take care of them anymore (at least I gave them away to a good home for free though right?? : ) Also ended up moving around all over, being young and dumb, etc. so it probably was for the best.... I still wonder if they are out there somewhere : (

Anyways, fast forward many years and now settled in life (somewhat hahaha), I came across this little guy in Sacramento from a awesome little nursery! It brought back some memories when I saw it, almost like it was telling me it wanted to get out of the city and up into some nice foothills and nature where I live (silly, I know, but hey I admit it) The nice lady wrote on my receipt that its a Itoigawa Shimpaku. If someone thinks or sees different, please tell me, as I want to make sure I know what I have for proper care.

And this forum helped me brush up on my long lost limited Bonsai knowledge so I figured I would share and say thanks to the forum as a first post : ) It seems to have settled into the change in elevation and temperature nice...just looks more lively with better color over the past week (even some new shoots? This late?), so I think it likes it up here hopefully. Winters about to roll in with snow / rain and I seem to remember junipers can get some "bronzing" sometimes in the winter. So I wanted to share now before it possibly goes into more of a winter mode.

Its nothing super special or any work of art, but I like it : ) I see a bunch of ways it can/will improve, but that will have to wait for the spring. Only brought it inside for the picture, it lives outside ; ) Seems to like the 35 degree nights we have been getting...

Itowigawa.png

Thanks again for all the great info here and have a great night!
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Welcome to the site!

That tree is about 10,000 times nicer than most beginner bonsai trees :) That nursery started you out right!

"Shimpaku" is the generic Japanese name for the Sargent juniper (Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii), which is a variety of Chinese juniper found in northern Japan (as well as parts of China and the mainland). It gets really confusing when you add in the two cultivars or sub-varieties - Kishu and Itoigawa - which are names of shimpaku junipers from those locales in Japan that are known for slightly different characteristics than generic shimpaku. Itoigawa has lighter green foliage and a more open, feathery foliage pad. Kishu is a darker blue/green with a much tighter growth habit that forms tighter ball-like foliage pads.

I like all three types, but in Japan Itoigawa is considered preferable :)
 

leatherback

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Yeah, cool little tree! Would take this one in if offered too.

The nice lady wrote on my receipt that its a Itoigawa Shimpaku. If someone thinks or sees different, please tell me
but in Japan Itoigawa is considered preferable
Just to confirm: From what I can tell, indeed, this is itoigawa.
 

BLNorCal

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Thank you both for your comments and happy Turkey Day!

We are getting our first good rain of the season and this Itoigawa seems to be loving it. I swear its even become more "green" over the past 36 hours but that's probably just my eyes. The substrate mix is draining almost instantly with 0 ponding, so I think this place set me up nice based on what I have read. Now that I have read this forum section more than I would like to admit, I have seen the nursery where I got it mentioned a few times with only good comments (Maruyama in Sacramento). So the peace of mind is nice to have. Looks like they have awesome mixes for soil as well when this needs to be re-potted next year (the lady told me it was probably good for 1 more year). I might do it this spring though, depends on how confident I am feeling by then after getting enough information on proper techniques for these types of Juniper.

Should it not need to be fed anything fertilizer-wise till spring? I don't really know how much dormancy it will go into with our wild winter climate of ups and downs. I'm still seeing some new growth / shoots, but its small and slow. Almost like its just on the brink or wanting to still grow but the temps are cold enough at night to make it stop or move slow (think 50 to 60 in the day with 35 to 45 at night). We really wont see consistent temps below 40 for long durations. Maybe a week or two if a cold front hangs around to keep us in the 30's with some light snow, but then the next week it could average 40 to 50..even back up to the 60's. Gotta love northern California foothill weather...

Thanks again and have a great holiday weekend all!
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
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No worries about the cold with that one. It’s perfectly adapted for your climate.

I hope the rain puts out he fires and washes the smoke out of the air!
 

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