New to Bonsai. Help me Save my Juniper.

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Hi guys. I'm new here, and need some help saving my Juniper Bonsai.

I've had the tree for about 2 months or so. I have been watering regularly, but not everyday. I have now learned I should be watering everyday. It is summer here in Northern California, so maybe twice a day is in order?

My tree now has browning of the leaves on top, and I am not sure what to do in order to remedy this. The tree receives about 6-8 hours of sunlight outdoors right now. The tree is permanently kept outdoors.

I have attached some pictures so you all can get a better idea of how the tree looks.

I appreciate any kind of help you can give to help restore my tree to a healthy status.

Thanks!

-=Scott
 

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october

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Welcome TheMidnightDecker, I am sorry, but the tree appears to be dead.

Rob
 

MinnesotaKirk

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Yikes, it looks dead. Junipers take a long time to show that they are dying. They stay green for a very long time even after they die. If you have only had it two months it may have even been dead when you bought it. Sorry. These type of trees are often sold in poor soil with the rocks glued on top. They get people excited in bonsai but unfortunately set them up for disappointment. These trees can be kept alive but they usually need an immediate re-pot as soon as you buy them to keep them alive. They sell these as decorations assuming people will kill them.
 
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Oh..... :( I am sad.

Thanks for the help though guys. Time to go back out and find a healthy tree!
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Sorry, and welcome to the world of bonsai. We all kill 'em. The bright side is that you just went +1 on your pots-to-trees ratio, and you can never have to many pots...
 

marcosolo

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probably dead, but if you want to give it a shot, try and find growth that's uniformly green from the tip of the shoot to old wood (no brown), remove everything else and mist the foliage that remains heavily 2-3 times a day....I've pulled a few larger landscape procumbens back from the brink this way....just a suggestion, although the material really isn't worth the trouble.....
 

Bonsai Nut

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probably dead, but if you want to give it a shot, try and find growth that's uniformly green from the tip of the shoot to old wood (no brown), remove everything else and mist the foliage that remains heavily 2-3 times a day....I've pulled a few larger landscape procumbens back from the brink this way....just a suggestion, although the material really isn't worth the trouble.....
I'm going with Marco on this one. To misquote Billy Crystal from "The Princess Bride" I think your tree is only "mostly dead".

Another thing that may help... remove the tree from the pot. Do not touch the roots or root ball. Plant it in your yard in a mostly shady spot, in a hole that is mostly mulch with super drainage. This will help your trees' roots stay moist, provide temperature stability, and generally be a better environment than a bonsai pot until it can recover its strength
 
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Thank you for the suggestions guys!

I would like to try to save this tree. I want to gain some experience points in my green thumbs skill!

If the tree is already "mostly dead," then I don't have much to lose.

Hopefully I can post back later with a saved tree! :)
 

Si Nguyen

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I agree with BNut and Marco here that it is worth a try. What I would do is simply immerse the entire pot deep in a bucket of water for about 2 hours (so the dried spot in the middle of the root ball can regain its moisture. When a root ball is completely dried out it actually will repel water so watering from above will not be enough, and the gravel on top does not help either) then put the tree in a cool shady spot for a couple of weeks and water the root ball sparingly every 2-3 days but mist the foliage daily. I would not bother to dig a hole and put it in the ground though. That's too much work. Plus if it survives in the ground, it would just uglify your yard for long time. Leave it in the pot, if it die it die. It might make it because I see the mondo grass on it is still green. If it recover in a few weeks, then remove the gravel and slip pot the root ball gently into a larger pot with 100% pumice then water it at least daily in the summer.
Good luck.
Si
 
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I agree with BNut and Marco here that it is worth a try. What I would do is simply immerse the entire pot deep in a bucket of water for about 2 hours (so the dried spot in the middle of the root ball can regain its moisture. When a root ball is completely dried out it actually will repel water so watering from above will not be enough, and the gravel on top does not help either) then put the tree in a cool shady spot for a couple of weeks and water the root ball sparingly every 2-3 days but mist the foliage daily. I would not bother to dig a hole and put it in the ground though. That's too much work. Plus if it survives in the ground, it would just uglify your yard for long time. Leave it in the pot, if it die it die. It might make it because I see the mondo grass on it is still green. If it recover in a few weeks, then remove the gravel and slip pot the root ball gently into a larger pot with 100% pumice then water it at least daily in the summer.
Good luck.
Si
Cool, thanks Si Nguyen! I am going to immerse the pot right now. Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

Wish me luck. :cool:
 

Eric Group

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Thank you for the suggestions guys!

I would like to try to save this tree. I want to gain some experience points in my green thumbs skill!

If the tree is already "mostly dead," then I don't have much to lose.

Hopefully I can post back later with a saved tree! :)
Good luck! This one is probably a goner though...

The suggestions given were good ones.

For the future, keep a few things in mind when picking your next tree:
Never buy them if there are glued on rocks or other "decorations" glued to the top of the soil. This prevents water from getting to the roots and can leech chemicals out into the soil... It is just a sure way to kill a tree.

Don't keep any juniper, Pine, Maple.... Indoors for more than a couple days. They need the cycles of weather and while some might survive for weeks or months indoors they will eventually die.

Stick around, read as much as you can, chose wisely with your next tree and I am sure you will be just as hooked as the rest of us soon.

A great way to get experience is to buy nursery trees- junipers are usually the easiest to find and work with for beginners who want some experience but they can be tough to keep alive because their warning signs don't show until the damage is way past reparable!

Try to find a nice Elm to work on if you want a good starter tree. You can find them all over the Internet or at bonsai nurseries with decent trunks and little style already put together for an affordable price. They are pretty hearty, show stress quick and rebound quick... They grow quick so you can fix pruning errors pretty fast normally... I think they are a great beginner tree.

I have found crepe Myrtles to be a good tree as well, but they have some pretty serious die back in the winter sometimes.

Maples are probably my favorite, but they are a little tougher to grow sometimes, depending on your environment.

Good luck with that Juniper, but if it doesn't come back, don't get discouraged. A "master gardener" once told my Mom some valuable wisdom- "you can't truly know a plant (tree in Bonsai of course) until you have killed it three times!"
 

bennybenben

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Just keep trying

Hi I live in Nothern California too and its been pretty hot here. You have to water everyday because if you don't then it will dry out. :)
 

Ris

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That fertilizer it to strong and acidic, wash any fertilizer from the top soil and like the others suggest cut back the dead foliage tips in my opinion.
 

iant

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Hi I live in Nothern California too and its been pretty hot here. You have to water everyday because if you don't then it will dry out. :)
You gotta be very careful though with watering an injured plant. They don't take up much water when they're struggling and you only want to water when it needs it. I've found that if I keep watering a struggling tree daily it's a sure slippery slope to death.
Ian
 
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