Newby... Picked up juniper & japanese holly

Clorgan

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Picked these up cheap, think I've got the names right? Mainly as a go at basic shaping! Any general tips before I delve in?! Is it a bit late in the season to be having a go at this?

Going in naiive, but just want to have a bit of fun with them!

Thanks in advance! 😊

Claire

P.S - Chinese Elm seems to be doing great!

P.P.s - I think I've got the bonsai bug!!!
 

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Clorgan

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Oh and aware I have my other thread going but thought it'd be easier to make a new one...please tell me if I should have just put this on the other, also new to general forum etiquette! 🤪
 

sorce

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This is good. Updating the same threads with the same trees helps you track your progress. No worries.

You have 2 sides of the spectrum, at least I believe holly is brittle, harder to wire and better for clip and grow. Where Juniper, as they say, is the putty of bonsai, you can wire it up.

Sorce
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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It seems like this is the right spot.
I think it would benefit you to know what kind of juniper you have. It looks like a media/pfizer 'old gold' cultivar, but it's good to know for sure.
Junipers all have slightly different traits as you might learn over time. And they'll respond differently to wiring and pruning.
I wouldn't wire the putty right now though, because it's summer and in summer the bark peels off easily.
 

Clorgan

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This is good. Updating the same threads with the same trees helps you track your progress. No worries.

You have 2 sides of the spectrum, at least I believe holly is brittle, harder to wire and better for clip and grow. Where Juniper, as they say, is the putty of bonsai, you can wire it up.

Sorce

That's good to know - thankyou!

Thanks for this - confirmed what I thought I'd gathered from my research! I wasn't even going to attempt to wire the holly, just some pruning to try and make a pleasing shape. I don't have wire yet - was going to start with the juniper - give it a prune to make a basic shape and think about getting wire if it goes well.

Also, would you recommend repotting? To me the size of the pots look fine, but unsure about the soil? I'll try add a better photo so you can see what it's currently in. I do have some bonsai potting mix, not sure of the quality of it? I'll add a photo of that too.

Must say again, your help is amazing so appreciated greatly!
 

Clorgan

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It seems like this is the right spot.
I think it would benefit you to know what kind of juniper you have. It looks like a media/pfizer 'old gold' cultivar, but it's good to know for sure.
Junipers all have slightly different traits as you might learn over time. And they'll respond differently to wiring and pruning.
I wouldn't wire the putty right now though, because it's summer and in summer the bark peels off easily.

Yes you're exactly right - juniper x media) pfitzeriana - you're good at this!!! Great advice - thanks!
 

Clorgan

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Knowing the quality of the potting mix would be great, my elm appears to be in something similar
 

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sorce

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repotting

I believe we're just coming to a new moon, which is a bad time to Repot IMO. This time of year is also not prime.
I Repot juniper the first full moon (or second) after the summer Solstice, usually cutting off 70% of the roots, and haven't lost a tree yet. The key is leaving the top bushy, so it regrows roots faster. So if you prune now, you'll want to have ...roughly the same foliage it has now to know a Repot will be safe then.

I reckon Holly is evergreen? And I Repot evergreen boxwoods in the same manner at the same time, also with none lost.

Sorry if this may be offensive to a lady, but you are +1 English!

Sorce
 

Clorgan

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I believe we're just coming to a new moon, which is a bad time to Repot IMO. This time of year is also not prime.
I Repot juniper the first full moon (or second) after the summer Solstice, usually cutting off 70% of the roots, and haven't lost a tree yet. The key is leaving the top bushy, so it regrows roots faster. So if you prune now, you'll want to have ...roughly the same foliage it has now to know a Repot will be safe then.

I reckon Holly is evergreen? And I Repot evergreen boxwoods in the same manner at the same time, also with none lost.

Sorry if this may be offensive to a lady, but you are +1 English!

Sorce

Great - so takeaway message (I'm a bit simple) - prune a little and don't repot? Happy to not repot, if it'll be fine in the pot it's in I'd rather leave it be!

Haha it's very hard to offend me, I'm from Yorkshire...not sure if you've heard of it but we're a bit rough round the edges 😂 They are some good looking trees you have there!
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I don't know if vulcastrat is sold in the UK, but since you're just across the pond from me, it might be the case.
My conifers love the stuff, and it's a ready made and cheap mix.

As for the current potting mix, it's fine. I have nursery trees from three years ago that are still in that 'terrible soil' and they do just fine. The trick is to keep an eye on the moisture content with a wooden chopstick. If the wood is damp, don't water. It's a fool proof system. Just make sure your chop stick hits the center of the soil.
 

sorce

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Happy to not repot,


But don't be afraid either.

To make a good tree is to walk a fine line between awesome design and death.
The only way to know where the tipping point is, is to kill some stuff!

I'll note I must visit Yorkshire when I travel o'er the pond. Have tea with my pinky down!

Sorce
 

Clorgan

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I don't know if vulcastrat is sold in the UK, but since you're just across the pond from me, it might be the case.
My conifers love the stuff, and it's a ready made and cheap mix.

As for the current potting mix, it's fine. I have nursery trees from three years ago that are still in that 'terrible soil' and they do just fine. The trick is to keep an eye on the moisture content with a wooden chopstick. If the wood is damp, don't water. It's a fool proof system. Just make sure your chop stick hits the center of the soil.

Great to know - thanks so much, extremely helpful! I'll leave it be for now then and just have a go at a bit of pruning to try and get a bit of a shape to it!
 

Clorgan

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But don't be afraid either.

To make a good tree is to walk a fine line between awesome design and death.
The only way to know where the tipping point is, is to kill some stuff!

I'll note I must visit Yorkshire when I travel o'er the pond. Have tea with my pinky down!

Sorce

o'er t' pond!
 

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I bought a Pfizer x media a couple months ago and styled it last weekend, really just to practice my wiring. Here’s how it turned out. The issue with pfitzers is the foliage is very leggy and sparse so you have to hope it compacts over time to fill in the pads

5F88AE0D-33A1-4DBF-8B83-25156F2FE872.jpeg
8F0BF1C4-3E4A-4EBC-801C-ED551DE94B91.jpeg
 

Clorgan

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I bought a Pfizer x media a couple months ago and styled it last weekend, really just to practice my wiring. Here’s how it turned out. The issue with pfitzers is the foliage is very leggy and sparse so you have to hope it compacts over time to fill in the pads

View attachment 305827
View attachment 305828
Oh nice! Yeah I do see that being an issue! Fingers crossed yours turns out well!

Ok so no idea if I did too much or not enough?!
 

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rollwithak

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This is good. Updating the same threads with the same trees helps you track your progress. No worries.

You have 2 sides of the spectrum, at least I believe holly is brittle, harder to wire and better for clip and grow. Where Juniper, as they say, is the putty of bonsai, you can wire it up.

Sorce
1590768409889.png
 

Clorgan

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More photos! Nice little project to start things off, see if they survive the butchering!
 

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Clorgan

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Definitely turning into crazy bonsai lady... Sorry be be million post Larry (hope it's not annoying) but really getting into it! Picked up another cheap juniper old gold to practice pruning and have a go at repotting. Tried not to remove too much. Annoyingly didn't get a photo of original plant, but took throughout the process. Please let me know how I did if you have nothing better to do... And please be honest - I'm a tough old gal I can take it 😂

Put in a photo of how much I took off - too much?
Last photo is how I was thinking of shaping roughly, thinking about ordering some wire. Again let me know what you think, and be honest if it's a pile of shit 😂

Intention was to learn and practice, but obviously I do really want to keep them alive!
 

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