Potential Juniper???


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Milan, Illinois
Alright here it is. This is a juniper (not sure what species) that i got from a work site that my crew was at this past week. Its about 2ft tall (its sitting on a 5gal bucket for scale) and the trunk is 2.5-3" in diameter. It has a few branches of dead wood that could be made into jin. Wondering if this could have any potential, otherwise i got a burn pile callin its name. I took some pics, so let me know if it could work. I kind of have a general idea of what i could do with it, but i have never worked with junipers before, so i am going to need some guidance.

Thanks guys


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more pics

there are a couple more, but i keep getting errors, so i will maybe try later.
if there are any other angles you want or if you have any questions, let me know



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One thought jumped into my head looking at your photos, and knowing you said you had some thoughts about it.... If any of those thoughts include bending any of the trunks/heavy branches where you removed foliage.... do it now before the wood dries out, you'll be more successful. That's one reason you often have to live with what you get on trees with natural deadwood... the lack of flexibility limits design (at least without a diegrinder... ;) ).

But the cuts still look fresh... so movement could still happen. :)

You are going to need to get this to backbud closer to the trunk. The trunk looks nice but you did not submit any pics of the nebari so who knows about that. At any rate, to get these to backbud you must "chase it back". Hit those branches back hard but leave some green, say 20 to 30%. Put it in full sun and fertilize heavy. In 2 years you will have something to work with. That big branch in the middle (2nd pic higher on the trunk) needs to come off completely, deadwood there will distract, it is to big. I see the tree going left in the 2nd pic. A slant if you will.

If the soil is too dense, leave the tree intact (no trimming) and get it into a good wood training box next spring. Work on the roots first.

This is what I would do.

I'd want to get a proper ID before doing any chopping. I honestly can't tell from the pics, but I think there is a chance it could be a type of false cypress, Chamaecyparis pisifera. They can make descent bonsai material but they don't back bud like junipers tend to, and need to be treated differently. Anyway, if the tree was just collected, you wouldn't want to begin styling for at least one year, but more likely two or three.

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I'd want to get a proper ID before doing any chopping. I honestly can't tell from the pics, but I think there is a chance it could be a type of false cypress, Chamaecyparis pisifera....

Im almost 100% sure that this is a juniper. Inner needs are scale needles and outer needles are awl (sp?) (the spiky ones). I removed quite a bit of foliage so that may be a reason that it has a softer look like a false cypress. AND i had to personally rip these out of the ground, and when you get your arms rapped around these, you feel it the night after haha
Roots and Runners

Hi -
I always ask my Teacher about this - especially because I love Junipers. It looks like an Old Gold Juniper.
Very nice piece of material. May I suggest you refrain from cutting back or removing the dead branches. I see many possibilities here *Jin, Sharimiki, etc.

The first order of business would be to put that in a good training box with good soil (I prefer substrate - very open) Then I'd feed it lots! Organics seem to do well for my Junipers here in California. With open substrate, it's almost impossible to overfeed/overwater. Turface, Pumice, Activated charcoal (Aquarium store or Walmart) and small lava rock. (that's it)

The runners will grow out and many make the mistake of chopping them off. Let them grow our for a season or two until you reach the desired thickness of the branches. The key would be to get it in to good soil as the next opportunity removing all the original soil. good luck.
We love this kind of material for long-term projects. You have the typical specimen: good trunk size, probably good nebari, foliage way out on the ends. First, get the tree potted in good soil and growing strong. That will promote backbudding. Next, start pruning back foliage (maybe in a year or two). That will enforce the backbudding. See what you get. Don't be in a hurry. You could always graft on shimpaku. A great piece of material for learning and potential.
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