Question about California Junipers

yenling83

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Is it okay to take off the bark of a CA Juniper on a continuous basis or is that something you only do before showing it?
 

Attila Soos

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Is it okay to take off the bark of a CA Juniper on a continuous basis or is that something you only do before showing it?

I assume that you are talking about taking off the shaggy part of the bark (exposing the smoth inner bark). I do not assume that you are talking about stripping off the cambium and creating shari.

Yes it is OK, it is a matter of preference. If you like the smooth bark, then you can keep the rest off.
But you can also leave the tree alone, and clean it just for the show. That way you get a more fresh contrast between the green-silver foliage and the smooth bark.

The thick bark in nature offers more protection from the elements and animals, but with bonsai, the tree doesn't really need that protection.
 
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Smoke

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I concur. Just remember that the red under bark is very thin, almost the thickness of paper and very fragile. Stripping the shaggy bark is very easy to do but time consuming to do properly. It is akin to thread technique for creating shari and jins. Let the shaggy bark peel off following the contours of the grain of the wood stopping short of reaching the paper thin red bark that will be polished. Finish out the removal with running water or a bucket of water and good stiff bristle brush, sometimes a brass brush will work but brisk rubbing will go through the living part potentially causing die back.

Follow up the whole procedure with a rub down of olive oil and a soft cloth to bring out the contrast if this is what you were trying to create.

Cheers, Al
 

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