Repotting a California Juniper with JC

Messages
177
Reaction score
12
Hi gang,

I've had this Cal Juniper for a while but I just felt it was too boring - so what to do? I've decided to repot the tree to make it more dramatic. Like many trees, it has good and not so good features. Good features: - big trunk, lots of dead wood & it's healthy. Not so Good: Straight trunk & lack of movement. I believe by making the tree a slant style and carving the dead wood, I can overcome some of the "not so good" features.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Messages
177
Reaction score
12
Alright, first I have to get it out of the pot and check the roots. One of the reasons it is in a rectangular pot is because it has a long thick root which will have to be reduced. Remember kids, one of my rules of collecting Cal Junipers is, "...always reduce the root ball so it will fit in a bonsai pot!" Unfortunately, I didn't collect this tree and it had a long thick root that wasn't reduced and so now I have to do it. Remember, it's better to kill the tree earlier than later after you've grown attached to it.

So here goes, I aggressively reduced the root which turned out to be rotten anyway. There you go, every once in a while you win one! The tree has lots of roots which I combed out, but I didn't start severely cutting back the roots because in the process of combing out the roots many break off. Since I could fit them into my pot, I put as many back as possible.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Messages
177
Reaction score
12
After positioning the tree, wiring it into the pot and adding the new soil, the tree is done. Now the dead wood is on top of the tree, with the live vein coming from the bottom, which will give great opportunities to carve the trunk and create movement. I won't style the tree until it shows signs of being healthy.

I've had debates with people on whether or not to style the tree first then transplant it or do what I did, transplant first then style. When I first started working with Cal Junipers, I had a great looking tree in a black plastic pot that I styled and was ready to repot. Unfortunately, while transplanting, I cut a root that turned out to be critical and lost the tree. Maybe the answer is to not cut critical roots, but my philosophy is simple, you don't have anything until it is in a bonsai pot and healthy!

Secondly, I don't believe I would have styled the tree as a slant style, because I didn't know it was possible to reposition the tree as such (given the root problem).

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it, please give me your feedback because after all, that's what you're here for.

Lots of California Juniper Love

JC
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Messages
135
Reaction score
12
Location
vancouver, wash.
cali juni

looks like an excellent future bonsai.
would it be possible to enlarge your pics to see the tree much better.
 
Messages
177
Reaction score
12
Here is generally what I plan to do to the tree. Reduce the crown and better define the apex. Deadwood needs lots of work to create movement and interest.

JC
 

Attachments

jk_lewis

Masterpiece
Messages
3,820
Reaction score
1,108
Location
Western NC
USDA Zone
7-8
I'm sure you'l have lots of fun with this one. Good work.
 

Dwight

Chumono
Messages
599
Reaction score
7
Location
El Paso , TX
It does look a lot better slanted...............................that gives me an idea...................
 
Top Bottom