Sargent's Juniper = Shimpaku Juniper?

Redwood Ryan

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Hello everyone,

I have noticed that a nursery near me sells huge, thick trunked Juniperus chinensis 'Sargentii' for a mere $10. I've been reading up on these and I came across this site:

http://www.bonsai-bci.com/species/shimpaku.html

That article says that Sargent's Juniper is called Shimpaku, yet when I read up on Shimpaku Junipers I read that they are Juniperus chinensis 'Shimpaku'. Are these two trees the same? Or is there a difference between Sargent's Juniper and Shimpaku Juniper? Thanks everyone,


Ryan
 

garywood

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Ryan, welcome to the wonderful convoluted world of taxonomy. The short answer is they are different plants.
Wood
 

rockm

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The shimpaku used for bonsai is not all that common in these parts. You won't find it at landscape nurseries and certainly not for $10:D

Doesn't mean you shouldn't pick up one of those larger plants and work with it. For $10, there's not much to lose.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thank you all! Very interesting and confusing topic.

The shimpaku used for bonsai is not all that common in these parts. You won't find it at landscape nurseries and certainly not for $10:D

Doesn't mean you shouldn't pick up one of those larger plants and work with it. For $10, there's not much to lose.
Thank you, I'll pick it up, it is clearanced but there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it. The trunk seems pretty thick, but when I looked it appeared long, not so much thick.

I feel your pain...


I asked nearly the exact question a while back:
http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2145&highlight=Sargentii
Thank you! I guess I should have searched first :rolleyes:
 

milehigh_7

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Thank you all! Very interesting and confusing topic.



Thank you, I'll pick it up, it is clearanced but there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it. The trunk seems pretty thick, but when I looked it appeared long, not so much thick.



Thank you! I guess I should have searched first :rolleyes:
It is all good because juni taxonomy is still something I have problems with. I have one right now I can't identify and I don't want to do much to it till I can.
 

Redwood Ryan

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It is all good because juni taxonomy is still something I have problems with. I have one right now I can't identify and I don't want to do much to it till I can.
:D Very true.


Why would the website claim that they are both the same tree? I always thought that was a pretty honest site and I've used it several times and it seems correct. Unless the answer to that question will be too complicated :D
 

milehigh_7

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:D Very true.


Why would the website claim that they are both the same tree? I always thought that was a pretty honest site and I've used it several times and it seems correct. Unless the answer to that question will be too complicated :D
I am sure it is very honest. To the best of the abilities of those maintaining it. Some info is very old and taxonomical classifications change like crazy. For it to be always perfectly accurate they would have to be always aware of the changes and have time to make the corresponding changes to the site.
 

Smoke

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It is all good because juni taxonomy is still something I have problems with. I have one right now I can't identify and I don't want to do much to it till I can.
"I have found that if it can't readily be identified by just looking at it, it's probably not very good for bonsai." Al Keppler
 

Brian Van Fleet

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'Sargenti' is close to 'shimpaku', my friends call them "poor man's shimpaku" and they should be decent for bonsai.

Both are types of Juniperus chinensis, but technically, 'Sargenti' is a named variety, and 'shimpaku' is a broad (Japanese, not Latin) description for the type of Juniperus chinensis collected in areas of Japan; translated, it means the Authentic Oak; or "real thing". Similarly, 'kishu' and 'Itoigawa' are also variants of J. chinensis, named after the area they were found.
 
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Redwood Ryan

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'Sargenti' is close to 'shimpaku', my friends call them "poor man's shimpaku" and they should be decent for bonsai.

Both are types of Juniperus chinensis, but technically, 'Sargenti' is a named cultivar, and 'shimpaku' is a broad (Japanese) description for the type of Juniperus chinensis collected in areas of Japan; translated, it means the Authentic Oak; or "real thing". Similarly, 'kishu' and 'Itoigawa' are also variants of J. chinensis, named after the area they were found.
Very interesting to read Brian, thank you!

What exactly makes Shimpaku such a good candidate to begin with?
 

milehigh_7

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"I have found that if it can't readily be identified by just looking at it, it's probably not very good for bonsai." Al Keppler

Hence the basic problem... I don't even know how much I don't know. With more experience I expect I will be able to id things better. It was labeled two different things. I will post some more pix of its foliage and such when I can on its thread.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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What exactly makes Shimpaku such a good candidate to begin with?
My opinion: because they're very tough, resilient, forgiving, adaptable, and relatively fast-growing...and their foliage is soft, compact, and doesn't revert to the juvenile, needle-like foliage as quickly in response to drastic pruning.
 

Vance Wood

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Hello everyone,

I have noticed that a nursery near me sells huge, thick trunked Juniperus chinensis 'Sargentii' for a mere $10. I've been reading up on these and I came across this site:

http://www.bonsai-bci.com/species/shimpaku.html

That article says that Sargent's Juniper is called Shimpaku, yet when I read up on Shimpaku Junipers I read that they are Juniperus chinensis 'Shimpaku'. Are these two trees the same? Or is there a difference between Sargent's Juniper and Shimpaku Juniper? Thanks everyone,


Ryan
Shimpaku is a sub-species of Sargent Juniper. They are not the same as far as bonsai is concerned. The Sargent Juniper is very difficult to grow as bonsai, the Shimpaku is almost impossible to not grow as a bonsai it is so responsive. It is as though God decided to make a tree just for us bonsai nuts.

There are some places you might find Shimpaku in the nursery trade, still not common but not as rare as it once was. They grow well from cuttings so if you find one same all of your clippings. I have grown both and had nothing but trouble with the Sargent's, Shimpaku on the other hand is almost indestructible and if grown with minimum care will make a nice bonsai even in the hands of a beginner.
 

Vance Wood

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Why? What were the issues with Sargentii?
Sargents makes a good landscape plant but does not respond well to bonsai techniques. When I worked in the nursery trade I had access to several of them to work with as bonsai. They absolutely had to be repotted every three years or they swiftly went into decline. They did not tolerate being root bound at all and were more than most, susceptible to root rot.

They accepted wire well but after a couple of years developing a branch and foliage pads they would, out of the blue it seemed, abandon that branch and throw new growth at the base of the branch leaving you to develop it all over again from new growth. They also have a tendency to revert to juvinal growth if you prune it, pinch it, fetilize it, don't fertilize it, look at it the wrong way, and say bad words to it. Shimpaku does none of these things.
 

rockm

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FWIW, Gardens Unlimited has probably about 100 older shimpaku grown by the nursery owners from cuttings. They were started about 20 years ago. Very nice material.

Oh, you CAN kill a shimpaku:D Work the roots hard in late spring, then overwater it...see what happens...:D I did that last year-killed a nice little one.
 

jk_lewis

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welcome to the wonderful convoluted world of taxonomy.
Actually, the "taxonomy" (from a scientific standpoint) stops after "chinensis" in the taxonomic name, Juniperus chinensis.

'Shimpaku' and 'Sargenti' and any other of the 68 cultivars listed in my 1990 edition of Dirr (there likely are many more by now) are all artificial, man-made plant names, developed over the years by horticulturalists who bred the basic J. chinensis for individual traits that they liked or wanted, or thought would be commercially valuable. (A cultivar name is differentiated from a variety or subspecies by the single quotes around the cultivar name -- like 'Sargenti.')

Taxonomy starts at the plant "Kingdom" level and wends its way down to Genus (Juniperus) and species (chinensis). There may be varieties and subspecies below those in the taxonomic world, but those occur naturally and may or may not breed true with the type "chinensis" plants.

Cultivars are fertile one with another and the offspring are likely to be just plain old J. chinensis.

Totally immaterial, but I thought some additional confusion was called for here. <g>
 
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