Shimpaku Juniper - Creating dense foliage

Mame-Mo

Sapling
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Austin Texas
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I just purchased a this shimpaku from a local club auction and although I do intend to go back and seek advice from locals in my area it will be about 2 months till I can make a meeting. I would like to find some general suggestions on how to promote more dense foliage. As you may be able to see the left "trunk" (which may one day become a jin) and the upper canopy have full foliage, whereas the majority of the remaining branches have very spindly and unhealthy foliage. Is there a way to promote these weaker areas of the tree to back bud and become more full as well?
 

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coachspinks

Shohin
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Just south of Atlanta
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Some far more experienced people will probably be able to help you more than I can, but here is what I did with several shimpakus this year....
1st - a lot of sun, mine get at least 6 hours of full sun
2nd - good, well draining mix. You need to water A LOT but they can't sit in that water. The internet is full of articles and thread written on what this mix should be but you can search that subject. I would stick to discussions on this site though. There is so much bad info out there. Here at BN you will get honest opinions from some very experienced people. They won't always agree but in most cases they will be well thought out.
3rd - fertilze well throughout the growing season. Last year I used commercial slow release. This year I used a variety of organic "cakes" and pellets. My tress grew exponentially better with organic.
My shimpakus are a deep, deep green with a lot of new growth this year. One was a little "jaundiced" when I bought it in June. It is now so green it almost glows.
You should go ahead and put your location in so that we know where you live.
 

Mame-Mo

Sapling
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Awesome! We aren't in terribly different zones. I was curious if I would need to pinch the ends to try to force it to grow further down the trunk but if it's just a matter of waiting and fertilizing that sounds easier. I have always been wary of fertilizer as it's somewhat out of my range of experience. I have some little organic pellets I put on my Garden Junipers, but other than that I really don't know how to properly fertilize. Is the growing season simply spring and fall when the weather isn't at it's extremes?
 

coachspinks

Shohin
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I consider the growing season late winter until very late fall here. We can get warm spells that stimulate growth in January. It is 98 here today so maybe we won't have a winter this year at all!
I have some small organic pellets I will put on in a couple of weeks. That will probably be it until February or so. I bought these from Stone Lantern.
My philosophy on pinching or trimming has been to just let them go and get super healthy. The juniper above may have some work done on it soon so I will pinch or trim the whips while I do that. I will either post pics here or take it to Adair at the end of October but he doesn't know it yet:)
 

leatherback

Masterpiece
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Seems there could be a quicker better tree in that left trunk.
Exactly my thoughts. Make the tall stick your short Yin -Or layer it if you do not have too many trees-. And make the left your tree. A nice ccurve from the roots into the trunk, and probable another bend higher up.

It is well worth sitting down with someone who has a lot of experience and letting them help you form a view of the tree in there. The main trunk is not per se the best.
 

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