When/how much to cut back Shimpaku

Josh88

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i picked up this shimpaku at my local club. It's impossible to catch the issue well in photos, but the long branches form front and back layers, but what's in between is what I think is going to be what I keep to work with for this tree's design. So I have guy wired the big branches down to let some light in to the foliage that I'm wanting to keep, but I'd like to cut back these big branches to really get sun in these areas in between that I want strong. Considering the strength of a juniper is in it's foliage, how much should I be reducing at a time to maintain vigor, and what is the best time of year to make big cuts to this juniper.
IMG_0381.JPG IMG_0819.JPG IMG_0820.JPG
 

sorce

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Bloody Nice trunk!

It looks healthy...

But lacks the runners which are a sign of extra vigour.

I wouldn't remove much.
Only stuff that absolutely can't be wired Out of the way.

They say March is when to take cuttings..
So Id be ferting heavy till March 2018.

Thats what I'm doing.
And I Got a few runners!

https://nebaribonsai.wordpress.com/category/evergreen/junipers/shimpaku-junipers/

Sorce
 

JoeR

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That's exactly what I was thinking @sorce . It's healthy, but not vigorous- and there is a difference which can be a hard lesson to learn. Once you start seeing whip growth you know it's vigorous and can be safely worked.

If you want to make some cuttings too, sorce is right again- in March, make matchstick sized cuttings (optimal, though any size will do) and stick them in perlite.
 

sorce

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It's healthy, but not vigorous- and there is a difference which can be a hard lesson to learn.
Especially if all you've been doing is Watching Nanas die!

Junipers that grow are a joy!

Oh...and BVF is right..!
I just parrot!

Caaaw!

Sorce
 

Dav4

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Assuming the tree is healthy, I'd cut those branches back by at least 50%, then wire what's left into position and leave to grow for the rest of the year. Lots of sun and fertilizer, no pinching. Next spring, you can cut back further if you need to.
 
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sorce

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Same here, except I parroted a mix of Brian and Brent's advice lol. But I mean, if it works it works!
Yeah...plus....

Brian takes such good care of my Hawthorne....:p

I figure it's best to keep him from needing to answer all 80k alerts!

Iowa must have a better climate than Massachusetts Cuz Dav4 seems a little overzealous with his Dirty South Growing season!:p

What if Brian and Dave started arguing like little girls!
Lol! Ahem....

Sorce
 

Brian Van Fleet

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If you're planning to bend it, I'd leave all the foliage in place so it sets faster. Shimps bud back easily, so hard pruning at any time will result in plenty of new growth. You can cut it now if it's bugging you, later if you're willing to delay short-term gratification for a better return in a year.
 

Dav4

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Yeah...plus....

Brian takes such good care of my Hawthorne....:p

I figure it's best to keep him from needing to answer all 80k alerts!

Iowa must have a better climate than Massachusetts Cuz Dav4 seems a little overzealous with his Dirty South Growing season!:p

What if Brian and Dave started arguing like little girls!
Lol! Ahem....

Sorce
Fwiw, Brian's suggestion is the safer one, and it's actually what I have done in the past. Now, I tend to be aggressive with raw stock and my suggestion is merely what would happen in my back yard if the tree is healthy... work it hard then leave it alone to recover. The cut backs and bends would preferably been done earlier this spring. It's hit 90F in my yard several times already, and heavy bending now can kill branches if you're unlucky, so make them carefully.
 

Adair M

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Now is NOT the time to make heavy bends on junipers. When the sap is flowing, it's really easy to slip the bark and cambium layers. Your guy wires are ok, leave them for now.

This IS a good time to remove old weak growth, and thin to open up the canopy. On my "Don't pinch junipers" thread, I recently posted a couple of pictures of some weak twigs.

The time to wire is in the fall. The bark is much more tightly attached to the hardwood, and they tolerate wiring better.

I would repot next late winter, say end of January or February 2018. Do a half bare root repot to get it in good soil.

Working with something like this is like working with yamadori. You want to highlight the movement of the trunk and the deadwood, and position the live foliage to "frame" the image. In fact, it's common to collect wild Juniper and graft on shimpaku, let it grow for a couple years, and then style. Take your time, you have a nice trunk and it has great potential!
 

sorce

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It all makes sense!

FWIW...

I'm taking it all in!

Good stuff!

Sorce
 

Dav4

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Now is NOT the time to make heavy bends on junipers. When the sap is flowing, it's really easy to slip the bark and cambium layers. Your guy wires are ok, leave them for now.
Come on, Adair! Get outa your Tesla SUV for a minute, breath in that unfiltered mountain air, and live a little!! The easy life has softened you... take a risk, dammit!:D:D
Seriously, in my experience, you can wire and bend junipers year round, but the heavy, sharp bending shouldn't be done when it's hot.

In fact, in between rain showers, I'll be tweaking the wire on my grafted juniper... nothing extreme, but things are gonna get wired up and bent today:cool:.
 
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Brian Van Fleet

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Now is NOT the time to make heavy bends on junipers. When the sap is flowing, it's really easy to slip the bark and cambium layers. Your guy wires are ok, leave them for now.

The time to wire is in the fall. The bark is much more tightly attached to the hardwood, and they tolerate wiring better.

I would repot next late winter, say end of January or February 2018. Do a half bare root repot to get it in good soil.
He's in Vancouver, WA. The tree is just starting to wake up, which is a great time to make heavy bends, especially because you can "slip the bark...". This allows good bends and a quick recovery.

BTW January is a horrible time to repot junipers in that climate. Repot junipers later, as they're waking up.

Remember, not everyone is in North GA, and boon's is but one right way.
 

Adair M

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He's in Vancouver, WA. The tree is just starting to wake up, which is a great time to make heavy bends, especially because you can "slip the bark...". This allows good bends and a quick recovery.

BTW January is a horrible time to repot junipers in that climate. Repot junipers later, as they're waking up.

Remember, not everyone is in North GA, and boon's is but one right way.
Ok, I'm not familiar with Vancouver's climate. Repot in late winter early spring ( whatever month that is).
 

Adair M

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Come on, Adair! Get outa your Tesla SUV for a minute, breath in that unfiltered mountain air, and live a little!! The easy life has softened you... take a risk, dammit!:D:D
Seriously, in my experience, you can wire and bend junipers year round, but the heavy, sharp bending shouldn't be done when it's hot.

In fact, in between rain showers, I'll be tweaking the wire on my grafted juniper... nothing extreme, but things are gonna get wired up and bent today:cool:.
Dave, it's raining! You don't think I'm going to drive my new car in the rain do you? It might get wet!:eek:
 

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