When to harvest a Virginia Juniper?

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I was out plundering around in the woods a little to the south of town. Ran across a real unusual Virginia Juniper, or Red Cedar. Very contorted trunk. At ground level about 1 1/2" in diameter and if you stretched it out it would be about 4 ft. tall. But the neat thing is that something damaged it in the past and it is very unusual looking. May or may not make a great bonsai, but has potential for a literati style.

Central North Carolina here, when can I safely dig it? Now while dormant or better to wait until March or so?
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
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Red cedar is a bear to make into bonsai. It has finicky growth habits. I avoid them.

If you've found one with a decent trunk (and interesting red cedar trunks are extremely rare), you might have something to work with....

Anyway, if you're in central Carolina, I'd say you could probably dig it in the next few weeks. Frost free after collecting though...One problem with collecting now is frozen soil. If you've had some deep cold in the last few weeks, soil will be frozen six inches down. Busting through four inches of frozen soil isn't fun...
 

sfhellwig

Mame
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Not saying that I did it properly but last year I lifted one in January and one in February. I brought them home and promptly buried them in the garden. They were given no additional treatment until March or later. Last year was a more mild winter and I am in a different place than you but they survived with no ill effect. One being about 18" tall and the other 24" or more. These being trees lifted just for the experience and stock to play with.
 

digger714

Shohin
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same here. Im in mooresville nc. i took 3-4 pines in the past few months, and a couple of maples.
I was told it was ok to do it now here., to just put in a large grow box on the ground, or in the ground. mulch around it and keep in the shade for about 4 weeks, until the hard frosts are gone. Im not an expert, but ive asked many people about this, and they all agreed. good luck.
 
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in kentucky i have successfully collected them at any time of year. dig it now or wait, it really just depends on whether or not you can get enough roots. i sometimes dig them in the middle of winter here after a good rain if temperatures are above freezing.
 

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