Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

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Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Philosoraptor on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:43 pm

I acquired this juniper about four or five months ago, and haven't really touched it except to clean out the wood and apply lime sulphur. Although the trunk looked whole when I made the purchase, it was actually rotted through and filled with a small colony of ants! I went medieval on their tuckuses, and cleaned the hollow out with a dremel and small blowtorch.



You can't see it in the picture, but there's extensive wire scarring on the branches. Frankly, I think I need to just chop 'em off, but I'm not sure when the best time to do that would be. I suspect that this tree will never be a Walter Pall, but it's still quite a nice tree to practice on and it is my first juniper :]

I'm also debating going back to what I suspect was the trees original front, although I feel a tad dishonest having a hollow trunk and not showing it. Almost as if the trunk is a facade of some sort.



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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  fiona on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:52 pm

This might help people make their responses.




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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Philosoraptor on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:53 pm

Thank you, I'm sorry for not posting those larger images earlier - I thought they might be too big and annoy people Embarassed

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Jkd2572 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:00 pm

I'm thinking it just needs some wire. Get some wire on that foliage. Interesting trunk.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Philosoraptor on Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:06 am

To be honest, I'm worried about bending the branches with the wire scarring. I've never seen a tree this bad!



This isn't the full extent of the scarring, but you can see how bad it is. I can't imagine how neglected this juniper must have been to get a rotten trunk and wire scarring that bad.

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Newbie - Juniper

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:25 am

Remember the saying, bonsai is not a pet rescue operation. Never mind the wire scars. That foliage looks very sickly. Never mind wiring, just put it in the ground or a big grow box to recover. Have you scratched the bark to make sure it's alive?
Iris

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Philosoraptor on Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:43 am

I couldn't pass it up for the price, but I guess you get what you pay for. Bark is alive, so there is some hope yet. I will plant it in the ground immediately and leave it alone for a year, thank you for your advice.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Jkd2572 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:38 am

Wire the opposite way of the scaring. If your worried let it recover for a year. Trunk is pretty neat.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Philosoraptor on Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:14 pm

Jkd2572 wrote:Wire the opposite way of the scaring. If your worried let it recover for a year. Trunk is pretty neat.

Thanks for the tip and the compliment! I am always worried about my trees, hahaha, probably a sign of inexperience. I literally had a nightmare that I left my ficus out in the cold at one point! I don't see any reason not to plant it in the ground for a year, so will probably go down that route, just to make sure that the tree has vigor.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Philosoraptor on Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:30 pm

I just thought of a dumb question - what should I do to preserve the dead wood while the tree is in the ground? I will be traveling internationally for a year or so; I don't think lime sulphur will cut it. Perhaps a wood hardener of some sort?

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Jkd2572 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:43 pm

I don't think you need to put wood hardener on it in our climate, I'm in Texas too, just lime sulfur it once and wait for next year. Unless its faliing apart. If you are going to use a wood hardener make sure to lime sulfur it first if you want the white look. You won't be able to change the color after the wood hardener is applied. What area of Texas do you live? Big state lots of climates.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  rockm on Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:11 pm

Planting it in the ground for only a year is unlikely to produce any results in vigor or be of any benefit. It will take at least two years in the ground for the plant to completely establish itself and begin any significant growth...three to five would be better.

I would not apply wood hardener or lime sulphur to it while it is in the ground. Not that such things would hurt it much, but allowing as much free uninterrupted growth as possible would be best. Futzing around with trunk treatments is just busy work while its in ground

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Dave Murphy on Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:42 pm

I'd check it for spider mites, too.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  marcus watts on Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:15 pm

hi,

from a bonsai hobby point of view dont panic and you will would actually gain nothing and more importantly learn nothing planting it in the ground for a year. The inner foliage will be brown / yellow / dropping off because the tree has grown a lot of new foliage on the ends of all the branches, this is just normal juniper growth.

As you are away from home for a year though you shouldnt have bought any bonsai !!! the ground should keep it alive ok, so dont put wire on or it will cut in badly. I would sell all my trees if i was away for a year, they would all be set back so much, and some may be dead by the time i got back so maybe that is the main lesson to learn at the moment

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Jkd2572 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:30 pm

So sell it me. I live close enough. I will bring it back to health.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Jkd2572 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:37 pm

Do you know what kind of juni this is? It looks San Jose juvenile foliage.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  peter keane on Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:12 am

it does look like san jose foliage. it also looks like procumbens as the foliage is consistently needles. and the white specs on the needles do look like they are from spider mite. there are plenty of treatments for that. As for putting it in the ground for five years, I wouldn't bother. then, you'll have to "collect" it again and wait the requisite two or so years before you can work it. with proper care, your tree will probably bounce back in vigor within a year or two once you have eliminated the spider mite. I'd only put it in a wider container if the tree is pot-bound. if you do, don't mess with the soil except to tease out the sides and bottom. the new layer should be free-draining so as not to keep the roots saturated. Good luck with your project.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Philosoraptor on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:09 am

marcus watts wrote:hi,

from a bonsai hobby point of view dont panic and you will would actually gain nothing and more importantly learn nothing planting it in the ground for a year. The inner foliage will be brown / yellow / dropping off because the tree has grown a lot of new foliage on the ends of all the branches, this is just normal juniper growth.

As you are away from home for a year though you shouldnt have bought any bonsai !!! the ground should keep it alive ok, so dont put wire on or it will cut in badly. I would sell all my trees if i was away for a year, they would all be set back so much, and some may be dead by the time i got back so maybe that is the main lesson to learn at the moment

Thank you for the advice - I will be stopping in from time to time during this year of wandering and have a very indulgent girlfriend who will be taking care of the trees while I am gone. She is a cutie and loves bonsai, so I think I snagged a keeper. Would it be unwise to begin treatment for spider mites, see if the tree regains vigor and if not plant it in the ground?

JKD, unfortunately this tree is not for sale, thank you for the offer though. Is your username a reference to Jeet Kune Do?

peter keane wrote:it does look like san jose foliage. it also looks like procumbens as the foliage is consistently needles. and the white specs on the needles do look like they are from spider mite. there are plenty of treatments for that. As for putting it in the ground for five years, I wouldn't bother. then, you'll have to "collect" it again and wait the requisite two or so years before you can work it. with proper care, your tree will probably bounce back in vigor within a year or two once you have eliminated the spider mite. I'd only put it in a wider container if the tree is pot-bound. if you do, don't mess with the soil except to tease out the sides and bottom. the new layer should be free-draining so as not to keep the roots saturated. Good luck with your project.

The tree is not pot bound and looks like it has quite some room to grow. I will begin researching different treatments of spider mites. Thanks for luck!

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RE:

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:42 pm

dont chop the branches!

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

Post  Philosoraptor on Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:45 pm

bonsaitrimmer wrote:dont chop the branches!

Have not trimmed or chopped anything, bark is green and I have new growth. I'm very hopeful for the tree.

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Re: Newbie, not quite sure what to do with this juniper

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