Newly Collected Juniper

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Newly Collected Juniper

Post  juniper07 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:07 pm

Hi IBC,

A friend of mine collected a Juniper a week ago, and I got it from him. I really need expert advice in keeping this tree alive. There are not many small feeder roots, so that concerns me. I have been misting the foliage it every now and then and the soil mix isn't extremely free draining, but it has some organic soil with around 50% of turface. I put a little bit of sphagnum (maybe 15%) to promote rooting.

The thing that really worries me is that there is only one branch that is supporting all the foliage mass... if that branch dies then the tree dies. I will be moving this tree to a more shady area, and hopefully as time permits I will keep up with the misting.







Thanks.

juniper07
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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Rob C on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:36 pm

This is absolutely incredible material. I think all the things you said are the only things you can do at this point. It is now up to the tree to decide what it will do. I wish you lots of luck with it.

Rob

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:19 am

What on earth was he collecting at THIS time of year for?!!!  I'd guess you have a snowball's chance in Hell of keeping this alive -- though I hope I'm wrong.  Awfully nice tree to treat it like that.

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but if the soil doesn't drain and you have few roots and only one branch, you better devote more time to it than "as time permits."  I'm not sure that misting will help a lot.  Don't let the soil get soggy, but don't let it dry out, either.  

What species is it?

And kick that friend in the BUTT!

Good luck.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  MikeG on Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:29 am

As a newbie I wasn't going to reply to this. But after Jim's honest post I felt the need. I really don't like the act of collecting yamadori by people who don't know what the heck they're doing. I'm even ethically mixed on experienced people doing it, but at least they can keep it alive for years to come so others can enjoy mother natures art. I have no advice other then, please don't take on projects like this again in the future if you don't know what your'e doing, and please stop your friend from digging.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  juniper07 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:40 am

Jim,

I am past the realization that this tree has a slim chance of survival. The fact is that it was going to be ripped by the tractors from where my friend collected from... so he did good.

I was looking for tips of survival, and not the obvious. The good thing is that it rained thoroughly before and right after collecting... which I think would reduce the stress a little.

Thanks.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Rob C on Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:21 am

Yup, if it was the trash or this, this is definitely the better option.  I wish it was in  grow pot with better soil. However, once again, if it was a situation where it had to be done now, it is understood. I am estimating this material to be maybe 100-150 years old plus. However, depending on growing conditions, there could be a wide margin for era for that estimation. Material like this goes for a fortune at bonsai nurseries.

If the tree makes it until Fall without the dying, you are doing well. Not out of the woods, but it is a start. Please keep us posted on the progress of this beautiful material. Once again, I wish you luck.

Rob

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  juniper07 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:13 am

Thanks Rob.

I have experience with caring for one monster juniper in the past, and I was successful in keeping it alive. The only difference is that the previous tree was collected in early May (after the freeze) few years ago, there were more feeder roots, and that tree was probably 3 times bigger.

By the way, this tree is an urban yamadori (from a construction site).

Thanks.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  prestontolbert on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:26 am

I collected a juniper in a similar situation in august one year. It was going to be killed anyway, so I took a chance. I put fogger emitters around the tree and dusted the ends of the cut roots with rooting hormone. I had zero fine roots. The smallest root was 1/2 inch. I kept it in moderate shade and fogged it every hour with a timer. The tree suffered until the next spring when it started growing like crazy. It was basically a cutting. So you do have a chance.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:02 pm

I suspect that the "ripped by tractors" would have resulted in more worthwhile root than the digging up obviously did, because a good deal of earth usually comes up with the tree. The soil could have been washed carefully off the root "ball." I've done that with plants from city park renovations on many instances.

The act of digging and cutting of roots caused the loss of fine roots.

As I said, good luck.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  juniper07 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:22 pm

prestontolbert, thanks for building up my confidence. I will have to stick to manual misting... unless I can find someone in my area with automated misting who is willing to help.

Jim, Thanks for your initial tip of misting more regularly. I apologize if I came a little rough at you... I hope you understand that I wasn't looking for criticism of what already happened (I have no power of changing the past) but I was looking for ways to help keep this tree alive atleast through this coming winter. If it was upto me, I would have chosen a better time to collect and tried to get a larger root ball. Although this summer has been quite mild and wet up until now.

In the future (once this tree is stabilized) I will post a different thread for design criticisms.

Thanks.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Fore on Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:42 pm

Really nice tree Juniper07. Mist as much as you can and I too hope it makes it!

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Newly Collected Juniper

Post  ironman on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:00 pm

I'll pitch in a comment or two as I dig sometimes when it is ill advised.
I dig a boxwood 2 months ago in the hot Texas weather cause I got the 'the one and only chance' to collect it. It's doing fine, btw...

Keep you plant out of direct (hot) sunlight for a couple weeks and do mist and water it carefully-but don't over do it.

Once, years ago, I collected a juniper with was growing IN a rock during deer season (Nov/Dec) in Texas.
After pulling a little grass away, I found NO ROOTS at all on my juniper. I did what I suggested above and the tree grew a new set of roots in the Spring. Now, of course the tree was dug at the optimum time but the aim of this story is, you just never know for sure...

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  juniper07 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:09 pm

Fore, Thanks... Mist is the magic word that I have heard so far, and having the right balance of moisture in the soil (not too little, not too much).

Ironman, Your collecting experience is inspiring to me. I have the tree under a shade cloth (it only gets around 2hrs of morning sun). I am also misting regularly, but misting will become irregular as I am not always home.

Thanks.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Ryan B on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:10 pm

I can't agree with the posts about offers and misting enough! I've read of Japanese pros who've kept severely stressed or root damaged Shinpaku alive for over a year without ANY watering of the soil, only frequent misting. Junipers have the ability to absorb all the moisture and nutrients they need through the foliage. Buy a simple mister at your local big box and a timer and set it for every hour. A plastic tent to prevent dessication of the foliage wouldn't hurt either(fungicide preventively for to combat all this misting and spraying). Foliar feed with a weak solution weekly. It's much better to have more sun as long as it doesn't compromise moisture levels. If its only a day or two since collection, and you didn't have feeders anyway, I'd replace that soil with pumice.
My two cents. Your odds aren't as bad as you may think, but it's ALL in the aftercare!!
Ryan
Http://JapaneseBonsaiPots.net/

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Newly Collected Juniper

Post  ironman on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:25 pm

It DOES need sun but filtered sun GRADUALLY to full later this year is the trick.

Come on down next Jan/Fed and we will find you another juniper for your collection!

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:32 pm

Junipers have the ability to absorb all the moisture and nutrients they need through the foliage.

Where did you get this?

With some rare exceptions (like bald cypress and coastal redwoods), juniper (and other needled trees) evolved that kind of foliage specifically to avoid dessication in the dry air where they typically live and keep moisture INSIDE the plant; not to absorb it; that's also why the needles have a thick, hard, and somewhat waxy epidermal layer. The stoma in normal leaves let gas out, and moisture that gets into the leaf is purely serendipitous. There are many fewer stoma in needled leaves.

And as for foliar feeding, most of a bonsai's benefit from spraying leaves/needles with fertilizer comes from what drips off the tree and onto the soil. Again the epidermis of these plants is not designed to absorb water, much less larger nutrient molecules.

I'd be concerned with misting that the soil stays too wet. Fogging would tend to cool the air and might be a better option. I don't believe foggers are excessively expensive.

I always seem to play the heavy in these scenarios, but . . .

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Ryan B on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:37 pm

Agreed Ironman. Filtered sun is best. Just put that more sun is better as I have seen Guys totally kill pines and conifers with full shade when weak. 30% shade cloth has always done the trick for me in central Mississippi.
Ryan
Http://JapaneseBonsaiPots.net/

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:41 pm

If it establishes, you have a nice 'potensai'. Great friend to think of you.

Since it is potted, you can't dust the ends of the roots with rooting hormone. But, you can water the soil with a rooting hormone. Do it when we have a window of 24 hours without rain. The rain will flush out excess after a few days. If you can't find any liquid rooting hormones products, Spread a liberal helping of the rooting hormone powder over the soil surface. Watering and rain will flush it down into the mix where the roots are. The hormone is water soluble, and will leach out of the powder, which is usually just talc.

Right now misting is not a worry, I am in northern Chicago suburbs, and we have had rain daily for over a week, with no sign that is will stop. Our humidity this last week would make someone from the Delta of Mississippi sweat. If anything it might be too wet. Once the weather dries out, then you will have to mist. I'm raising a sweat just typing ;)and it is not that hot, just amazingly humid. Once the humidity drops below 90%, which could happen fast, you will have to start misting right ASAP.

Do set the tree in shade right away. Leave it there until you see new green buds growing on branch tips, or other signs of active growth. Don't rush it into the sun. If it is still flexible and soft by August, you might move it to get a few hours of morning sun, but keep it sited so it has afternoon shade until you see growing buds.

Don't disturb the tree roots now. Personally, I would not have added any organics to the potting mix. Turface & something like pumice, or dry stall would be the blend I would have used. One alternative, that is easy to find, especially at "Brew and Grow" shops is coarse Perlite, also call Sponge Rock. I have used 100% perlite on a number of occasions instead of the turface/dry stall / crushed granite blends I usually use. It is excellent, and a great water retaining - yet very good air voids for breathing. I have gotten excellent roots with it. Only problem it is so light, that if mixed with anything else it floats to the surface. But it is a good emergency, when you "got to put roots on it" media. Peat moss almost always makes problems for me, even in fairly small ratio of the whole mix. New Zealand sphagnumn is the better choice, also the Chilean long fiber sphagnum is good.

There is a grow shop on Kedzie, just north of Addison Ave. if you happen to be on the north or central parts of Chicago. Chicago Indoor Garden Supply is the name.

Hope that helps.
Leo

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  coh on Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:02 pm

JimLewis wrote:

And as for foliar feeding, most of a bonsai's benefit from spraying leaves/needles with fertilizer comes from what drips off the tree and onto the soil.  Again the epidermis of these plants is not designed to absorb water, much less larger nutrient molecules.  


http://www.seaagri.com/docs/foliar_application_study.pdf

quoting in part:

Data from Univ. of Michigan Research Trials
FOLIAR APPLIED FERTILIZER

Foliar Fertilization is the most efficient way to increase yield and plant health. Tests have shown that foliar feeding can increases yields from 12% to 25% when compared to conventional fertilization.

Tests, conducted in different locations, under different environmental conditions, have reflected the following;

When fertilizers are foliar applied, more that 90% of the fertilizer is utilized by the plant. When a similar
amount is applied to the soil, only 10 percent of it is utilized.


etc

The above studies were conducted on food crops so I don't know how well the results can be translated to junipers. But to simply dismiss the use of foliar feeding is to dismiss proven results.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  coh on Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:14 pm

The above article may have over-stated the positive impacts. For a slightly different viewpoint:

http://puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda%20Chalker-Scott/Horticultural%20Myths_files/Myths/Foliar%20feeding.pdf

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  juniper07 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:18 pm

Wow... thanks everyone for the load of information. One interesting item I caught was applying a very dilute solution of rooting hormone; I am guessing occasionally. I hope this is tried and tested.

Thanks.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:21 pm

Chris is on target with foliar feeding.
Also, in order to save you money, generally there is NO difference between a fertilizer for foliar feeding and the fertilizer for feeding the roots. The leaf can abosorb it. The magic potions offered for foliar feeding are not necessary. BUT something to keep in mind:

Excess Nitrates can inhibit root formation. So while trying to put roots on the juniper, don't fertilize the soil. But when you are fertilizing your other trees with liquid fertilizer, go ahead and mist the juniper leaves with the fertilizer solution. IF your fertilizer solution is dilute, say less than 120 ppm as N concentration, it won't have a strong inhibiting effect on the roots. But foliar feeding of rootless stock is a good touch.

Hope this helps.

I normally use a liquid fertilizer, and all my plants get thoroughly wet with it, leaves, bark, soil and roots. So by default I am using a combination of traditional and foliar feeding.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Ryan B on Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:32 pm

Jim,
No need to be a 'heavy', all friendly here and i I'm incorrect I'd certainly like to know, it's entirely possible: I'm not a botanist, but a bonsaiist!(you love my alliteration there?)
While its true to some extent that these trees evolved their foliage characteristics as drought avoidance mechanisms and the prevention of dessication in low humidity ecosystems, that doesn't concern us, in my opinion(although it's interesting!)
What matters to us as bonsai growers is what these mechanisms are and how to take advantage of them. For us to take advantage of the moisture and nutrient absorbing capacity of the foliage of Juniperus, soil and air temperature and humidity must not enter "drought type" levels, Photosynthetic radiation must be neither too high or too low, and the vapor pressure deficit at optimum levels. All these factors(and more to boot, such as xylem sap potential) serve one purpose for us as growers: keeping Stomata open. If Stomates are open, leaf conductance of moisture and nutrients is entirely possible. Stomatal complexes normally take in CO2 and transpire water vapor, they have the ability to take in water as well as long as the Stomata are open.
That's the science and the theoretical side(in very brief! There are tons of ecological as well as Horticultural studies that go into more detail, like the numbers that are "optimal") as best I understand it.
On the practical side, as mentioned before, the Japanese professional who went over year with no watering of the soil and only misting the foliage on root damaged an recently collected Shimpaku. Old issue of Kinbon, if memory serves, though I'm not 100% on that. Cool article.
Ryan
Http://JapaneseBonsaiPots.net/

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  coh on Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:51 pm

Leo Schordje wrote:Excess Nitrates can inhibit root formation. So while trying to put roots on the juniper, don't fertilize the soil. But when you are fertilizing your other trees with liquid fertilizer, go ahead and mist the juniper leaves with the fertilizer solution. IF your fertilizer solution is dilute, say less than 120 ppm as N concentration, it won't have a strong inhibiting effect on the roots. But foliar feeding of rootless stock is a good touch.
Leo, is this (bold part in particular) something that has actually been shown to occur? At the recent colloquium in Rochester, I was talking to Dave DeGroot about the issue of fertilizing recently collected (or recently potted) trees. He said something similar about the presence of fertilizer inhibiting the new root growth. However, he conceded that was more his opinion based on his understanding of plant physiology and that he wasn't aware of any actual studies that have shown it to be the case.

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

Post  Rob C on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:07 pm

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is where is this tree going to be kept in the winter? Which is a major factor at this point. In my opinion. I am thinking that it should be kept in an area that is in the 50's with a few hours or so of morning sun. I think that normal wintering might be the end of this tree. This tree really can't lose any more foliage. Also, with no roots. This tree is not at all prepared for any kind of winter. I think that if the tree grows well this season and next, probably the winter after this up coming one, the tree can be subjecting to normal over wintering conditions.

Rob


Last edited by Rob C on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Newly Collected Juniper

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