Juniper Contorta

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Juniper Contorta

Post  Gentleman Jack on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:32 pm



This is a Juniper Contorta, I believe. Certainly the branches seem to grow in all directions, curling in on themselves in strange ways. Not sure that one would call this style either, but it reminds me of a Mother protecting her child. I just wish I could thicken the trunk, but the fact is this tree has significant reverse taper. It's much thicker at the top. It's far from perfect, but one I enjoy looking at. Comments welcome, and I hope I sized the picture better than my previous attempts. Smile

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Re: Juniper Contorta

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:04 pm

If the tree were mine and faced with the same problem I would consider making a slice in the trunk about 50% up the bare face of the trunk.  Make the slice about 1/4" wide.  In a year or two you will notice that the trunk is getting larger as it grows around the slice.  You can then make the slice larger and taller up the trun, or you can make a slight direction change in its direction.  Point being, eventually the trunk will thicken and the slices will provide interest and character to an uninteresting trunk. That's how the character of this Shimpaku was created.


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Re: Juniper Contorta

Post  Gentleman Jack on Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:21 pm

Hi Vance! It's good to her from you. You and I used to talk on another forum, a long time ago. I like your suggestion a lot, I'll just have to study the tree a bit to determine the approach. thanks a lot.

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Re: Juniper Contorta

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:38 pm

I'm always available and ----often opinionated. I hope I did not cause you to leave the other forum, I'v been known to do that to. I'm sorry about that. However I think you know I will always make myself avaliable.

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Re: Juniper Contorta

Post  Gentleman Jack on Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:07 pm

Vance Wood wrote:I'm always available and ----often opinionated.  I hope I did not cause you to leave the other forum, I'v been known to do that to.  I'm sorry about that.  However I think you know I will always make myself avaliable.
No, you didn't cause me to leave, not at all. Always enjoyed your posts.

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Re: Juniper Contorta

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:50 pm

Nice tree, looks like it has some age to it. From the photo the reverse taper you mention is not visible. Junipers often have a bit of reverse taper at the nebari, they are not naturally like a maple or pine. Wide spreading nebari is not what they naturally do.

Your pot is rather large, which is fine, we need to pot so that the watering frequency is a schedule we can live with. I prefer to use pots large enough that most trees need water only every 3rd day. This allows me to be gone for the weekend, or a quick business trip during the week.

Point is your pot is large enough you might be able to get some vigorous growth if you pick a sacrifice branch and let it run. Find a sprout or maybe a non-essential branch below the zone of reverse taper and let it run for several years. This will help thicken the lower trunk. At the same time, you foliage in the upper half of the tree is quite voluminous. Prune back to interior branches in the upper 3rd of the tree. Create more defined pads of foliage, Bring the upper volume of foliage in. This will control the thickening of the upper portion of the trunk, slow down thickening. Combined with an escape branch or two down low, and restricting the upper growth should in 3 to 5 years cure the reverse taper issue.

I do like the loose, billowing look, but the tree does have a lot of foliage for its size, which tends to make it look somewhat younger. The plan I outlined could be done slowly, keeping it in its current pot. You could speed the process by putting it in a large nursery can or back in the ground for 3 years or so, but either way, you can fix reverse taper by controlling growth. especially if you do have branches or buds that are below the zone of reverse taper.

And of course Vance Wood's suggestion would work too. You could combine techniques. Use Vance's suggestion, combined with controlling foliage growth and letting low branches escape.

Nice tree overall, it would be happy if this were on my bench.

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Re: Juniper Contorta

Post  Gentleman Jack on Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:38 pm

Thanks for your thoughtful advice, Leo. At the time I took the picture the tree had just been taken out of the ground from it's winter storage, and is a bit bushy. I have since trimmed it back, as I do every year. I would love to have a low branch in the back to grow out of a sacrificial branch, but alas, there are none. I have taken Vance's suggestion, and created a small shari on the trunk, which I hope will increase the trunk size a bit. I will take some pictures later this year to show hopeful improvements. I know it is in a pot that is very big for it, but the lower cascading trunk has not been healthy and I am hoping it will develop a more robust root system.

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Re: Juniper Contorta

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