Species Specific > North American Juniper Bonsai Discussion

Another Rocky Mountain Juniper

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Dave Murphy:
I thought I would start a seperate thread on this tree.  I've owned this tree for 5 years and started styling it 4 years ago.  Here are some pictures taken in 2007.  The trunk is mostly deadwood...the living portions are comprised of 3 seperate live veins, each about 1" wide.

Dave Murphy:
This is the tree after the first styling.  In retrospect, I should have waited another year or two before removing so much foliage.  My biggest complaint with this tree is the ropey, coarse foliage apparent in the early pictures.  I repotted the tree 2 years ago for the first time and was quite surprised to see a rather poorly developed root system.  The roots were healthy but sparse and filled less then 1/3 of the pot.  My hope is that as the root system strengthens, the tree will act less stressed and produce tighter, more mature foliage.

Dave Murphy:
I have considered grafting this tree with shimpaku, but was talked out of it, perhaps temporarily, by Ryan Neil.  My plan is to continue styling the tree with its' own foliage while optimizing its health.  This picture was taken about 2 weeks ago, just as I began wiring...I'll update when I'm done ;).

bwaynef:

--- Quote from: Dave Murphy on December 23, 2011, 08:00 AM ---I have considered grafting this tree with shimpaku, but was talked out of it, perhaps temporarily, by Ryan Neil.
--- End quote ---

What was it he said that convinced you?

Dave Murphy:
Ryan believes that with proper horticulture management and pruning techniques, any Rocky Mountain Juniper can have more tight, compact, mature foliage then the typical long, floppy growth we see on collected trees.  First, the tree needs to be healthy...to be healthy, they need a good root system...to grow a good root system, they need to have enough foliage in the canopy to manufacture carbs destined to grow the roots.  Wiring out every bit of the canopy, so that each bit of foliage gets direct sunlight, is also important to maintain strength.  He also doesn't reccommend pinching tips...it results in a stressed tree that resorts to survival mechanisms that stimulates juvenile growth.  Instead, prune back within the canopy with scissors.  Finally, full sun/feed and water aggressively...repeat was necessary.

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