Juniper Bonsai Summer Pruning
‘m going to do the second pruning work on my tamarix juniper. I began the work on this tree in october of last year and today i’m going to be giving it its second pruning.
When i last worked on the tree, i had picked this as the front of the tree, but this could easily be the front over here too. Both have nice sweeping trunk lines, so i could either pick this trunk line as the focus of the tree ore or this sweeping tree.
That goes to the left-hand side. The last meeting of the toronto bonsai society had jonas as a guest and jonas showed us. Some photos of sierra junipers up in the mountains and there are some fantastic shapes.
Some wind-blown shapes jonas has a blog, so i’ll put a link to his blog in the description below, and you can check out these fantastic juniper pictures. They’Ll they’ll really inspire you. I’M still going to pick this as the front of the tree.
I think if i pick the opposite side, it’s a little more simple and less complicated. It kind of just shows that sweeping branch and this one’s to the back. If i have this as the front, i still have that nice sweeping branch off here and i have a more interesting branch out front.
The only problem with this branch is it points off to the right hand, side, and it should be kind of wind blown to the left hand side. So i can fix that with pruning. You know encouraging it to grow up this direction and pruning off the growth on this side, so it’ll kind of give it that windswept.
Look when i first styled this tree, i didn’t want to take too much foliage off the top all at once, or you can get this scale-like foliage could revert back to juveniles foliage. So, instead of the nice scale-like foliage, you get this spiky juvenile foliage on it, which isn’t as desirable.
It eventually will revert back to the mature adult foliage. If you, if you kind of treat the tree well and don’t prune it as much, i also didn’t do a full repot on the tree. I just kind of raked out the roots, fit it in a smaller container, so that will be coming next spring i’ll.
Do a full repod on it sorting out all my roots and getting it looking really good. All right, i’m going to start the pruning of the tree now and i’m going to start with some of the longer shoots pruning those back to get it more compact.
So this is the most uh. This sticks out the most as being too long, so i’m going to prune that back first, so i want to keep lots of foliage on this branch. So there’s a good shoot coming out the side here, so i can prune just above that.
So here i go. [ Music ] like that these will probably grow from cuttings. I’Ve never tried with a juniper, but it probably would so there’s the front of the tree. Now you see it’s getting more compact.
The next feature of the tree that stands out to me is this trunk line. Here it kind of sweeps off this direction and the windswept look of the tree is the other direction, so i’ve got to kind of prune it.
So it redirects the branch to grow in the windswept direction, so you can see it divides here. I have a windswept one to this side and i could prune off this side of the trunk [ Music ], it’s quite a big cut.
I think, maybe i think that’s too too aggressive, i’m just going to prune off the upper part of it, keeping this part, and then i can always like. Have it start off this direction and then be wind? Swept this way so kind of like curving.
That always looks good, so i think i’ll do that. I think i’m going to prune it off to here. So here i go like that. Now, on top of that branch, i’ve got two vertical shoots. I don’t want those so i’m going to prune them off.
I don’t want this tree getting too high. I want to keep it compact close to the trunk line and i think there’s a branch here that i think i’ve got to remove. So i’m taking it all right off like that. There’S a shoot up here.
That’S too high i’m going to. I think i’ve got to reduce it right back to here. Here i go taking that off fairly aggressive cut there there’s another i’m going to trim this branch back, it’s getting a little tall that and this one too, and that’s about all all i want to take off on this branch.
So i’m leaving you know enough foliage to keep the branch healthy, healthy and keep it growing, [, Music ]. So now i’ve got another branch, that’s going the opposite direction of the wind, so i’ve got to prune it back short and develop it.
You know maybe to grow on the underside of this branch. Let me see how that would look. I think it’s just a case of keeping this one short. I’Ve got some new foliage here that i could keep very tight to the trunk and that would look good on the wind side of the juniper, so i’m going to prune it off.
I don’t want to take everything off here, but i will prune it to here. Taking the tip off, i think that’s getting better. This trunk trunk line looks less going in this direction and a little more wind swept to me and it’s something that’ll develop over the next few years.
So the next obvious branch that isn’t going in the direction of the wind, which is this way, is this branch here, it’s kind of sticking out this direction, which is fine, but i’ve got to keep it reduced.
I don’t want it looking vigorous if i have any branches or greenery on this side of the tree. I want it very close to the trunk line, so it looks like it’s beaten back by nature and then it’s trying to regrow on this side and then it gets beaten back again and it always stays small and compact.
So i’ve got to take this long branch back and i think somewhere in here it’s a big big cut, a big cut, and it’s still too long out here. So i was wondering about ginning it, but it’s still too long. I want, if i have any dead wood it’ll, be way back here and then i’ll develop these smaller branches at the base closer to the trunk.
Very tight to the trunk
So i’m okay just pruning it off. Here i go done quite a big branch pruning off there and then there’s a vertical one. Coming up here. I’Ve got to reduce that back like that. So there’s some out the back here that are quite vigorous and they’re nice.
They kind of contribute to that tight foliage to the trunk here, they’re just getting a little bigger, so i’m going to prune them back to here and this one back to here.and i think this one back to here and that that gets that quite compact, [ Music ] yeah – that that that’s improving the styling it looks more wind blown, it’s looking quite good.
I’Ve got some foliage at the back here. That’S very tight to the trunk, but it’s starting to get a long shoot on it. So i’m going to cut that one back like that. So up here i have this vertical trunk coming up and it’s getting long.
I want it to look like you know the wind’s blowing across here shearing everything off, so i don’t want any shoots getting too high on this tree. So i’ve got a new shoot here, which is really nice. I can just prune that tip back making it a little more wind swept, and then this one i don’t know i’m going to prune it back quite far and i’ll chase it back.
So i’m going to take it to here taking the top off that helps reduce the height of the tree. Quite a bit. There’S a branch growing here that i want more wind swept so i’m going to take it off to here, taking the tip off.
That’S good! So i’ve got most of you know this half of the tree cleaned up, but this half needs work still. So, let’s, let’s, let’s get this one cleaned up now. So you know everything on this side of the tree is kind of in that wind blown direction, which looks really good.
Here’S a tall one at the back here this one it’s getting too tall, so i’m going to prune it back to here like that again, you know i’m being fairly conservative on the pruning, always leaving some good green foliage.
I can always reduce it back further later. On i don’t have to do everything at once on this tree, so there’s a shoot at the back here i can prune the tip off that, like that, there’s another shoot growing up here.
You can see it right here, it’s getting too tall, so i’ve got to prune that back and this one i can go quite far because there’s kind of duplicate branches here. So if this one were to die off, i still have this branch.
Can these Junipers be Saved?
So i’m going to take a chance on that one and prune it back quite far to here taking the tip off, so you can see that now now i’ve got some some. This branch kind of sweeps up and i’ve got some shoots that are getting quite tall here.
I got ta prune, those back so i’ll. Take take them back to here, taking the tip off this one back to here, taking the tip off there, this one i’ll take the tip off it, trying to redirect it going that windswept direction.
There’S one in here that i can also prune the tip back like that. There’S one sticking up here. That’S got to be reduced back this one back way back to here. Taking that tip off. So it’s looking better.
I’Ve still got a ways to go so out of the tip here, it’s starting to get a little long. I can prune it back to here like that this one can be reduced back way back to here. There’S a vertical one. Here i got to reduce back to here another vertical one.
Here i can reduce back that one back, this tip back just kind of getting this. You know this part of the tree a little flatter looking, so it’s not too poofy there’s a branch. I don’t know if you can see it, but there’s a branch here that doesn’t need to be there.
It’S just cluttering up the design. It’S too many branches in that one area. So i think i’ve got to remove that one totally that one there that cleans up this area of the tree, so there’s a space for all the branches to grow, so it’s not so jammed in there and cluttered.
I think i’m still too tall on this branch here i’ve got a nice branch coming off of it. Wind swept over this direction. I think i’ve got to take. You know this tall part off because it’s very straight looking from the base all the way to the tip.
If i prune it off here, then i’ve got a change of direction and taper here, and i think this branch is strong enough that i can do that. But i might leave a bit of green foliage on it, just just as a backup.
So here i go, i’m gonna take quite a bit off there, not much. It looks better if you look at the front view now it’s much better kind of losing my light here. I got to move the tree out a bit. I’M still a little tall here.
There’S some new shoots here. I can reduce those back they’re just too vigorous and they’re sweeping upwards, so i got to take those back like that. Smells beautiful this juniper when you’re pruning it just taking some of these tips back doing a bit of branch sorting out here.
It’S very dense in this area and i’ve got all these branches coming off of this long branch and i’ve got ta kind of sort. It out a bit. Take this one back a bit here. These tough decisions on these trees.
So there’s what it looks like now. I think it’s looking much better. It’S got that windswept juniper, look like it’s growing in the mountains, so i’m tempted to reduce this one back a bit further. No i’m not i’m going to let it grow more and then i can take it back.
I’Ve got to be patient. I think i’m getting close to kind of finishing my styling for today or my trimming. It certainly got that windswept. Look so there’s the back and you can see the back looks really good too, but i think this is just as nice and you have the interest of this branch coming out the front.
I think it’s just more three-dimensional from this view versus this view, which is less you know, it’s got this as a back branch and you can see these trunk lines really nicely, but i just don’t think it’s quite as interesting.
Both are good. Both are really good views, so it’s quite possible in the future. You know i’ll have dead wood on the tree. You know it gets. The wind blows this direction and it kind of dries the side of the juniper out and it dies, and then it gets to driftwood and the tree just keeps growing.
The living part protected from the wind keeps growing so yeah, it’s possible that you know in the future. This tree will get dead wood on it, but not for now. I’M just developing the structure, so that’ll be something coming up in the far future, just pruning off.
There’S a lot of roots that were growing on this side of the tree. I’M just pruning some of those off a bit of cleanup [, Music ]. So the last thing i can do today is i’ve got to prune the moss away from the trunk of the tree.
It’S kind of growing up around the trunk, so i’ll do that i’ll get my tweezers and start picking off the moss. So this tree, i call it the 12 juniper because it cost 12. It was just uh on sale at the nursery center.
I didn’t have a choice of trees. It was the last one left, so i thought – and i i didn’t really get a look at it. I just picked it up, thought: let’s try styling it and it turned out quite nice. It was uh better than i expected.
Usually those garden junipers have you know a whole bunch of little thin trunks forming the canopy. This one had kind of a solid trunk on it, which is it was nice. It was a nice surprise. I’Ve uh, usually my nursery finds, are the opposite.
You get really poor roots and you know a tree. That’S not very good, but i think this one’s quite nice and can be developed into something into in the future, something good looking. I certainly think it’s worth more than twelve dollars now anyway, so i think you know i can see this tree, maybe being eventually either a root over rock planting or growing amongst the rocks just like in those photos of the sierra junipers kind of growing out of The rock the rock mountains or the uh the rocky areas of the mountains and yeah.
I think that would look pretty good, so i got ta think up. You know a pot and a display for this tree. Eventually, maybe i’m getting ahead of myself, but i’m getting excited uh to get this tree. You know looking like a real mountaintop tree, that’s all wind blown and beaten back by the wind.
I think it’ll look pretty cool all right i’ll, just get the toothbrush and finish this off all right, i’m coming in with a toothbrush now and just brushing the moss and liking away from the roots here, another hot day out today, no rain in the forecast.
Now, for a long time, here’s a look at how much i took off the tree and then here’s a look at the tree. So i would say i took oh, you know, maybe half to a third off somewhere in there. I think i left enough on that.
The tree will do really really well. It looks really good from the top view here. You can see all the branch structure yeah. I think it’s a good-looking tree, i’m going to rotate the tree around, so you can see it from all angles now.
So here i go so here’s the current front coming around to the right-hand side. This tree is a real good. You know three-dimensional tree. It has lots of depth lots of branches out front out back. There’S the back view side view yeah very interesting tree.
I think i’ll show you an update to my other juniper joey’s juniper that he gave me it’s over here on the bench right here. It’S in that tall cascade pot, so it recovered really well. This one got bare rooted and repotted, and it’s done very very well.
You can see all the new growth coming on the tree so again this one all these long branches here you know most of them – can be pruned off replaced with more compact growth. I’Ll keep some of them. Maybe some of the cascading ones along but uh yeah lots of back biting on the tree, which is really good to see yeah, so that’ll be a nice looking juniper someday too it’s been a really hot day today, hot and humid.
So i think you know the trees are in the shade. Now i think they’ve uh they’ll, like this. You know this nighttime, where it cools down i’ve, watered them lots today, so they’re all looking good but yeah.
I think they’ll appreciate the shade tonight we’re getting close to the day where i’m going to cut the yuccas off. I sit around my birthday and that’s coming up so they’ll be getting the big chop. I think that’ll be an exciting day and hopefully they all recover.
Really nicely i’ll be sealing the cuts with some glue white glue. That worked last time. Beside my juniper here i have my purple smoke bush that i really pruned hard this spring and you can see the top’s doing quite well.
I mean it’s not thriving yet, but it’s it’s growing it’s alive, so i think it’ll do fine, i’ll baby it through the next winter in the glass greenhouse the royal oaks. My original ones that i planted are doing really really well.
They look great beautiful leaf shape. Beautiful leaf size on them just fantastic trees for bonsai. My poly house is looking a lot more empty these days, i moved a lot of the hardy trees out of the poly house and onto the benches, so i still have a ways to go.
There’S still a few trees i want to get out of here, but they’re doing well. I can’t bring the royal oaks out here yet because they still have an acorn attached to them down below the soil, and the squirrels will dig them up.
I’Ve had that once before i lost a whole tray of royal oaks like one like the one over here, so they were about this size and i thought okay, it’s time to put them outside and you can see you can see the acorn still attached to them.
So what happened is the squirrels came at night or dusk or whatever, and they dug up every tree and took them away? I never saw the seedlings, they must have carried them away in their mouth or something but yeah they still.
They still have those acorns attached and they’ll uh. The squirrels will still get to them, so you got ta kind of wait longer, probably keep them in a protected area for the first season. I just noticed: there’s a damsel fly on the one leaf there.
I don’t know if you can see it very cool over here. I have a couple of my succulents. I have my portulacare afroforest over here and my crown of thorns and you can see the crown of thorns is getting the first flowers on it.
So there’s a couple of pink flowers coming the whole canopy will be covered in flowers eventually this summer, but it’s recovered from its pruning and growing really nicely so, as the portula carry offers they’re getting quite a good canopy on them.
Now considering they were extremely hard. Pruned they’re recovering nicely. I finished the second styling on my 12 juniper and i think it’s it’s getting better with every styling. That’S all for today.
I’M nigel saunders. Thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone. You
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