Collecting City Juniper for Bonsai

Guest article by Luka Musich

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collecting juniper bonsai

When doing this stuff, I just have to have fun.........

collecting juniper bonsai

Coming back home, the first thing we did was build a large wooden box to plant the biggy in. After cleaning the rootball of excess groundsoil, the tree was planted in pure cat litter, watered in well, the foliage misted, and then it was placed in the shade.

collecting juniper bonsai

It's good to have a good strong friend, like I have with Nino, to help you manipulate a tree this big...this picture shows his foot next to the large root ball.

collecting juniper bonsai

'Biggy' finally planted up!

collecting juniper bonsai

The second Juniper was planted the next day, and as it was much smaller I could do all the work myself.

collecting juniper bonsai

As with the biggy, it was planted in cat litter, watered, misted and shaded. It has a single branch which carries all of the foliage which means its survival is much riskier than with the biggy. If this single branch does not survive, the whole tree will die.

So it will have some special care. But, when it recovers, it will be a great bonsai, having a lot of nice deadwood details, a trunk nice movement and a balanced crown.

collecting juniper bonsai

The second tree planted up into a large container.

collecting juniper bonsai

The trees weren't given any special treatment, no 'miracle' stuff like SuperThrive or foliar feed. They are watered when necessary and misted frequently, 5-10 times a day, because frequent misting reduces transpiration at a time when the roots may struggle to draw enough moisture up into the foliage themselves. I have also kept them in the shade over the hottest part of the day, again to reduce the loss of water through the leaves (transpiration).

The ''majestic two'' will be placed at the side of the garden in the shade, where they will wait for their first styling which, if everything goes well, is planned for the spring of 2011.

All in all, the city is a great bonsai-material store! It's just there are rare chances for collecting...and those chances need to be taken...
So, keep your eyes and ears opened for the digger, the shovel, pike and chain saw sounds, be ready for some tree rescuing, and of course, getting yourself some great bonsai material!

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