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Rescuing an old Juniper

Paul acquired this tree knowing that it was in need of serious attention and that I was always available to offer help and advice.

This is an old Juniper that originated in Japan. It is very typical of the type…..informal literati style with a striking interplay of twisting Shari and live veins.

Paul has just removed copper wire from all the branches and some raffia. I am not interested in shape at this stage…….just unrestricted growth, health and vigour.
Detail of the Shari/veins and weak branches.
The foliage is pale in colour and generally weak with no evidence of back budding.
One look at the soil surface tells you immediately where the problem lies.
The compost has a heavy soil/sand content which had broken down and blocked the drainage holes causing the roots to start rotting. Totally unsuitable for a Juniper bonsai.
The tree was repotted into a slightly larger plastic training pot in to a mix of equal parts akadama/horticultural aggregate…….much more granular and free draining.

Someone had put a lot of time and effort in to wiring and shaping this tree but if you neglect the compost/roots relationship it really is a waste of time.

The compost is the only thing you give your tree so give it the best you can afford! After care will be vitally important for this tree but hopefully at least this growing season he now has a chance. I will let you know what happens in due course.