Page 1 of 1

18-yr old juniper - Worried

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:24 am
by emckay
I received a beautiful 18-year old juniper bonsai as a gift two weeks ago, however I'm new to the world of bonsai so I've been reading books, online posts, anything I can find to quickly get up to speed. There's a lot of contradictory information out there, so when I came across the Helpful Gardener, I was really impressed. On to my questions - I'm concerned about some brown needles along the branches of my tree - they do not extend out to the tips, but I'm concerned that this might be a problem, or a warning. The overall color is a very healthy green, but when you look closely at the thicker branches you start to notice the brown needles. There are several buds that are brown - possibly from pinching at an earlier point? The juniper was purchased from a reputable dealer, so I am worried that the tree may be showing signs of stress? I was out of town for a few days and my dad looked after my tree - he saturated the soil and roots, but then kept the tree inside near the window. When I arrived back, I quickly put the tree back outdoors. I may be panicking but I absolutely love my tree and want to be sure that I'm doing the right things to keep it healthy. Any help or advice would really be appreciated! Thanks!

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:07 am
by Gnome
emckay,

Welcome to the forum. I would not worry too much about one soaking, in fact I saturate all my trees each and every time I water. If the tree came from a reputable dealer, as you mentioned, then it is likely in a free draining medium. This type of medium mitigates the possibility of over-watering by ensuring that there are open spaces between the particles.

Likewise, a few days inside will not be the kiss of death. What I wonder about is the suitability of this species in your climate. I'm in a much different environment so I am unsure about this aspect. Do Junipers do well outside in your area?

A few things that might be relevant are the species, if you know it. Also where is the dealer located, are they in your area?

Norm

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:28 am
by emckay
Hi Norm,

Thank's for the advice. I live in southern California and from what I've heard, junipers should do fine. I have sent an email to the dealer to find out exactly what type of juniper I have. They are located in Texas.

Should I be concerned about the browning of some tips? I've read that this could be a problem and the brown portion should be cut off. Is this recommended or should I wait? Thanks again.

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:21 pm
by Gnome
emckay,
Should I be concerned about the browning of some tips? I've read that this could be a problem and the brown portion should be cut off. Is this recommended or should I wait?

I only have one Juniper and it has been very much trouble free. I don't do anything this time of year, but again, our climates are very different. The brown tips are not going to recover so I don't see a downside to removing them if you wish, especially in your relatively mild climate. Junipers are usually pinched rather than cut so if you decide to remove the tips pinch them off with your fingers. Sorry I can't offer more but I would rather admit being unsure rather than bluff.

Norm