tara82am
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Caring for a Juniper Bonsai ...Beginner

Hello everyone,
I am really glad to find this forum. I have just recieved my first Bonsai Tree a few days ago for a gift. I have always loved them and wanted one ever since Karate Kid, which i noticed most of you have also mentioned. Well, i know NOTHING about these trees. But i did a little research and i think mine is a Japanese juniper. When i got it , the wiring was already on it. I have not watered it yet, because the soil still feels moist. But i noticed today that it has some browning that is starting. Not sure what i need to do. I bought a book about bonsai trees the other day, it didnt help to much, its not very detailed. I have it inside, but it does get light , i have it close to the window.. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank You

Tara

JoeLewko
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the japenese juniper is better off growing outside, as it needs a winter dormancy period. I do not know the lighting conditons it needs, although i would say keep it out of the direct afternoon sun. In the winter, keep it from freezing. i had one that i kept indoors, and it died after two years. also, if the browning is near the trunk of the tree (on the inside of the branches) it is probably normal. to water it, use the toothpick method, which is stick a toothpick into the soil, and if it come sout with dirst on it, it doesnt need water. Also, the wiring should probablky be removed, when it needs to be removed is determined by when it was put on. it should stay on ;long enough to shape the tree, but should be removed before it scars the branches. this could be anywhere from 2-6 months. When removing the wire, cut it off, don't unravel it, as you can damage the tree.
Also if there is any gravel glued to the to of the soil, remove it.

tara82am
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Thanks.....

Well thank you for that helpful information. I just researched all the bonsai trees, im not even quite sure if this is infact a japanese juniper. But i am thinking that it is. If i could figure out how to attach my picture then you guys would probably know for sure... Anyway, It has this green stuff on top of the soil, not sure what that is? Its not glued or anything, its just like fake green stuff....lol... Also, the wiring, im not sure how long its been on there? How am i able to tell if the tree is formed or not?

Thanks again,
Tara

tara82am
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Picture

https://community.webshots.com/photo/551985939/2531555770083725036MdsIMi

JoeLewko
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that is a japanese juniper. You could ask the person you got it from where the wiring came from. It should probably not be on there, as it is the growing season, but you might as well leave it. take it off as soon as you see it starting to cut into the tree. The green stuff on top is moss..not sure if its real or not.

JoeLewko
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o and i don't really see any browning...nice tree btw...

tara82am
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Well there is some new browning that i have noticed on it this morning. You cant really see it on the pictures that i took. But thank you for all the information on the tree. So the wiring, what is that mainly used for? And once i take it off , do i have to at some point put it back on?
Thank You..

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Tara,

First and foremost bonsai is primarily an outside activity unless you are growing tropicals and even they belong outside in the summer. You will kill the Juniper if you keep it inside, it needs good sun and a winter dormancy. It is good that you did not water it yet, Junipers like to kept on the dry side. Be aware that Junipers can appear healthy and already be dead or dying.

Remove the moss, it will only retain moisture and complicate matters when it comes to observing the condition of the soil. You say that the soil is still moist after several days, it is likely the soil is probably less that ideal. It should be very coarse, gritty and free draining. If the soil is very heavy in peat it was done as an aid to shipping and storage at the retailer. If that is the case it should be repotted into an appropriate mix. The first step is to evaluate the soil. I hesitate to suggest that a beginner perform an out of season repotting.

The wire is used to shape the tree into a more artistic form and can be left alone unless it is biting into the bark in which case it should be cut off, don't try to unwind it.

tara82am
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So watering it , what should i do?

tara82am
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oh and i put it outside today for the first time, i will just leave it out there... I live in Colorado Springs, and its not very humid here... How will that affect it?

Sharp
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It should be ok, unless its really hot there. They generally tolerate temps ranging from 20deg f to 90deg. Id put it in a spot that recieves tons of morning sun but is shaded from the afternoon heat. I live in utah which is about the same type of weather as you and mine do nicely with this area.

Water well only when it needs it. But mist it at least once a day. Just don't water log it. You must be careful not to let it go too long without water.


Also let me suggest you get a book. This one comes recommended from alot of good sources. [url]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0882668536/sr=8-1/qid=1152220314/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-6359539-9274549?ie=UTF8[/url]

In fact im looking thru the book right now :)

Zombiefreak
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That book looks to be great but this is a heads up if you order it from amazon it will take probably about a month to get I have already ordered it a week ago. Estimated arrival is betweeen July11-25. Go to your local library as well if you have a good library near by they will have atleast a few books on the subject as well look at www.bonsai4me.com/ they have info on all types of species also so remember there is a learning curve to all of this. Take things slow and try to understand as much of what your doing and why your doing it and you will be glad to have educated yourself on the subject at hand. Oh yeah I have a book review posted on here it might be helpfull to you as well.



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