Hambone
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Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:09 pm

New Juniper

Hello all. Some newbie advice needed.

Yesterday I purchased a lovely juniper bonsai. After some reading this morning I see that the dormant period is essential and living indoors will exhaust it. Next winter, assuming it makes it, I will place it on our covered back porch. But,..for the remainder of this season, do I leave it indoors, since it's half way through Feb already? The tree was living in a greenhouse right next to the tropicals so obviously it didn't go dormant this winter. I feel like placing it on the porch now might be too much of a shock since it has been very cold here for the last two months (north coast Ohio). Should I just ride out the remainder of the winter indoors and move it outside as soon the temps steady up around the high 30's and 40's? We keep our house around 65 usually.

Thanks for any info.

Hambone
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Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:09 pm

Re: New Juniper

A little more about the tree: It is potted in a 7" pot and if I had to put an uneducated guess on it I would say it is between 3-6 years old. The trunk rises about 5" before it was shaped to the horizontal, at which point it extends out around 7-8". I say this because I've read that young junipers will often survive fine for the first few years without dormancy, but the older it gets the more important the rest becomes.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: New Juniper

You are right on all counts. A juniper needs cold dormancy. But trees that are outdoors start preparing themselves for winter beginning in fall. They have lots of time to get ready and build their defenses. To take a tree that has been in a warm greenhouse and plop it into the kind of cold we are having seems like a recipe for killing it.

Put it in the coolest spot you have in your house and keep it on a humidity tray away from all heat vents. After it goes out in spring (it will need hardening off), leave it out after that.
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tomc
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Re: New Juniper

I had to read twice to find a mention of where you live (you might want to amend your signature line or profile). But yes, its too cold and will be too abrupt to place it outside now. It will tolerate a pretty thorough chilling on a window sill just fine tho. So don't humanise it too much.

Get-make a chop stick. your going to use it often enough to buy 'em by the dozen. Its your tester for moisture: as in, stick it in soil and test for dampness. Water if its dry, don't if its damp. Its your one-toothed comb to rake out roots when its time to repot. Its your soil prod as you reintroduce fresh soil. The list is near to endless. I do wear chop sticks out. You will do fine for longer than you think with a plain-jane anvil pruner, and a toe-nail nipper. An affordable sheet rock saw costs a fraction of what a pricey imported "bonsai" saw will.

Start looking around the yard now for a bench space. Most bonsai live most of their lives out of doors. yours will too.

Search for things like 'monkey poles' as display devices.

Figure out where and how much space you can devote to storage of soil and tools. Because one tree almost always leads to another, and another...
Think like a tree
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Hambone
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Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:09 pm

Re: New Juniper

Thanks for the info. I'll cross my fingers. Maybe I'll post a picture later.

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