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Juniper bonsai first try

Hi friends,

I am a beginner and this is my first attempt at Juniper bonsai. Looking at the pic, could you please share your feedback as to what you think about this? What can be corrected and how? I am going to put it in a bonsai pot tomorrow.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.


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Re: Juniper bonsai first try

Looks good! I'm a novice to bonsai also and am currently working on 2 junipers. FWIW Here's my two cents - do you want it to stay at it's current size? If so then go ahead and put it in a bonsai pot after shaving off 1/3 of the roots. If not then wait to put it in a small pot until it's the size you'd like.

You also might use wire to shape the trunk and branches to a shape you like. Otherwise it will grow at random and may end up looking less like a tree and more like a bush. Looking at yours...I might straighten out the two lower limbs to give the tree a more triangular shape and maybe add some bend to the trunk if it's malleable enough. I think if you water it first the branches will be less likely to snap when you shape them... keep us posted!

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Re: Juniper bonsai first try

You can start to wire and move the branches down. It is still young yet and I like a bigger trunk. It is up to you how big you want the tree to be. Upright bonsai. branches should be wired horizontally left right and back in layers. You should be able to see the trunk between the layers. You want it overall to have a pyrimidal shape so you would shorten the branches as you go up. Right now your tree has no movement. If you want to create movement you will have to do some wiring of the trunk as well. This being your first attempt, it might be better to join a bonsai club since every tree is different and you can get expert help there. You always want to keep a leader so be careful when you do top work. Junipers are not house plants, they need to stay outside in the sun. If you have winter, most junipers can tolerate a bit of cold with shelter, the pots are the ones that have trouble not cracking. Potted plants need a well drained soil Bonsai use akadama and regular applications of fertilizer since it is confined and deliberately potbound.


I am in the process of training a bougainvillea that I puled out of my yard. I brought it to a bonsai meeting and they gave me some good advice, so now I am growing out some branches and will cut some of my upside down branches off once I have more leaves on the branches I want to keep. Then I will take it back for further consultation.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Re: Juniper bonsai first try

Thank you so much for your replies, it was very helpful

plant_drew, the trunk is actually very hard so I do not think that it can be wired to get the desired shape. I do want it to remain in its current size, I will be putting it in a bonsai pot soon. The portions where the pruning was done has some brown leaves now, I am just waiting for them to fall off and then I will transplant it to a bonsai pot. At present, I have kept it in bright indirect sunlight as I guess the strong sunlight will further stress the plant. I will move it under sunlight maybe after a week or two. Let me know if it makes sense.

imafan26, I have purposely not shaped it like a pyramid as I do not want it to look like a christmas tree. May be I will wire the tree to make it a formal upright style. As this is my first try, there is still a lot to learn. Thank you so much :)

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