Bonsai Demystified

What does the term “Bonsai Demystified” mean to you ?


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That I’ll finally understand how to work on a JBP. :stuck_out_tongue:

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How to collect and keep a common juniper alive.

When removing branches is not an exercise in anxiety, trauma, and regret! Yeah, I think that’s it.

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I can’t help much for the first part as I haven’t tried yet, but for the second part… fast draining soil (lava with some composted bark) and full sun. Water and feed a lot. I can ask more details from a fellow club member as he’s successfully kept common junipers alive in pots for more than 20 years. He tried explaining how to manage the foliage two meetings ago, but I wasn’t very attentive as I don’t own one.

I had a communis stricta a few years ago and it died on me after a simple-ish operation… I repotted it, then tried bending the trunk a few months later after wrapping it in wet raphia. The live vein tore away and it just died in no time. From what I read since, it could simply be that I tried bending it at the wrong time. I may try one again in a few years, but they’re basically too fussy for me at this stage.

For the survival after collection, what I’ve been told is that people try to work on them too soon. They’re very weak post-collection and change of environment. The late Laurent Breysse recommended just cultivating them for 5 years post-collection to let them recover, and to use those 5 years to try and develop new branches close to the trunk as old ones may not survive bending. He also recommended to always leave them alone for 12 months each time you repot them.

Thank you for the advice! I collected one this fall (2 months ago) and so far it seems to be doing quite well. It hasn’t lost any branches and only a handful of needles have turned brown. I didn’t touch the roots at all, the soil was quite sandy so it should drain fairly well, and potted it in pure pumice. I definitely won’t be in a rush with it, I will let it recover at least two full growing seasons before I do any styling to it.

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