First styling juniper in tropics

Found this 30” common juniper in a nursery with strong new shoots just hardening and profuse fine roots all over the 10 gal nursery container. Plan to design some form of upright. I live in Puerto Rico and few people work junipers and knowledge is limited at best. Should I repot it it first to a smaller container and design it next yr if it does well or work first design now and repot next spring if healthy? Also how much foliage can I take off at any one time? I believe it will probably end up with about 25% of its present mass.

Hi Tony, are you sure it’s a common juniper as they normally have really prickly foliage.

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As best I can determine it is a common juniper and the nursery told me that( not that the person who sold it would be an expert). Its juvenile foliage is very prickly, especially dead needles.
This a grown tree not collected obviously and I want to know how much foliage I can safely remove and how can I get new foliage to grow closer to the trunk?

I have 2 that look pretty close to yours. I live here in Australia and I was told mine are juniper Grey owl. Both of them I brought from a nursery I have just recently repoted them because very root bound. I will wait until they recover before doing anything

Mick yours do look like mine. Being on different hemispheres you and I are on opposite sides of the seasons. On advice from others that frequently work Junipers I went ahead and trimmed tha foliage to the closest branchlet to the trunk that looked healthy/strong to stimulate growth closer to the trunk. My plan was to remove about 70% of the foliar mass, bit I believe it ended closer to 50%. I did not repot at this time.

Yeah from what I have watched on Ryan’s streams no more then 50% is ok. Plus you only do one thing per season if you trimmed now you have to wait until next year to report. I repotted now so I will wait until it recovers or until spring for me here to trim and style

Tony, if you’ve taken off too much it will respond by sending out lots of juvenile foliage. Either way a lesson will be learned…

Thanks Keith. You are right I will learn and adapt. The other thing, because our climate remains warmer throughout the year my other conifers are more active during winter so I tend to get a “third” flush of growth from them. I will keep you posted. Thanks for the input.

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