(former) Mirai tree spotted in Brooklyn!

Surprised to see one of Ryan’s former trees here in Brooklyn, NY! Currently on view in the collection of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Rocky Mountain Juniper. Any backstory on this tree and how it found its way here?

Tag reads: Juniperus scopulorum, Cascade Style, Developed by Ryan Neil - C. 500 years old in 2010


It looks completly unkempt.


Yea I second that, looks like they’ve just let the foliage go. Maybe they’re just trying to get it into an energy positive :joy:


Wow…Not good! That tree should never been left to go into such a state. I wonder what instructions they were given by Ryan…the foliage is obviously unkempt. A shame for such an ancient!


It’s a really impressive old tree, but has definitely grown out of it’s original design. (updated the post title with this in mind)

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@Casey, maybe you could (gently) suggest they need to get it back to Ryan for some maintenance? :slight_smile:


@Casey, this looks like a job for the Midnight Bonsai Society’s “Wiring Council.”


@BillsBayou Yes indeed. A rogue restyling mission is in order.


It just looks like it’s growing out to me… Have you guys seen Ryan’s trees after they’ve grown out and are ready to be re-worked? I’m betting this tree will be all fluffy and look like a mass of green bush before they do the next step.


@BackcountryDan - I think you’re right, and based on what I’m learning from Mirai this is the time of year to be hands-off with Junipers, yes? I think the biggest potential critique for the botanic garden here lies in the fact that they’re choosing to exhibit the tree at this stage. It really was the only tree on display that was in between stylings and looking “grown out”. That said, I was still excited to see it and the potential for the next re-working is tremendous.

Something I’m curious about, and a question for @ryan and the Mirai community … Once a tree leaves Mirai/your garden and is being re-worked and (hopefully) advanced in design by the new owner, is it custom to still refer to the tree as belonging to the artist that originally developed it? I referred to the tree in this post as a former Mirai tree because I don’t know how long it’s been out of Mirai’s care and how much the original design may have been altered. My aim is to be respectful both to Ryan and it’s current owner, but I’d love to hear your perspectives on this.


@BackcountryDan, if a juniper is allowed to grow out all fluffy, wouldn’t the inner growth die off? I would recommend that the tree’s long term goals are best served by padding out the branches. Let light into the tree.

@BillsBayou Yes, I suppose you have to walk the line sometimes, this definitely is ripe for styling And it should be styled soon before shading out inner foliage becomes an issue!

But mostly i’m wondering if they are actually just closely following Ryan’s advice… If my memory serves me Ryan has said you have to treat RMJ’s somehwhat differently and let them grow out a bit more before cutting back. He’s said that RMJ’s have gotten a bad rap in the past because people tried to treat them like any other juniper. I do feel like what we’re looking at is just part of the processes of maintaining long term health in a tree.

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I can roll with that.

Just found this tree in the Mirai gallery if anyone wants to see what it looked like freshly styled and before it was sold – top of page 2, Rocky Mountain Juniper No. 35

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Someone in Brooklyn should learn how to prune and style