Help With A Nursery Stock Juniper

I have this nursery stock “Nana” Juniper I am starting work on, but I need a little help with where to go from here. So far I have only removed excessively long whips, removed one weird and super long branch (literally squared off in one spot and would not make good looking jin), and added bonsai soil (1:1:1 pumice, akadama, lava). It was in serious need of soil of any kind.

I’m not really sure where to go with branch selection at this point. The trunk curves at the top and ends with a few thick branches shooting straight out from the same spot. I’m hesitant to remove these branches as it would mean I am removing about 50% of the foliage. Any tips/guidance is much appreciated!

Nursery Stock Juniper

Hard to say without a picture? It’s the icon in the tool bar with upwards arrow.
With quandaries like this I would say if in doubt, grow it out.
It sounds like the tree may have been stressed from lack of soil, and if you have repotted it will need time to get back on its feet (roots) again.
I would just live with it and let design percolate through.

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Start removing branches growing downwards. Then small weak interior pieces that do not see light. As the shape of the tree presents itself you will better see what to do. Having just repotted you are correct to not remove more than 50%of foliage.

The link is to the album of photos, but here they are just in case:

Check the needle juniper stream. I’m guessing this is a procumbens 'nana. Slow grower, are you planning on shohin size?

Also, thanks for the advice so far!

A little more about this Juniper:
I bought this guy to force myself to enter the Reddit Nursery Stock Contest. I went to the nursery looking for something else and this guy was sticking out from the rest of the Juniper plants. I took a look and it was about halfway down in the pot and needed some soil.

I brought it home and immediately cleared out any dead branches/foliage. I then cut the nursery pot down and filled in around the organic soil. I literally just poured it in and went to town with my chopstick. Surprisingly, it seems to have been growing really well. It had really long whips and no real stiff foliage.

I have only been practicing/learning bonsai for about ten months now, but I really want to push myself to learn and experience more. I also want to be realistic and not push this tree too far and kill it. It’s a $10 plant, but I still feel a great responsibility for it and I see a lot of potential in it.

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It is a Precumbens “Nana” Juniper. And yes, I am planning on a shohin size.

I really like this type of nursery stock, you get to develop the structure from scratch.
Before worrying about anything else, its probably best to go through the process of selecting your front: described very well in:
So find your best base, your best angle of viewing, your best trunkline with most interesting movement…
remember for these little junipers, you can radically alter the trunkline with wiring too, and also, the longest thickest part doesnt have to remain the trunk all along…
It’s well worth thinking about transitioning to a primary branch after the interesting movement of the trunk stops, and then wire the new branch up as your trunk…you can cut off the rest of your old trunk and fashion it as some deadwood.
Just be aware of the season that you do the work in…i’d probably do a good winter of cutting and styling, but leave it to recovery before a repot.
Though saying that, I’ve done both styling/cutting in winter and then repotting in spring for this type of nursery nana and gotten away with it (in UK, so might react differently). Thats not a recommendation, just an observation.

I love these little trees, i’ve done most of my learning about wiring, styling and pruning from these…and also watering and soil…as i’ve killed a few early on too.
Good luck and have fun. You can make a nice looking little tree.

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