Juniper advice…needed!

Some signs of stress…or signs of disease.

Overall color diminished (gray green instead of green) and signs of browning and some loss of tips after a first major repot over a month ago.

Did have to do some root reduction and soil removal to get a tree that had always been in a large plastic tub, but which showed signs of needing freshened soil and foliage thinning (removing old dead material)…but since the repot into a “native Akadama” it seems to have taken a step back.

Have been trying to keep well watered…especially during hot spells…and pot drains well.

Have not fertilized since the repot, waiting for signs of acclimation…

So first, does this look normal for a repot that was a bit late in the season…or does this look like disease?

Any help with diagnosis would be appreciated…along with advice for what to do next.


What type of Juniper is it and what made you go with 100% “native akadama”?

Unsure as to specific type…bought from a Bonsai Nursery going out of business in Oregon during the height of the pandemic but it looks like other Itoigawa juniper I have.

The soil choice was because I thought it would be a good fit for the tree. It is likely residual clays after breakdown of basalt. High aluminum and iron (like Akadama) and holds together fairly well, remaining free draining. The other answer is that it is what I have on hand and other plants seem to have done well in it.

I hope that the signs of disease or distress would be obvious to those who have handled junipers more than have I…and hoped that the signs might help me diagnose what is going poorly.

My hope is that it is just a bit of repotting shock mixed with the height of summer. Looking at another planting of Itoigawa, I do see some minor signs of the same thing…and that set of trees had been in the same pot for several years now in standard Boon mix of 1:1:1 scoria/pumice/Akadama.

My question comes from thinking along the lines people have with juniper communis in akadama mixes. I have no experience personally and actually have no juniper bonsai experience at all but figured if I teed up the line of thought there would be a someone on here who has the experience!

My limited experience says it looks like a potential side effect of a roots related issue…too wet too long ( I don’t think strangers guessing on the Internet is a viable answer for the time you put into this) but ask someone who knows or pretends to know and goodluck