Juniper chinensis pruning time?

Hey guys. I finally found two Juniperus Chinensis. (A big wish of mine.)
Which is hard to come by here in Germany. (At least for a decent price)
They are fresh from the nursery. Very straight with good growth and very healthy.
I would like to wire and prune the two trees, but since the pruning season for juniper ended in March apparently (at least what I found from my research) I am hesitant to do so.

As I guess, the tree is now in its summer dormant phase???! Is that correct?
What would that mean for pruning in that time of year now? Should I wait for next spring?

Thanks for the help.

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I think for the design / styling have a look at this one:
This was a mid-summer stream, so as long as the seasons are similar to at Mirai, you could think about doing that type of work fairly soon.

I think its best, from my understanding, to make sure the tree is back in generating excess energy (tips hardened off), and making sure that the cambium has re-attached to the xylem (so that the bending and wire contact doesnt damage the thin layer of active cells).

If i remember right, that should happen in mid-summer, which is why they made that stream then. (someone correct me if i’ve mis-understood)

In short, not long to wait, i think:smiley:


If the tree is healthy it may benefit from fertilizing with an organic slow release prior to working on any styling. The question is should you put into a bonsai pot before styling to get the benefit from the strength in the foliage to generate roots? Repotting needs to happen in late winter to early spring. The temperatures are in the high 20 to mid 30’s near Berlin? The junipers love lots of sunshine and can tolerate moderate winds. So if these are rare and hard to find you may want to proceed slowly. Watch every stream you can about junipers. The best way to get to your goal is to go slowly and methodically.
Just my opinion.



I’m with @Jimothy. In the shimpaku stream Ryan says that normally the early spring would be the best time for such a work on junipers but because of all the other trees and work they have to do they do this work during mid summer when the tree is in the next energy positive stage.
I’m from Germany as well and i have two shimpaku junipers i plan to style this summer too. I think from mid july on it should be possible to style them without any problems. If you want to put it in a pot first i would wait for next spring but besides that there shouldn’t be any problem with styling work during summer as long as the tree looks fit.

For example, i repotted the juniper this spring and it grew a lot so i am comfortable with styling it this summer.


Letting everyone know that the correct spelling is “Shinpaku” with the letter “n”.
@ryan has mentioned this in a live stream before.

That’s one of the odd things about translating from an entirely separate alphabet, i suppose. I think it’s become common english convention to use the M now.

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Hallo SkeiL, du bist also auch ein deutscher? Endlich. Ich dachte schon ich bin hier allein. Aus welcher Ecke kommst du denn? Vielleicht kann man sich ja mal austauschen. Hast du auch deutsche Spezies als Bonsai? Ich versuche mich gerade Rotkiefer Ableger zu ziehen. Die finden sich hier überall. Wohne ganz dicht an nem WaldStück. Da macht sich Yamamdori Jagd ganz gut :wink:

Hey bob, thanks again for your helpful comment.
I think your are right. They are kinda valuable to me already, so I should proceed with care, though they are very straight and I hoped they could benefit from a little wiring to grow into more interesting shapes.
Do you think just wiring could be an appropriate alternative option in mid summer without pruning?

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Awesome, that is really good to know. The stream will be awesome I know it already.
But then again, which stream isn’t :sweat_smile:

As for the hardening and next energy positive stage. How can I check that in my trees?

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So I am conducting an experiment by wiring rocky mountain juniper and common juniper nursery stock I have planted in a raised bed. I have used thick aluminum wire that holds radical shaping pretty well. The nursery stock are hybrids of RMJ and CJ readily found in big box stores here in the central USA. So, if they fail I am out forty or fifty US dollars. They appear healthy now with cool nights and warm days.
The true heat of summer will be upon us in two or three weeks.
I am cautiously optimistic.
But I can replace them easily if I need to. They were very straight RMJ in two gallon pots, and a prostrate common juniper in a one gallon pot. I have given the straight trunks some radical bends to compact and compress the plants the way they may have been crushed under massive snow fall in the alpine environment below tree line around 10000 feet elevation.
So I do wire nursery stock. It is a gamble that you may break a few branches or crack a trunk, but I believe that is what give collected trees character. My goal is to make alpine looking trees. Not classical built bonsai that duplicate the thousands that have preceded them.
Good luck with your projects.
Patience is an attribute I have been slow to learn.



Generally you will see the soft growing tips start to feel more like the rest of the foliage, and normally they start to change from a bright green to a more dark colour (foliage starts to look uniform again).

Ryan describes this in a few of the other archive videos, in much more exact and useful phrasing, i cant remember which ones offhand.
But its good that you’re asking what changes to look for, rather than just asking what time, because i think its all about paying attention to your trees:grinning:


hey bob, that sounds really really cool. I am also more intrigued in the different shapes, than the ones you can buy nowadays in ikea and co.
Would you mind to share your wiring and progress with us?

For my juniperus sinensis I can see the new green flush becoming a little darker now, so I guess soon it’s time for the energy positive state and i will try styling them … yay


yes. thank you. that was very helpful. I also found a video of ryan talking about it, so that helps a lot for me to see the tree’s cycle :slight_smile:


I watch the live stream of making nursery stock interesting from the Nursery Stock Rock Planting stream. The technique of making interesting shapes in nursery material starts around 5:20 into the stream.

The experiment continues…
3 hybrid rocky mountain junipers and one prostrate hybrid common juniper.
First photo shows their status right after planting in the raised bed. Next three photos are after applying aluminum wire to compress and compact them while they are still very flexible.

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Ohhh nice. That’s looks good.
Cool idea to leave them in your own little nursery while they grow… thanks for sharing :ok_hand:t2:

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