Juniper opportunity

Hello tree lovers. As a new practitioner, there is so much to learn, so thank you very much for being there! As I was walking from lunch the other day, I noticed that one of the very old homes in my neighborhood had been boarded up and fenced off. Near the porch, was a gnarled old juniper struggling to find a new direction. The only foliage growth was juvenile, and was a good Three feet from the base of the trunk. The real estate investor happened to be there, so I asked if the house and yard were going to be demoed. Long story shortened, he said I could remove the tree. I’ve never removed a tree so the challenge begins. What I am asking about is seasonal timing, tap root expectations and handling, and potting for recovery.

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Hey David,

If you don’t experience frost in Reno then now it should be ok. If you do, just after the risk of frost has passed as I assume that temperatures ramp up pretty fast in spring there. You may need a root slayer shovel and a reciprocating saw may be really handy for the tap root(s) if there are any. Better bring more stuff than less - and bring help, an extra pair of hands can come really, well, handy. You’ll need also a big sheet of plastic to wrap around the tree once it is out and some cord to hold it tight. Be as severe as possible with long stiff roots but try to keep as many of the flexible and finer root you can possible get keeping in mind where you’ll pot it. You don’t want to pot it in a 4 ft box and then have a really hard time in a few years with the roots. You might as well make it or break it with this tree now as it is condemned otherwise. Long stiff roots can be cut with a trunk splitter to make them fit in the new box/container. Use pumice. Good luck.


Thank you Rafi. The frost threat passes sometimes as late as
May here in Reno. We sit on the eastern foothills of the Sierra Nevada at about 5000 ft. elevation, but man I’m just itching to get that tree out. Its got some very good potential withe movement and deadwood. I’ll post pictures soon! Again, thanks for the help sir.

if it will have been destroyed by spring, you might as well take it out and keep it in an unheated garage or even outside and at least you gave it a chance to survive, the more roots you keep the better that chance.

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Thanks Rafi for your insights and knowledge. I’m in talks with the realtor on the timing of the removal. Depending on the owners and the realtor. If its a get it out now or bust, I’ll try to get through the frozen ground. Ouch!