Juniper Yamadori Aftercare

I collected a large juniper 77 days ago. The rootball fell apart getting it into the grow box so I’ve been very intentional with its aftercare. All this time it’s sat in the shade, out of the wind, and been misted 10 times a day.

The tree is still alive, but the foliage tells a confusing story. Some has died, crispy brown, maybe 2% of the canopy, not particularly concerning.

I’d say 80% of the green foliage has gray tips. By tips I mean the very tips, like less that 1/16". Here’s what that looks like.

15% of the foliage is entirely green, unchanged from collection. No new growth to speak of. Here’s a close up comparison of the green foliage (left) and the foliage with gray tips (right).

Scratch test shows green.

My two main questions are:

  1. Should I continue to mist, or reduce?
  2. Should I put the tree in full sun?

Any other advise or thoughts appreciated!

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Randy Knight suggests keeping the tree in full shade or dappled sun until you start to see new growth OR roots creeping out of the bottom. I’ve also heard Ryan talk about branch die-off being a good sign. The tree is simply adjusting to what the new root system can support.

From what I’ve read… misting reduces transpiration, but can inhibit new growth as a result. If it were my tree – and since you’re 77 days out from collection – I’d probably pull back on the misting, introduce a balanced organic fertilizer and move from full shade to an area with morning sun and afternoon shade. Wait a few weeks to see how the tree responds and then adjust from there.

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I had the same thought about branch die-back, must have heard the same from Ryan. I have cut misting in half as of today, so we’ll see. What do you make of the gray tips, any thoughts? Thanks for the comment!

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I’m not so sure on the gray tips – the foliage looks pretty healthy overall though.

I would consider pulling back on the misting entirely. Misting is only useful after a traumatic repot or collection process where the roots are so damaged that they’re incapable of carrying water/sugar/starches through the vascular system. You really want to encourage new growth at this point and continuing to mist (even at 50%) will prohibit that.

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