Juniperus Communis State of Survival

Thanks a lot Bonsai Mirai for these very interesting and informative tutorial videos. Also for setting up this amazing platform for the sake of well Bonsai practice. I have a question about a Yamadori Juniper, that I collected five weeks ago (July 15 2020) from a private piece of land in Denmark and with permission. It is a Juniperus Communis (kind of Tosho) from the one and only desert around here, located at the island of Anholt. I know it is extremely difficult to make this kind of juniper survive, and that the chances of success are very little. Now I realize, that I should not have collected it, since it had four and deep taproots and very few nutritional roots right at the base of the Nebari. It could probably have been better to work on it at its own ground, and collect it only when there’s enough nutritional roots on it, just under the surface. But I sinned, because I simply couldn’t resist the temptation to collect it… I’ve read Tony Tickle’s experiences and advices on this kind, as well as Mauro Stembergers experiences with his yamadori practice in general. I am not familiar with the yamadori experiences of you guy, as well as of Ryan Neil himself. I collected this Juniper from a ground made of 100% beach sand with natural Mycelia, I could smell it. I put it into a container with a lot of holes and a Yamadori mix soil composed by akadama, pumice, bark, mycelia, spagnum mos and only 20% of it’s own original sand. It has been very warm here in Denmark since I collected it, and I think it should have died weeks before today, if it did not make it through this important first phase of recovery. It shows sings of transpiration, also by yellowing the older needles, while the newer remains more or less in “relatively better” health. What are your suggestions and advices on this Juniper at this stage? Can I begin to put it more out in the sun by now? It has been in the shade since I collected it, and I have misted it very often since I collected it, and keeping an extra eye about when to water properly (not the same procedure as of other Bonsai with a lot of roots). Do you think it has a chance to survival at this stage? I place it on top of a water container and it gets humidity and lower temps while I’m at work. I mist it as much and often as I can, and I water it only when needed. Thanks a lot. The photos are from just before collection and then after 2 weeks, 4 weeks and also after 5 weeks. Thank you all a lot!


Hi @ShikiBonsai_6,
Looks like a nice tree with lots of potential. If you haven’t already, I would suggest listening to the asymmetry podcast with Randy Knight. There is some real gold in it, including grown in sawdust.

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Thank you, @AndyK I certainly will take a look at the podcast. Sounds interesting, the asymmetry and the Sawdust growth thing. Never the less, I’m really crossing fingers for the tre to survive.

l have a few communis cousins collected in Canada. They are a difficult tree to collect. Your is a beauty. You should read a section in Nick Lenz’s book "Bonsai from the Wild’ on juniperius communis. l uploaded it in the Forum for a guy in Serbia.

l suggest that you give the tree morning sun. lt is gentle and the tree needs to photosynthesize. Perhaps daytime misting may help but avoid getting the soil too wet. ln fact, a lot of European collectors avoid akadama all together and use only 100% pumice. To mitigate excessive water, put a piece of wood under one side of the pot so that the water will drain better provided there are drain holes on the lower side. You have to establish a balance of water and oxygen. Error on the dry side.

lf you are a tier 3 member ask Ryan on the Forum Q&A.

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