Juniperus communis yardadori. Critique please!

Hi there,
i got this big Juniper out from the garden of my parents in-law. It grew there for 30 years as a bush and got cut only a couple of times. In 2018 i dug the tree and put it in a huge pot for the beginning. It looked like this:

Last year i did the structural design and this year i finalized the design and started to form the pads. I have to admit that i am a little bit overstrained with the size of the tree and my skillset of wiring and designing isn’t even intermediate. So i am going the slow route with this tree because i definitely don’t want to ruin it. This is how it looks right now:

I would like to hear your opinions on how to go on from here on and what to improve. I have huge problems with the lower leggy branches. I find it very hard to form good looking pads with them but i hope this will improve when they get more dense and perhaps they backbud. Another thing i recognized immediately is the different angle of the main apex and the little “side apex” on the left side. I am not sure if the left side should grow longer to become more flat like the main apex (i think the tree would be too broad then) or should i lower the left side of the main apex to become steeper like the side apex?

And what is your opinion about the bark on juniperus communis? Do you keep the rough bark or do you prefer the smooth red bark like on a chinensis?

I’m really looking forward to your critique and opinion (positive and negative)

Thanks all


I’m going to give this a shot. First of all I really like what you’ve done with it! There are only a few things in my mind I would tweak.

  1. pull the lower left branch on your upper apex down closer to the trunk but don’t cover too much of your jins. This will give more intention of the direction of your apex which should be going left.

  2. pull the left side of your lowest apex to the left as well for the same reasons as above

  3. the first branch on right side should have a more defined pad on the same slopping angle. Ryan has hundreds of pictures of his own trees that will show you the way. Plagiarize!

Other than that you’ve done a great job but my advise is worth exactly what you paid for it. Throw this tree on the forum Q&A if you’re a pro member or upgrade if you’re not


Some good comments about the apices. I think the lower branches could be raised a little. I like that they drop, but feel they drop a bit much to go with the apices.


Thanks for your advices. I will definitely lower more the left branch of the apex. The more i look at it, the more it bothers me. Thanks again.

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