Rocky Mountain juniper in south

I have often wondered if it would be possible to grow a RMJ in south Louisiana where I live. Does anyone have any experience or know if this is a battle worth fighting?

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Hey! So, I live on the Central Coast of CA so I don’t have a local perspective which is important. But, I would bet money that with correct watering, soil, fertilizer and properly protecting from harsh weather that you could grow RMJ in South Louisiana. Junipers in general probably have the largest range in terms of being able to grow in the US compared with other types of trees for Bonsai. Have you grown other types of junipers in South Louisiana? I’d suggest starting with a more modest-less expensive RMJ to start with and learn from.

Learning about micro-positioning in your yard will be very helpful. If it get’s crazy hot in summers, you might look into a specific % of shade cloth, if it gets crazy cold in Winter you’ll want proper winter protection. I apologize as I don’t know the area’s weather. Best of luck!

The only point I would add is…they do OK at -20F and 20 feet of snow…
May need a cold quiet time out every third year… maybe 2 or 3 nights at 25F? Maybe your Uncles industrial freezer?
I only have one, very ugly twin sticks. Going on 20 years. Slow growing, and loves to shed limbs. :thinking:

Very good points. That’s what I was thinking is that my winters were going to be too mild to support long term health of the tree.

Yeah. I have a procumbens nana and those do great here. I’m afraid that I don’t have the winter to give it a full dormant period. Good idea on finding a “trial” RMJ I might try it out for a few years before committing to an expensive one. Thanks for the advice.

Acquire 2 or 3 young specimins. Aclimate them.
If they look weak after 2-3 years, find a colder bonsai friend…
I would never have expected bald cypress to survive here in eastern Wa state… My first one died after 3 winters. Several others have them here. My new one is doing great. Keep it next to my dawn redwood forest in the winter. storage.

RMJ and a high mountain pine are two very different trees when it comes to needing a dormant period. I’m in a Mediterranean climate where it does not get cold in winter and RMJ does great here. I don’t actually think they need a dormant period long term. Ponderosa on the other hand I believe needs that cold period.

I will definitely give it a try. I really would love one of Ryan’s RMJs but before I got to that level I will for sure try with some others first to ensure they can make it.