Rootbound nursery juniper

If you have picked up a cheap nursery juniper and its that rootbound the roots are coming out the bottom of the nursery pot and think it’s effecting the health of the tree can you reply it in mid summer if you have protection from the sun

Before addressing your question we need to know more than you have told us. Where in the world are you? Climate is a major factor. What species of juniper? What does the foliage look like - shrivelled, brown, yellow etc, (a photo would help a lot).
As a general rule repotting should only be undertaken in early spring unless you know for sure there is a root problem, (fungal, aphids). Do not deprive the tree of sunshine by placing it in shade - juniper’s
strength is in the foliage. Do not prune the roots at all, junipers hate it!
Be patient and wait until Spring, just watering when needed.

Mick, have you lifted it from the pot to check the roots? I assume it’s still in nursery potting mix? The sign of roots from the bottom isn’t necessarily bad.
You can repot any time of year but it’s the level of aftercare you can give that matters. If you repot now then for the first few weeks only allow it morning sun and afternoon shade before gradually increasing it to more sun. If your area suffers with frosts and snow or a lot of rain during winter you will need to greenhouse it.
Maybe you could slip pot it into a slightly larger pot if it’s as root bound as you say. This will allow a bit more freedom until you can do a proper repot in spring.
Can you post a couple of photos showing the areas of concern?

Yes, repotting of juniper can be undertaken at any time of the year provided that the tree is healthy and growing well and you have adequate shelter and aftercare facilities (e.g. greenhouse and/or polytunnel) if you have freezing winters and cannot wait until Spring. If you are in Dubai, it will be different! I am in Scotland. Hope to hear more from you!

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Sorry guys for the lack of info. I have been told it’s a grey owl juniper. I’m in Australia Queensland. We are in mid summer but hasn’t been as hot here as previous years. We don’t get snow here and cold here is like 10’c at night. You can see roots coming out the top of the soil near the trunk. You can also see the black roots coming out of the bottom of the pot. Plus some yellow needles.

Juniperus Virginiana hails originally from North East America but has been very widely introduced across the globe into a variety of relatively temperate climates. The title “Grey Owl” does not actually refer to the foliage colour as is quite often claimed (fake news). It is named after Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, an Englishman who successfully pretended to be a Native American of that name (interesting story, you can Wikipedia it). I have a large old bonsai of this species that I have had for 33 years since it was rescued from a municipal skip after having been on a traffic island for decades.
Your photo shows a healthy young plant so, if it were mine, I would style it now and repot into a bonsai pot next spring. Do not prune the roots or you will slow the tree’s recovery. I use a three part substrate mix of akadama, pumice and lava. Ryan has lots of info about American junipers.


I agree with Stuart. The tree looks healthy, styling now and repotting in spring is ok. The roots out of the bottom are from the nursery leaving the pot on the ground for a number of years and letting it do its thing.

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Thanks for the info. Definitely love the history part as well. I new they were from north America I looked them up. But did know the rest. Good to know. I picked them up for $50 Australian. You don’t see them here in Australia as bonsai. Everyone uses squamata or procumbens here.

I’m glad it’s in good health to style now and repot in spring next year. I didn’t really want to have to repot them now.

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Appreciate the help as well thanks