Pinching/Pruning Juniper Question

cynthia15April 22, 2006

I just repotted my Juniper in a training pot..if anyone could help with a couple of questions that would be great.

1. When repotting how long do you wait to start fertilizing? I read that I should wait two/three weeks before fertilizing..(just making sure)

2. When pinching how do you know what to pinch? (I pinch the green buds that are growing from the limb, but what if I want to get rid of the little/small limbs with growth? I know I shouldn't cut with scissors because of the reaction to the plant but I can't pinch small limbs off!

3. And can Junipers have double trunk?

Thanks for all the help in advance


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You can fertilize more or less anytime, but waiting a couple of wks won't matter to anything. Pinch out the lighter green bud 'ends', but if you want to prune off small branches, either twist them off as cleanly as possible if they're very small, or use a sharp clean knife. It has to be done somehow. Almost anything can have a double trunk, it's just that we're so used to seeing them alone on mallsai! Or if you're asking is it 'allowed' in bonsai, it would depend on the tree (and your pref.).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 4:50AM
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Thank you Lucy for the response..was wondering if anyone was going to reply..that info helps a lot in putting things into perspective..these trees are a lot like animals..they require a lot of time and attention..but is it ever so calming to work on these little trees..its all worth it in the end..

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 10:24PM
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Junipers can be pinched back by using tweezers and plants should not be fertilized after repotting until you see new growth. If you fertilize before you see new growth you run the risk of infecting the plant through its root system.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 9:36AM
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That's nonsense Ewan (nothing personal!) - it's just not true, and long time experts advocate doing it at any time and after repotting. There's no way to infect a plant with fertilizer unless the plant is already infected with something anyway.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 4:42PM
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bonsaikc(z5-6 KCMO)

Lucy is right, there is a tremendous amount of nonsense out there that is preached as gospel.

We all heard at the local bonsai club, that the way to keep junipers compact was to pinch out all the growing tips with our fingertips. "Don't use scissors! The steel will react badly with the bark!" Nothing could be further from the truth.

The problem with continually pinching out the growing tips of junipers is that it weakens the tree. People are always worried about brown tips on their tree, well, pinching causes it.

To properly style a juniper, feed it very heavily and get it healthy and strong. Allow the growing tips to grow far beyond the outline you have in mind. You want just as much healthy growth as you can possibly get, because that strength is what will help the tree develop in the way you want once the pruning is done. (By the way, that's good advice for every bonsai tree).

When the foliage is intensely green, and the long whips are doing their thing, you may style your juniper in early spring. Start by pinching out suckers, small growth in the crotch of branches, very weak growth that will never become a branch, etc. When you have your tree cleaned up, then prune for shape. Once your pruning is done, wire every branch right down to the smallest tuft of foliage. It is by arranging this foliage that you will shape your tree into something to be proud of.

Here is a link that might be useful: My wiring article

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 3:07PM
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