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Changing angle of pre Bonsaï by 65 deg Juniper Sabina 2 years 7 months ago #48553

  • Clicio
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Only experienced comments and not theories will be welcome.


Joe, it seems your approach to a forum new for you was not the best. When you ask for suggestions, take them as they come, and then filter. If needed, ask for details. Yours is a good question, but the way it was posted no one cares too much to answer it. If I can see why, so can you.
By the way, I am one of the theorists so I'm also curious to see how others fare.
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Changing angle of pre Bonsaï by 65 deg Juniper Sabina 2 years 7 months ago #48555

  • Joe Vincenti
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Dear Cilcio maybe.you are right on my approach to the forum. With my respect. For my respect for Oscar and this website I was hoping for a more intelligent discussion on possible alternatives. Although I have 25 different species of Bonsaï (80) with another 90 pre-Bonsaï, the Juniper Sanina is more delicate for the climate in Malta. Therefore with the intention of re-potting this newly designed literati style in few years time I wish to development the root structure to minimize intervention for the first re-pot, by encouraging root growth on the left-hand side of the front and bring up the roots on the right-hand to a more horizontal level.
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Changing angle of pre Bonsaï by 65 deg Juniper Sabina 2 years 7 months ago #48556

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It could be a nice literati if given enough time. I see your worries with the roots, but the point is in a literati perfect nebari is not always necessary, although it is nice with good roots.
From the picture posted I can't see any interesting roots so yes, they have to grow.
The only successful experience I have is ground layering with a tourniquet to create a new root system, but them the lower trunk will flare and thicken, which is not very good for a literati.
Tough one.
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Changing angle of pre Bonsaï by 65 deg Juniper Sabina 2 years 7 months ago #48561

  • leatherback
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Dear Joe,
Please don't misunderstand me. Sarcastic? Absolutely. You are a very new member here. And the first (Second?) thing you post comes across as absurd. And yes, I did not realize you were not talking about actual dogs. To then add to this that you do not want people to respond unless they have experience triggers a switch. If you have looked around on the forum, I am sure you have realized how many oddball questions pop on this forum. And I do hope you then also realize that I am here to help people, assuming they are open to receive input.

So.. I do not have experience with Sabina. I do however have quite a few other Juniper species, and I have found they are not easily convinced to grow new roots. Seems the main requirement is to have an active lifeline (So existing roots further down). From the pictures it is unclear, but this seems to be the case. Layering could work, but I would be concerned with a more mature specimen such as yours might not survive.

In your situation I would first assess the roots in the pot; Maybe you do not need to grow new roots: Have you had the tree out of the pot yet?
Second, consider a tourniquette just below the spot you would like new roots. Then pot in a well draining substrate, and lit it go for a year or two.
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Changing angle of pre Bonsaï by 65 deg Juniper Sabina 2 years 7 months ago #48569

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Dear Leatherback
Thank you for your advise. Unfortunately in my initial post, not all the information was very clear. Also I appreciate that by not actually seeing the tree in real life it is very often difficult to be more precise with advice. This Yamadori is already well established in this training pot (2-3 years). It was very healthy for the re-styling last December, and now already has a very strong flush of new growth in April. The live vein is on the underside of the deadwood. I have left the canopy with some sacrifice branches until it adapts to my climate and has been repotted into a round feminine pot( in a couple of years time). My concern was how best to encourage the substrate roots to accommodate the change of angle by 1. Increasing mass on the LHS of the front ( part closes to the training pot rim) and 2. Encouraging the roots on the other side to grow slightly higher and closer to the trunk line. Since posting my question, I have already added new drainage holes, placed the pot into another larger pot to maintain the angle and inserted a new plastic rim on the lower side which I have filled with a pumice and akadama mix to level it out. I am not concerned about the Nebari, as already mentioned with this style they are not so important. Finally, I also realize that the proof of the pudding is to inspect the existing root structure. As I didn’t collect this tree I will not know until next winter. The reason I am being so fussing is because the Juniper Sabina is not an indigenous plant to Malta and having just been transported from a milder climate in central Italy it want to give every chance of succeeding in our more harsh climate. The less invasive with the roots when repotting later the better chance it has. Also to be balanced later I think that a pot depth should not exceed 10cm. I hope this info puts you a little better in the picture. P.S. I will be placing fertilizer bags only around the base of the trunk and not the whole pot, plus will try to concentrate the watering apart from the foliage, to the base area of the trunk. I hope this works?

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Changing angle of pre Bonsaï by 65 deg Juniper Sabina 2 years 7 months ago #48571

  • Ivan Mann
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Mr. Vincenti, so far I have never been disappointed in advice from leatherback. Probably he and many others were a little put off by the comment about only experience should reply, which is why you got so few responses.

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Changing angle of pre Bonsaï by 65 deg Juniper Sabina 2 years 7 months ago #48581

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Sounds like a project. What is harsh about the Mttlese climate compared to its source in Italy? Too hot? Salty air? I ask, because sabina generally do well where I am, and we deal with 5 month winter, frost-thaw cycles and every few years a -20C spike for a few days.

As for the root. I have not come across a reliable way to get new roots on juniper. Cutting existing roots back strongly can sometimes trigger new roots but even that would typically occur on the existing rootstump (Besides that, I would find the risk on these more mature specimens too bif). Grafting of rooted cuttings is sometimes done on Juniper. I have also encountered cases where the life vein is separated from the deadwood and coiled in the pot to reduce tree-height: These examples to me indicate there really is no way to trigger new roots, except for layering techniques or grafting.

I have a 40-something year old squamata with roots that refuse to budge. I have had it for 8 years, and no matter what I do, I cannot get rid of a long root. This year I have mad a cut halfway up in the root hoping to trigger new side-roots.

I would consider doing the repot, Taking note of where the roots are, and basing the design on that.
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Changing angle of pre Bonsaï by 65 deg Juniper Sabina 2 years 7 months ago #48590

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Italy has a vast variation in micro climates, from mountain ranges down to sun baked beaches. The temperatures in Malta are quite hot in the summer months July-Sept with max of 30deg C in the shade dropping to 20deg. C in the night. During this period there is almost no rain. Being a small island and quite windy, sea salt deposits are evident. No mountains and a high PH of 8-9 in the drinking water. Winters ( rainy season) temps only drop to an average of plus 10 deg C with a min of + 6deg C so not much chance of a dormancy period for certain trees.
It is ideal for many sub- tropical plants e.g. Ficus; Olives; pomegranate cypress etc. but only halepensis pines do well here from the pine family. I have several Junipers doing alright, however imported ones need several years to adapt to a different climatic cycle? During this stress period they are more prone to fungal/insect attack.
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