California Juniper #1
It is time to do a cleanup of the California Juniper that I collected. My goal here is to remove all the dead foliage to be able to identify any changes in the healthy foliage, and provide better aeration and mist penetration for the remaining foliage.
Here are 4 photos of different portions of the tree before the cleanup.
Here are a few before and after photos side by side:
After doing this initial clean up I went back and removed small pieces that I missed. I identified a few places that might be turning yellow around the tree. I’ll keep a look out for those portions in the coming weeks.
Here’s the beauty after I was done.
Soon it’ll be time to move outdoors and get some shade!
I went to Bonsai-A-Thon at The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. Here were the trees on display for the exhibition.
Japanese Black Pine
Coast Live Oak
Japanese Black Pine, Silverberry (Eleagnus Pungens), Chinese Elm, Korean Hornbeam, Japanese Quince
Satsuki Azalea (on the left)
The amount of trees was a bit less than I expected, but they were all great regardless. The flowering plum, coast live oak, and the large shimpaku juniper were my favorites. The oak didn’t have any large scaring that was unsightly, it was amazing.
Here are photos of the trees from this show at the Sherman Library & Gardens.
To see the removal process I went through to get this baby out read my earlier blog post. I got the bagged California Juniper home and began unwrapping so fast that I forgot to take pictures of it happening…
I made sure to make the cuts clean to facilitate root growth once potted up. Make sure to do this on all of the large cuts you make to the roots.
Here you can see all of the smaller roots coming out of the root ball.
I cut these clean off right at the edge of the soil. This is another place that roots will emerge. Typically these are ripped and not cleanly cut. Leaving them without a clean cut can be a major factor when the tree is trying to recover.
After that I cut back the long thick roots to better be able to fit this into a container. I made sure to do so without moving the root ball and shaking any more soil loose.
Here is the prepared container. I drilled holes in the bottom, and used several 2×6’s that I’ve “saved” from various burn piles.
Then after I strung wire through and laid the bottom layers of soil, I set the tree in to get it secure.
The purpose for using the wood to decrease the size of the box is so that there aren’t any large gaps of solely pumice. Pumice and the native soil are vastly different, so you would end up with large pockets of dry pumice and the root ball of soil would still be wet. Having a smaller area helps to keep them similar in water and oxygen balance.
As you can see here, I used the higher branches to secure the tree into the container. I did this because the soil and root ball weren’t held together well enough to use as a sole anchoring point.
After chopsticking the pumice in to fill the gaps I ended up with this.
I then moved it to a better location in my garage on top of a heating mat to keep the root temperatures favorable for root growth.
To use the new handy update on the iPhone I took these as well:
Hopefully you’ll read the updated post on this tree when it begin pushing new growth. From all I can tell the dig was a success and should yield a healthy tree within the year.
Last year I tried collecting a California Juniper and failed at the post collection care part. This dig went much better. I was able to be better about the transferring to the pot without losing any additional soil.
This was a close up of the trunk of the tree I dug. For some reason I didn’t get a backed out shot of the whole thing, oh well
Here it is a bit more zoomed out. The best I got.
I took a trenching shovel to dig the initial trench instead of a drain spade. It had recently rained which helped, but using a thinner shovel really helped to get down quicker and find the thick roots that I needed to cut.
Here are some photos of the trenches I dug before widening the trench to get underneath the root ball. Here I began to wide the trench to be able to dig under the root ball to get to the taproot.
Once I completed the circle the tree literally just leaned over. For a minute I thought there might not be a taproot on this tree.
However, I was incorrect. There definitely was a taproot. While trying to reduce the root ball to a size that was conceivably moveable, I lost big chunks of dirt that took a bit of fine roots with them.
The taproot with my hand for size.
When I lifted the tree out of the hole, I lost a huge chunk off of one side that didn’t feel the need to come with me back to the house.
I set the tree into the bag and secured it with an extra roll of electrical tape I found laying around.
Now for the slow and careful drive back home. I paid attention to the potholes on the way out to know where to look on the way home.