I live in the south bay, CA and just got my first two starter bonsai trees last summer (shimpaku juniper and dawn redwood - both live outside). After reading blogs and watching a bunch of videos, I finally got the courage to re-pot this last weekend since it’s already getting warm here (does that shorten winter dormancy?).
I ran into a snag with the juniper that I could use some help with. Once I removed the top soil and began raking out the roots, I discovered multiple HUGE roots (that were pretty woody) that all seemed to curve backwards and around to the point where I couldn’t even determine where each one started and ended. I was torn on what to do for multiple reasons:
- I read that you should not remove all the soil on junipers (something about good bacteria?), so I was afraid to keep digging
- I know you should remove any larger/tap roots b/c they take up too much of the tree’s resources, but…
- I think I saw that unlike other trees, certain roots on junipers feed certain parts of the tree, so I didn’t want to just blindly cut the big roots off and risk killing parts of the tree
- I actually wanted to keep a couple of them as part of the root flare
To be on the safe side (in the interest of time and not exposing the roots too long), I ended up just removing a couple medium sized roots, trimming the long/thin ones, and re-potting it with the larger roots in tact in a 1/3 akadama, lava, and pumice mix. Any tips and recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated.
Here are pics of the roots in question and after re-potting. *I think my tap water is making the trunk turn salty/white and am in the process of fixing that (it also gets misted regularly).