Field Grown Material


There’s a large juniper bush right outside my house that I’ve been eyeing. I was thinking that part of it could make a nice bonsai.

I was wondering if I could get any advice (step by step guidance) about how to dig it up, keep it alive, reduce the roots, and repot it so that I can begin turning it into a bonsai.


Here are some of the basics:

  1. Try to keep the rootball as intact as possible. In general, get as many roots as you can.
  2. Preserve all of the foliage unless there’s a huge canopy and just a few roots (a photo could help)
  3. Plant the tree in a mix that’s mostly pumice (see: What is the best soil for newly collected material?)
  4. Watch the watering after repotting. Lots of overhead watering or misting is the most important thing for newly collected trees. Water when the soil begins to dry out
  5. You can begin foliar feeding at any time, but I’d avoid feeding the roots until the tree has been growing for a few months.

These are all important points Jonas has mentioned. One additional consideration is the timing of the collection. A good time is when the tree is dormant and just prior to an active growth period. Depending on the species this may be very important. Junipers may be less sensitive in this regard, i am not sure. I usually collect pines, hemlocks and fir trees.