I pruned my San Jose juniper today

Pruned my SJ juniper today (last time I pruned it was about 1 year ago… so I guess it only needs 1 haircut per year)

I pruned it pretty hard this time. Also re-styled a bit since it never really had a definite leader/apex (it was a messy apex at best, and was also too similar in level as close-by branches), and also lots of branches were going backward and curling onto itself, which bugged me. Also too many straight-up branches.

I will train that new little extending apex to grow taller and into an S-shape informal-upright as it gets older (instead of its’ previous “wider and low” octopus shape).

It was more trained/pruned as a niwaki before I got it - just rough hedged clouds/pads/clam-shell-shapes and not really intricately pruned and wired like a bonsai…so I did it more bonsai style this time.


Wow, that’s some extreme pruning - it’ll be interesting to see how the tree responds. Usually we leave a bit more foliage.

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Haha…perhaps I’ve watched too many “demo” videos on youtube, lol.

It was similar last-year, but pruned it then to just look more lace’y and see-thru and tightened up; also last year I left all the little vertical secondary twigs/branches alone and upright (just shortened them and cleaned up the insides of the pads)… this time, I removed all/most of the upright secondary-twigs and/or wired them laterally.

The secondary twigs/branches were getting too long, tall and leggy, so I felt it needed a restyle. Lots of extensions this year… so I turned the highest and longest extension into a new leader and trunk/line.

I think you were right about the timing for restyling, and the basic approach is good based on the work in the photos. The challenge for next time will be to work in the same direction while preserving a bit more green. At the rate junipers grow, I don’t expect that will be too far in the future!

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Yeah, I figured late-fall or winter is good (enough energy allocated from summer and fall, for next spring growth).

I also figured any newer and much smaller/younger vertical growth that comes out of the older secondaries that are now lateral (or the thick ones that were cut off) will be more in proportion to make a nicer looking pad = wider spread pad with a thinner pad depth/height (longer/older/thicker lateral secondaries + new skinnier younger tertiary growths) Vs. a smaller spread with taller pad depth/height (like previously)

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