Japanese Winterberry


I just received my first Japanese Winterberry a few days ago. What soil mixture should I use? It is my understanding that the Winterberry likes a lot of water. The grower suggested 40% composted bark mulch, 50% pumice and 10% composted steer manure. I am using to using Boon’s mix.

Any suggest for styling? Which branches should I remove, which to use as sacrificial and which branches to wire and work on ramification?

As you can see this tree has a long way to go. Would you recommend a grow box or bonsai pot? It needs repotting big time.

Any other tips you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Any idea what the male holy would be to get berries? I can’t find a male Winterberry.

I know it has a long way to go but I really like the tree.

(Jonas Dupuich) #2

Boon mix would be a good soil for the tree. I’d likely start by bare-rooting the tree, planting it in good soil, and mostly letting it grow for a year to get it really healthy.

I might reduce the long, straight branches by about half for the time being, but likely wouldn’t do any more work than that this year.

Eventually I’d plan to remove all of the long, mostly straight branches. Once new shoots appear, I’d wire them to create new primary branches and rebuild the tree from there.

The biggest variable is what to do with the deadwood. Large scars can be tricky to heal on ilex. I’d likely try to heal as much as possible. I prefer to avoid deadwood on ilex, but it might be the easiest way to move forward with the design.