Juniper Health Help

I was gifted this scraggly looking Juniper still in its nursery pot. The top of the root ball is slightly exposed and there are quite a few leaves turning brown. There is positive new growth. Looking for advice on how to keep this healthy. Do I keep it in the nursery container with its current planting mix, and just feed and water? If I want the trunk to grow thicker, do I need to repot just before spring?

Standard bonsai soil, sunshine and careful watering will make the tree healthy. In the meantime, I’d skip the fertilizer.

If it’s heading downhill fast, you can repot anytime to address potential root issues, otherwise fall is a safer time to repot. Am curious what led to the initial dieback.

For me, the big question is what do you have in mind for the tree?