Removal of bark on Shimpaku juniper

A few questions on the removal of the existing flakey bark on a Shimpaku. I do not wish to create jin or shari, rather to just remove the flakey grey bark to get to the reddish bark underneath.

  • is this best done at any particular time of the year?
  • will this reduce the overall health of the tree or make it susceptible to pathogens or heat stress?
  • what is the recommended material to rub on to make the reddish color stand out?
  • are there pitfalls to this process? My intention is to peel as much bark off as possible by hand followed by a brass brush and finally some fine sand paper.

Thank you for your time.

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  • Any time of year is OK for cleaning the bark.
  • I expect this to have no effect on the health of the tree (I haven’t seen or heard of such an effect)
  • Some people use natural oils, but I recommend leaving the trunk dry. Using a brush or very fine sandpaper can yield an attractive look
  • The only pitfall is that it can be tricky to avoid going too far and causing a small injury during the cleaning process. If the work is done with care, I don’t expect any problems to arise, but you may see sap pool at the cut site.
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