Repotting Junipers

Juniperus Chinensis-Sargentii Viridis

This plant has been in a colander for 4 years.

I understand they get strength from foliage.

Do you think It can be transplanted and root pruned into a better training pot without trimming the foliage???
Will less roots be able to support the foliage???

Yes, I don’t think you need to trim the foliage if you trim the roots. I’ve heard people suggest balancing the foliage mass with the roots and I think that’s not a good thing to do. In fact if you repot, I would usually not do anything else at the same time-don’t wire and style or cut the foliage. When I collect junipers, even if they don’t have as many roots as I would like I don’t remove any of the foliage. The foliage will help the tree grow new roots during the spring.

Check out this article on Big Sexy, I think it’s a great example of how Juniper foliage helps grow roots.

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I’ve heard conflicting opinions/explanations aswell. Peter does cut off some of the foliage in the article you link. I must say that most of the more knowledgeable people advocate cutting some foliage.

In those cases I fall back to the following adage (as an element of assessing who is in the right): “The collection of a bonsaist shows his competence”.

It’s true, he does cut some foliage in that article. But what I remember from the article is that it doesn’t have anything to do with balancing strength. He’s only cutting away a portion of the tree that he knows he won’t use, and he cut those roots away as well. – If you notice when the tree was collected all of the foliage was left, and basically no roots were collected.


Thanks everyone.

When The snow melts (hopefully before next weekend) I will repot and only prune what will not be needed for the final design unless I feel it will be needed for the health of the tree.
Thanks again.

This is what he wrote beneath the picture: “During the repotting process, I went through the tree and cut a few branches off so that the roots don’t have to work as hard to support the foliage. Balancing the root mass to the foliage mass is very helpful when working with newly collected trees. This could be the difference between life and death of the tree.

I have to agree with regards to the root amount left in the collection paragraph. Although, from what I read, Peter did not collect this himself. He states, several times, that he bought the tree. As I read the text, we have no real certainty if the foliage has/has not been cut at the time of collecting.

A friend and I collected Big Sexy, although he did the aftercare on the tree. He did not cut any of the foliage off when he collected it. You are correct, it looks like from Peter’s words he did say that He cut off foliage to balance the root mass. I’ve worked with Peter before and he is far more knowledgeable than I am. So maybe this is more of a questionable issue than I thought. Just from my experience, the junipers(California, Utah and Sierra) I’ve collected have seemed to do better when I did not cut any of the foliage back. Dan, do you ever remove any of the foliage on RM Juniper when you collect? I know Boon does not and I’ve heard Ryan Neil explain that Junipers get their energy from foliage and you should not balance the foliage with the roots.

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