An interesting place to find a Juniperus Conferta (Blue Pacific/Shore Juniper)

I picked this tree up on a whim a few weeks ago.  Surprisingly this one was found at K-Mart!  My 2 year old daughter wanted to stop and get water balloons.

I haven’t been to K-mart in literally 20 years, but as we passed the store I saw a garden center.  I’ll admit I’m addicted to trees, so that is where we stopped for balloons!

Nothing wrong with killing two birds with one stone right?

The garden center there was small and as I walked through I didn’t think there would be anything good.  But I saw some blue rug junipers on one side, but then I saw this one “bush” with them that caught my eye.

So I went over to take a look.  It was the last one, and I did some digging and liked what I saw under all that scruff.

Here is a picture of the tree back at my grounds:20170617_202448

Ugly, and over grown Yes.  Scarred, yup. Just like I like them haha!

A few tips on looking for material:  You have to get down, and move the branches and foliage, look at the entire trunk and branch structure.  This way you don’t just buy crap.

Shore Junipers as they are commonly called, are native to coastal areas of Japan and also Sakhalin Island, which is in Russia.  So clearly they like a sandy, drier mix and won’t tolerate being wet all the time.

As with most junipers, they lend themselves to a cascade or semi-cascade style due to their natural growth pattern.  This species in particular only will grow to 1 or 1.5 feet tall without manipulation.  There spread however is 6-8 feet.

I am personally not the biggest fan of cascades and plan on trying something different with this one if I can.  But you have to listen to the tree.  It will tell you the style it wants to be.  Trust me.  It’s important as a Bonsai Artist to work with your tree and what it wants to do.

So on that note, I’m probably going to ultimately be stuck making this a semi-cascade, though I will try something else.

Ok, enough with the suspense!

Here is the tree after I pruned away dead foliage, unwanted branches, and runners:20170618_140905


I opened it up slightly to get some light to the interior.  I also cut the first 1/2 of the top of the pot off and exposed a little more of the trunk.

They also grow sharp individual needles along the branch and I painstakingly removed most of those.  Still have more initial work to do on this one.

Luckily, I have a nice branch growing out of the bottom of the trunk.  This will thicken up the trunk for me.

I plan on either making a jin out of the lower branch eventually as naturally this branch would have been shaded out and died.

Here is a few pictures of the interior and the 2 main branches which will have to be dealt with:20170618_13202520170621_195402

For the summer it will be pretty much left alone from here…..I may bottom fill this pot to raise the tree in it, maybe a little wiring but no major work.

Hope everyone’s season is coming along, I gotta get back to work!


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