Phase 5 -Juniper Bonsai potted at last

Work in progress 5It was  August 2017 when I last posted news of my Juniper’s progress and now we have reached Phase 5 at last, when my dear Sue could say good bye to the 22inch large black pot outside our window.

It all started back in February last year when I discovered this treasure hidden in the back corner of an old nursery where it had been lying neglected for some time.




I had soon  put it in a slightly smaller pot leaving much of the peat like compost around the firerous roots alone and using Tesco’s finest Low Dust Cat Litter with some added Pine Bark to settle it down for some while aided by some regular low nitrogen fertiliser.

(OK so no one spotted this month’s deliberate error or was it possibly another senior moment spotted on reading through- it was of course HIGH nitrogen fertiliser)

Assisted by Adrian Taylor from the Taunton and Somerset Bonsai Club over the next few months drastic surgery reduced it, Jinns were created and heavy wire was used to move some annoyingly straight branches.




Bonsai workers

As you can see the pot really was a bit of an eye sore so it was with great anticipation that we set about re-potting it this month. Unable to do much myself at the moment other than the important task of holding the camera to record this saga we continued after first fortifying ourselves with lunch round  the corner at The Ashcott Inn.

davWe tipped the old pot over and eased the tree out and wondered what we might find hidden in the peat surrounded the roots.dav


Adrian  scrabbled away with a root hook and exposed the peat layer with some heafty great roots in it. Fortunatly there was very little fiberous growth on these large roots which were upto ¾” in diameter which we used a big branch cutter on .




After all this heavy manual labour Sue was very welcome when she came out with  the tea  to see how we were getting on.sdr
I had acquired the pot some months ago and was so pleased that it was large enough to take the tree. Firstly we lay down a layer of the large grain cat litter, Sophisticat from Pets at Home, it is the same as Tesco’s molar clay but with bigger granules then finished of with the smaller one both having some Pine Bark mixed in and some Kaizen No 2

Pot 17 inches long. Tree 17″ high from soil. 27″ across



Guy downOne of the last tasks was to lower the foliage pads on the left using wire guys which were sheathed to prevent damage to the branch. One can see the back budding starting in the foreground of the photo.

This whole progress has been made possible by the great help and advice given by Adrian to sdrreach this stage, thank you Ade and to Sue for her  tollerance of that blooming great black pot outside.

Now after all this time I am feeling really rather pleased with myself though I don’t expect to find such discoveries at every old nursery one visits.

Junipert May best

About Michael Cooper

Bonsai enthusiast and artist. After recording the rural scene in watercolours for over thirty years and having my own studio gallery I am now semi retired. I still sell my prints though to customers worldwide via my website and through the Somerset Crafts Gallery, Avalon Marshes Centre,Westhay nr Glastonbury BA6 9TT. The rest of the time is spent looking after my bonsai trees, I like the exercise.
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