Instead of sharing photos of the different pots I tried out for a Western juniper, I thought I’d cut to the chase and show the final selection.
Western juniper – 24″
After setting the tree in six different containers, I found that none provided additional interest to the composition. I had a few lava rocks in the garden so I tried them out. One turned out to be the right size for the tree.
View from the right side
The selection of a stone for the tree was somewhat ironic as I’d spent eight years working on the roots to develop a rootball that let me plant the tree in the center of a round pot (see “Finding the center” for details).
The repotting itself was relatively straightforward. I used one natural hole in the stone and drilled two additional holes for drainage and to anchor the tie-down wires. I used three pieces of galvanized steel wire to secure the tree in place and used a mix of equal parts pumice and akadama.
After securing the tree, I applied a layer of akadama and white sphagnum moss above the rootball to retain extra moisture and to help hold the moss in place.
The stone from the front
From the back side
I haven’t worked on the top of the tree in several years as I’ve been waiting for the branches to lengthen as this will provide more opportunities for styling. In the meantime, I’ve found that this tree develops the most dense foliage of any juniper in my garden with no prompting whatsoever on my part.
Dense Western juniper foliage
I’ll look to thin the foliage later this year and maybe style the tree towards the end of the growing season. In the meantime, I’ll work on watering the tree properly in its new home.
Subscribe to Bonsai Tonight
New Posts Delivered Every Tuesday and Friday