Last summer I did some major cutback on a Rocky Mountain juniper (see “Initial styling” for details).
I repotted the tree over winter and let the tree grow freely all year. Here’s what it looked like in early fall this year.
Rocky Mountain juniper in a container by Jan Rentenaar
As you can see, the tree responded well to the work and is now ready to be styled. The first step was to thin the young branches that emerged in dense clusters (thanks for the help with this Dave!).
After thinning crowded shoots
Rocky Mountain junipers can produce lots of shoots at select nodes. Over time these nodes can swell. While this is unattractive for living branches, the nodes can create interesting deadwood.
Deadwood created by many years of shoots growing in the same spot
Because most of the branches are young, the wiring was straightforward. The goal is to reposition the vertical shoots in a more horizontal fashion so they can start to form the future primary branches of the tree.
I did little pruning at this point as I want to let the branches run for a while, but I did thin a few crowded areas and shorten some of the longest shoots.
Rocky Mountain juniper – 16″ tall
I plan to let the tree grow freely through next summer as I want the outline of the foliage to be bigger and the primary branches to be thicker. From there, the focus will be on developing branch pads.
Here’s a look at the tree from the right side.
And here’s the view of the back before and after wiring.
Back – before wiring
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