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The Juniper Bonsai Tree
An Introduction

Although used for centuries by bonsai artists,  juniper bonsai were made popular with the general public through a movie. 

They quickly became known as "The Karate Kid" bonsai. Today many people throughout the world have them as their first bonsai tree.  

There are many many varieties available.  It is most likely one will be appropriate for your climate.  Even in places such as sub-tropical Florida, the Juniperus shimpaku and  J. procumbens nana are both popular, and easy conifers to grow. 

It should be noted here, despite magazine and tv depictions, junipers are not considered good subjects for indoor bonsai.

Juniper bonsai trees on rock styled by Nacho MarinJuniper grouping created by Venezuelan Nacho Marin

The exquisite presentation above is a good example of juniper bonsai growing on a rock. 



This newly created bonsai has temporary wire tie-downs to assist positioning of the branches.  The jins (dead wood) were purposely created to give a natural appearance of age.  

This is proof bonsai don't have to be big to be beautiful. (Height under 12 inches.)  Read more about very small bonsai.

Creating Your Own Juniper Bonsai

If you’ve decided to create your own bonsai, the easiest way to get started is by using a plant from your local nursery.

Juniper nursery stock

Experiment trimming the branches and foliage, but leave the roots alone until you get some advice about how much and the time of year in your climate

You can learn on your own; however, hands-on lessons will more likely get you started in the right direction.  Look for a bonsai club near you, and start a passionate journey with bonsai. They can often recommend a good local teacher.

David Chauvin's Juniper
after first styling

This is an "after" picture of the nursery plant.  It's now in a training container (actually a cut down nursery pot.)  Look closely to see the wire and notice the nicely shaped jins created by designer David Chauvin. 

When the season is right, the roots will be pruned and it will go into a bonsai pot. See more information on Juniper Care page.

Another Juniper Story

Don't miss the ongoing efforts of one artist to perfect a wonderful bonsai. It also started with a nursery plant!

See another  "Juniper Styling from the Beginning"


Tanuki - A Special Technique

The Japanese words 'tanuki bonsai' are used to describe what many refer to as phoenix graft and sometimes "phony bonsai." 
It's not a style, but a unique technique for making trees look much older than they are! 

Read more about it on tanuki bonsai page.

Where to Go From Here

Don't miss the important Juniper bonsai care page!

  Juniper is just one of many types of bonsai trees


Bonsai Banter

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