Re-potting Shohin Junipers in Summer

During a recent visit from my friend Gerry, we decided to re-pot 3 shohin junipers that we have been developing for a number of years. Certain species of juniper have a reputation for reacting negatively to any intervention carried out at the wrong time of year. This can result in a reversion to juvenile foliage or worst still, a general weakening of the tree leaving it susceptible to fungal infection. From costly experience, I now re-pot all of my junipers in June or July, when the weather here in Scotland tends to be a little less extreme.

I acquired this  tree and first styled it in 2011. This is how it looked at that time.


I re-potted the tree in the Spring of 2012 and it wasn’t happy at all as you can see in the next picture. The foliage grew weak and by the Summer of that year it had contracted a bad case of juniper tip blight.


The decline continued into 2013 but by the end of the season it was beginning to show signs of recovery. In 2014 I was able to do a little more work on it. The foliage had recovered but there had been a lot of dieback so it still looked thin.


Its taken a further 3 years of pruning and feeding to make the tree compact and strong again. This is how it looks at the moment after a recent re-pot and a change of angle. The next job will be to re-wire and position  the new branches when it has rested sufficiently.


The second tree was given to me by a friend in 2014. This how it looked at that time.


It was an awkward looking thing with most of the growth to the right hand side. I decided to start by introducing a shari and some jins.


This is how it looked after pruning and re-potting in 2015.


2 years later, the canopy has filled out and it has had a slight change of angle


The last one for today is a needle juniper belonging to Gerry. Unlike the others this tree is very vigorous and needs regular pruning to keep it in shape . He acquired it in 2014 and this is its second re-pot. This is how it looked in 2014


This is how it looked after its first styling in 2015.


We weren’t entirely happy with the planting angle or the pot in the previous picture so that has been changed this time around. we have planted it temporarily in a training pot until a more suitable one turns up.


An idyllic way to spend a summers day.




9 thoughts on “Re-potting Shohin Junipers in Summer

    • Hi John, I haven’t found a product that is effective in controlling juniper tip blight. I have treated this tree and others by removing the affected foliage and trying to avoid the conditions that lead to its spread. Most of these fungal conditions are prevalent during humid weather. At the first sign of it I remove the trees to a cool position in full shade. I keep the soil slightly moist but not wet during warm weather. I apply Fungus Clear but only in cool conditions. I only resume feeding when I see healthy growth. Return to health is a slow process and it isn’t guaranteed but at least it gives you some kind of control over it

      • I use Daconil (Chlorothalonil) for juniper tip blight if you do not mind using chemical control. Also work for pine needle cast. Some people use Mancozeb, another fungicide. Don’t know how effective is Neem oil which organic gardeners prefer.

      • I struggled to control it by , as you say keeping conditions right and prune it out as soon as spotted, copper is supposed to help as well. And then by chance I found Mancozeb on internet, and that cleaned them up within 6 weeks, if you can find it, a very useful fungicide to have.

  1. Interesting post, Robert. Are the first two junipers of the Blaaws variety? My Blaaw’s juniper is suffering this year after repotting last May and my large Old Gold juniper also has been very slow after a repot last year. Both have the tip blight. I’m holding off on further work until vigour has returned. I was aware of the need to repot junipers a bit later than other bonsai species but perhaps in the colder Scottish and N Irish climate, June is a better bet! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Ben, the first 2 trees are shimpaku but I have had similar problems with itoigawa. I find Blaauws much hardier and more resistant to disease than the others. So much so that I have stopped collecting the others

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