Cut juniper - as a hedge, bonsai and specimen plant

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Cut juniper - as a hedge, bonsai and specimen plant: plant

Creative hobby gardeners know how to creatively use the multifaceted talents of a juniper. As an opaque, evergreen hedge, the conifer fulfills its task just as reliably as imaginative bonsai or majestic solitaire. As the linchpin in the professional care protocol is the skilful shape and maintenance cut. To cut a juniper properly, it requires some essential requirements. What these are and how they are handled artfully, explain the following lines.


Juniper has a very robust constitution. Regardless of whether it is cultivated in the garden as a shrub, tree, bonsai or hedge, it takes on freezing cold as well as brooding heat. This flexibility continues with the choice of the optimal time for pruning.
  • Juniper tolerates a cut throughout the growing season
  • Ideal dates are in the spring before the budding and fall from August to October
  • On the deadline there is frost-free weather, without rain or blazing sunshine


When inexperienced hobby gardeners cut a juniper, they face an unexpected challenge. The vast majority of all species and varieties is densely populated with strong needles. If you expose yourself unprotected, you may face unpleasant injuries. To make matters worse, a slight poison content of the cypress plant is added, which can trigger an allergic reaction in susceptible people. Therefore, pre-equip yourself in the following way:
  • Long sleeved top and long pants
  • Robust gardening gloves
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Eye protection
In addition, the cutting tool should be freshly sharpened and disinfected with high-percentage alcohol.

Cutting as a hedge


In view of the leisurely growth rate of juniper, a single cut in the spring is sufficient for a well-groomed appearance as a hedge per year. Running regularly, a fresh, young shoot is forced to beat the aging process. In addition, you counteract unwanted concealment from within. Here's how to do it:
  • The aim is to create a trapezoidal shape so that light and air can reach all regions of the hedge
  • Stretched cords or a wooden scaffold serve as orientation
  • In the first step cut out all dead shoots
  • Cut stunted, diseased branches and inward growing branches at the base
  • Guide the hedge trimmer for the shape cut parallel to the juniper
Work your way up and down and keep track of the landmarks. The corners are preferably slightly rounded, which increases the amount of incident light. If necessary, cut the juniper hedge a second time in August to enjoy the accurate look throughout the winter.
Tip: Before each cut, nature-loving hobby gardeners check the hedge for nesting birds or other animal inhabitants in order to move the appointment a little to the rear, if necessary.

Juniper as bonsai

Juniper is common in bonsai farming. Thanks to its cutting tolerance, the varied species and varieties pave the way even for inexperienced beginners into the age-old art of gardening. The cypress plant responds flexibly and good-naturedly to all techniques, especially cutting. Regardless of the specific design goal of the bonsai gardener, the following general premises come into focus:
  • Gradual, constant pruning is preferable to drastic pruning
  • Regular shoot cut by cutting the growth tips promotes a denser branching
  • Uniform pruning of all shoot tips distributes the growth energy over the entire bonsai
  • Pluck filigree tips with your fingers and cut strong ends
  • Branches with gray foliage or completely without leaves will be lighted
The removal of a complete branch prepare prudent amateur gardeners to prevent an ugly gap. First, various shoots should thrive at the top and near the trunk. Only when this 'replacement' has reached a certain degree of maturity, the targeted shoot is capped. At least once a season, cutting a juniper as a bonsai expands on its bark. Where it develops fibrous and pitted, it provides unimpeded access to pests and fungal spores. Using tweezers, the bark fibers are removed and any remains are removed with a brush.
Tip: As evergreen wood Juniper is recommended in the bonsai art for the stylish deadwood design (Jin or Shari). Before any dead wood is lightened, this artistic variant should be considered.

Cut specimen plant

The richly populated junipers genus offers wonderful species and varieties that are ideal for shapely solitaire.Although this variant of cultivation provides enough space for the plant to develop freely, a regular conservation cut is nevertheless recommended. This is especially true when a juniper is to be arranged for a creative garden sculpture. Thanks to its special cut compatibility, a Juniperus easily takes artistic form from the harmonic sphere to the elegant spiral or original animal figure. In order for you to enjoy your solitaire for many years, these basic premises for the cut are of importance:
  • A juniper usually does not recover from a radical intervention
  • An advantage is a regular cutting on a small scale
  • Cut off dead shoots completely without leaves
  • Do not leave any stubs or 'coat hooks'
  • Ideally, limit the pruning to fresh shoots
  • Make each cut in a branch crotch
On solitaires, such as the column juniper or dwarf juniper in the bucket, the pruning usually succeeds completely freehand. Hobby gardeners face the challenge of form cutting with the aid of a wire template, which is available in all imaginable designs from specialist retailers. With a little manual skill, such a wire frame can be constructed by hand. Following the clearing of the juniper, a small pair of scissors is the ideal tool for the fine cut. After the template has been slipped over the solitaire, cut off all protruding shoots to a maximum of 1 centimeter. Pay attention to the working direction from top to bottom.
Tip: A juniper easily tolerates a re-cut every 3 to 4 weeks during the entire growing season from April / May to September.

Care after cutting

Although a regular form and maintenance cut is of the highest relevance to the health of a juniper, his care is far from limited to this aspect. Following the first cut in spring, encourage the vitality of hedge, bonsai and specimen plant in this way:
  • Water young junipers regularly and abundantly
  • Let the soil dry between the waterings
  • Well-established woody plants water only in summer dryness
  • Once a month incorporate mature compost into the soil
  • Alternatively, administer a special juniper fertilizer
In the bucket a juniper is a bit more intensive care. Considering the very limited substrate volume, regular irrigation is mandatory even for older specimens. In addition, hibernation requires special precautions. While Juniperus need no special protection in the field, there is a risk in the planter that the root ball will freeze. Wrap the bucket with bubble wrap and place it on wood, polystyrene or an alternative, insulating material. Cover the substrate with a layer of leaves, pine needles or straw. It is important to note that with Kahlfrost a juniper is to be watered on frost-free days. If it is extremely cold, while the moisturizing snow is absent, the trees are threatened by drought stress.
ConclusionTo successfully cut a juniper, a gradual, regular approach is the topmost directive. Limit the shape and maintenance cut to the fresh shoot, this prudence promotes the further branching and maintains the vitality of the plant. Since the time window for the pruning is open during the entire vegetation period, there is nothing wrong with reaching for a Juniperus more often to the shears. This premise is valid for cultivation as hedge, bonsai and specimen plant alike.

Video Board: How to create Bonsai from Needle Juniper.

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