I repotted this tree in March, after basically giving it a year off in 2021. It had lost a few branches in the back, I think a very delayed response to leaving wire on too long several years ago. The rest of the tree is healthy, and in time, it will be easy to perform a good “comb over” to fill in the space in the back.
For now, I wanted to clean up the tree to enjoy looking at it again, after all it is one of my favorite trees. Before:
And reviewing the photo above, it appeared to want a little scrubbing down, so the trunk was scrubbed with a toothbrush, and a 50% diluted lime sulfur solution was painted onto the deadwood.
I’m always fascinated with the winter colors junipers take on. The RMJ turns blue, and the Itoigawa turns very bronze; even more than standard Shimpaku. The Kiyozuru changes the least.
Shimpaku changes a bit less:
This Kiyozuru is from Southern California, so it make take a few more years to settle in to this environment, but so far it hasn’t taken much winter color.
I have been on the search for the perfect pot for the itoigawa. While the Sara Rayner pot has been a very good fit, I am looking for something a bit more refined. In my mind, it’s an old red/brown bag-shaped oval. For some reason, the right one hasn’t appeared yet.
Meanwhile, I have a few choices to consider to buy more time to hunt.
Left to right:
1. Cheap Chinese bag-shaped oval. The shape is good, but it is a bit large, and the light clay doesn’t work.
2. Rectangle Tokoname. Good size and clay color. Better quality than the oval, but the shape is more for a masculine pine.
3. Indented corners rectangle, Yamaaki. Better quality, very close to the clay color I envision. It is slightly too large for the tree. If air was trying to strengthen the tree, it would be a good option to allow it to grow strong for a few years.
4. Deep rectangle: good depth, but too narrow and the clay color, again, is too light. This tree was paired with this pot 8-9 years ago and it worked when the tree was smaller and narrower. It has since outgrown this one.
With over a month to go until repotting season, the right pot may still show up, or maybe it gets to sit in the present pot another year. What do you think?