San Jose Juniper

Juniper 2013

Fall 2013

Juniperus squamata ‘San Jose' This tree was an ABS 2002 convention workshop tree with Cheryl Manning. Cheryl has been training this tree for six years. The nursery stock was planted in the ground for three years to gain size. Then, Cheryl potted it and began to develop character. In addition to the development of the trunk and branches, the root system has been trimmed so that the trees was able to be potted in an appropriate pot.

Juniper 2005

Aquired in 2002 about
17 years old at the time

In 2005 I potted it into its show pot and began working with Ted Matson. First step was to reduce all foliage to about 1 inch (or ¾ inch earlier in the year) to produce even balance. Ted explained that this tree is showing a lot of mature buds (scale rather than needles). He suggested trying to convert tree to this mature foliage, by pinching the mature foliage lightly to keep the energy flow and allow it to increase.

Juniper 2006


To help balance the top of the tree, he also suggested reducing the top portion by 5% so the bottom can catch up. I had difficulty wiring this tree and did not complete the wiring of the upper half. In 2006, I diligently wired every secondary and tertiary branch. I later removed several secondary and treteriary branches on the left back branch. This allowed the remaining branches more room for placement. I used guy wire to lower this branch. Again I focused on trimming all foliage for balance and ensured layering when placing the branches.

Master Class 2007

Master Class 2007

By 2008, this tree was growing very weak and the focus shifted to getting this back to healthy. Noticed wood rot was contributing to its decline, so had to clean, carve and apply wood hardner.


Fall 2007

Later in the tree's development, I learned the correct approach to trim foliage to improve health. It is better to cut the tips so side shoots can grow and continue the strength of the tree. I have also observed that leaving the tree grow unchecked helps mature foliage.

Restyle 2008

Redesign in 2008

A major restyle of the front took place by removing part of the top branch sticking viewer in the eye. Jinned the shorted branch, then wired the remaining stub down and left to mimic the remaining from branch. In the future I will need to watch placement of branches. No right angles, more triangular or angled then flare out. All should flow with the branch to the tip

Part of this tree's yearly maintenance is cleaning driftwood and reapplying lime sulfer. On accasion a Dremel tool is used to deep clean and wood hardener is applied to soft spots near the soil level where the driftwood reaches the soil line. San Jose junipers do not respond well well to sap stimulation caused by brushing as the trunk turns a dusty grey. So this brushing is only done as part of show preparation.