Rocky Mountain Juniper potting

This is what I call,  only partly tongue in cheek, the ‘Lazarus’ tree as it had only large roots and no feeder roots when put in a box, and after 8 months in my backyard under a mist system, sprang back into life again. Every month I would dig a bit through the pumice and check for white root tips. Anything to give hope, but for months I was stymied. Then the darn thing woke up in the fall and grew those lovely fine feeder roots, and I opened a bottle of wine. It’s a nice tree, but sadly, I only had a Charles Shaw Cabernet. I will have to pay more attention to my wine stocking in the future.

The first shot is in the wooden box that I built, and then, noticing that it was staying wet too long, drilled a million holes through the sides to air it out faster. I had boards laying over the top of it to prevent rain and misting water from reaching the soil. Before there were growing roots it would take two months for the box to dry out. Which is plenty of time to rot roots…

And in a Yamaki pot. Big tree, big pot. This was potted during my March 2010 Seasonal. Late summer 2010, probably August when it has a few more long pointy shoots, it might be styled. If it’s ready.

🤞Sign up for the blog!

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy


  1. Juan Andrade says:

    Hi Mike, that monster is jaw-dropping! Congrats and thanks for sharing! That is a 2 bottle tree 😉 …

    • crataegus says:

      Wonderful to hear from you! It is a bit of a monster, as I tend to look around for help when lifting it.

      Send some news from the south sometime—

  2. Jeremiah says:

    wow! Beautiful piece of material can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  3. Jeremiah says:

    Are you going to keep the natural foliage or graft something onto it?

    • crataegus says:

      About 80% of Rocky foliage is dangly or just loose, but this is a rather good quality foliage and I will use it. I graft all sorts of other junipers onto the bad foliage Rockies. I am looking for a really nice, tight Rocky Mt. Juniper foliage that resembles itoigawa or a fine shimpaku to use as scion material for grafting other Rockies. Good Rocky onto bad Rocky… If anyone has a Rocky tree with foliage that is like that, please send me a few photos!

  4. Marija says:

    Excelent powerfull tree. I like it a lot, great movement and character!

  5. Jeremiah Lee says:


    I currently have three collected CA junipers under a misting system I collected this spring. They are covered up top with shade cloth, so they get morning sun and afternoon filtered sun. Two of them have a good amount of roots, but one has only large roots w/ no feeders. I was wondering if you could give me any tips on the frequency and length you misted? I change it according to the weather, but usually mist for 1 minute every 3-5 hours during day and 4-6 hours during the night. Also did you ever think about rigging something up to cover the soil so it did not get too wet? I feel this might do more harm then good and keep moisture longer in the pumice, but it may be beneficial. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  1. […] August 13, 2010 by crataegus Previously this tree was featured in a repotting post: […]

Leave a Reply