I collected this Juniperus Communis in 2006 from a granite cliff, the rocks were split and I was able to collect 99% of the root that was growing in the duff between the cracks. I learnt from Peter Thali you must only collect from granite, collecting from limestone will surely lead to failure and up to this point that has always been the case. I know of only one ‘large’ Juniperus Communis that have survived from the UK. I collected a few of these amazing specimens over 25 years ago… they all died! It could be that they were planted in the wrong mixture, not enough roots, too much/little water, disease, fungus, rust… the list is endless… Juniperus Communis should only be collected if you really know what you are doing.
The tree was planted in a soil mixture I was given from my friend Pavel Slovak. It is made up of collected mountain grit that is mostly limestone and tufa, mixed with pumice. The particles are 1mm to 3mm so really quite small, it’s almost sand in texture. This is NOT normally good in the wet climate of the UK… but it has made the tree thrive! So when it comes to re-potting into the position ready to style the tree I will reuse the soil.
Two years ago I cleared out a lot of the growth that was a long way from the ‘action’. The trunk spirals and twists in lots of directions and there was some great growth close to the trunk. This is what you can see in the photos after two further year’s growth.
I see a very compact tree with the emphasis on showing the twisty trunk. I will use the foliage for the final tree and NOT replace with Itoigawa as is the fashion. My reason is that I love to work with our native trees, Juniperus Communis would be a great addition to my private collection. This tree is not for sale