Any of the junipers can be called stunningly beautiful; more and more often, gardeners place them on their plots. In addition to beauty, junipers are frost-resistant and require almost no maintenance, compared to other ornamental plants. Most gardeners either do not even think about pruning, or consider it an optional procedure. But pruning the juniper is a must. Even if you are not going to give it any shape, the annual procedure will help keep the plant healthy and maintain its attractive appearance. The main thing is to do everything right and on time, this is what will be discussed further in the article.
Juniper pruning. Expediency
Why are shrubs and trees usually pruned? Right to remove frozen, damaged or broken branches, rid the plant of overgrowth and improve ventilation. Which, in turn, will have a beneficial effect on the health of the plant and reduce the risk of spreading fungal infections.
This is why sanitary and thinning procedures are carried out. In the case of the juniper, since its crown is very plastic, some species can be given an interesting and unusual shape with the help of a haircut: a geometric figure, an animal.
Like other plants, pruning will only benefit junipers if you are well prepared for this process. Examine the tools you will need to use and determine when is the best time to perform the procedure so that the plant experiences minimal stress.
What time is the sanitary, shaping and thinning pruning of common juniper carried out?
In choosing the most suitable time for pruning, the juniper is not original - it is spring and autumn.
In spring it is April and May, in autumn it is September. The plant will take time to recover from the procedure, so it is not recommended to act after September. Otherwise, the juniper, not having time to recover, will meet the winter weakened.
In this case, natural frost resistance will not help, some of the branches may die, and sometimes the entire plant completely. It is not recommended to prune it in the summer because of the hot weather, but in the winter you yourself are unlikely to want to do it. So the best time is spring or early autumn.
Moreover, for the first time, pruning can be carried out no earlier than a year after planting. Give it time to fully take root and settle down in a new place. It is necessary to carry out the procedure in cool cloudy weather, in the absence of rain, you can spray the juniper with water the day before.
Particular attention should be paid to the preparation of tools. They must be very sharp and pre-disinfected. The sharper your inventory, the faster the cut surfaces of the plant will tighten. Accordingly, the less chances that an infection will penetrate through the cut.
In addition to the pruner, just in case, you need to prepare a hacksaw and a lopper, as well as garden shears (it is good if they are with long handles). Having prepared your inventory, think about your protection. You will need gloves and a set of work clothes, which you are ready to soak in the sticky juniper resin. There is always a chance that it will not work out later.
And some types of resin may contain toxic compounds. If they come into contact with the skin in case of individual intolerance, they can cause a rash or irritation.The only specimen that is not poisonous and completely safe is the Common Juniper.
And, on the contrary, the most dangerous and toxic is the "Cossack juniper", so if you have chosen this particular species for your site, be especially careful when caring for the plant.
There are three types of pruning, each of which is carried out in different circumstances and according to its own scheme: sanitary, thinning and shaping. In turn, cutting shoots can also be divided into two types: point and blind.
At blind haircut you are using a pair of clippers without taking into account the location of the buds and branches. This method is used when it is necessary to "trim" a plant that has already been given a certain shape.
And here point haircut - a more painstaking occupation. Since in its process you form a plant, creating a "skeleton", which will be its basis. After finishing any trimming, you need to put in order the tools, wipe off the resin from them. It is perfectly acceptable to use solvents, alcohol or cleaning agents for this.
Then you need to wash all tools (to remove traces of solvent), wipe them dry or air dry. Before the next use, do not forget to disinfect them again, this cannot be done in advance.
Sanitary pruning held twice a year to maintain the health of the shrub. The first time it is necessary to carry out the procedure in the spring, after the snow melts. At this time, you need to remove those branches that froze in winter (the needles on them will change color, so you can easily find them), as well as those that broke under the weight of the snow.
Then do another inspection of the plant in September. Remove dead, broken, and diseased branches. Of course, if at another time you find signs of illness or mechanical damage, then you should not wait until autumn. Solve problems as you go.
Thinning pruning carried out in order to avoid thickening of the crown of the shrub and to provide full air access to all branches, and therefore to lower the humidity, which can lead to the development of fungal diseases.
Carrying out such pruning, it is necessary to remove improperly growing branches, small growth, correct forks that can lead to breakage of branches. That is, thinning pruning can also be called preventive.
Formative pruning not all types of juniper are required, but only those varieties that grow very quickly and which can be given a beautiful shape. Every year it is necessary to cut off about 1/5 of the growth and cut out the shoots that grow beyond the boundaries of the formed figure.
Juniper balls or pyramids look very beautiful, as well as a perfectly evenly formed hedge. Regardless of the type of pruning, the plant is under stress, so after the end of the procedure, spray it with a growth stimulator, this will significantly speed up the recovery process.
Do not lubricate the sections after removing the shoots. They will tighten well even without your help.
Juniper. Trimming and shaping different types
All types of juniper form the crown in different ways. Therefore, when choosing a variety in order to plant it on the site, first study the information about the plant and decide what you would like from a juniper.
Blue Point and Kuriwao Gold look very nice when spherical. Juniper "Wichita Blue" can be formed in the form of a cube, and from the plant "Hibernica" to build a cylinder.
Creeping varieties are most often not subjected to formative pruning, keeping their natural shape. They already look great in any landscape. But they also need to arrange a physical examination and remove damaged shoots.
Columnar varieties also need only sanitary pruning. In rare cases, it is necessary to slightly remove shoots that go beyond the boundaries of their natural form.
Juniper pruning.Recommendations for the figured formation of plants
If you decide to master the art of curly hairstyle of a juniper, then it is recommended to start with simple figures of the correct shape - a cube or a parallelogram. To fill your hand, at first you can use a template that is easy to make from wire or mesh.
Then, when simple shapes are given to you without difficulty, you can begin to master more complex ones - a pillow, a ball or a cone. When you can easily cope with these forms, then you can proceed to the figures of animals, which is especially difficult.
But there are some tricks to help you get up to speed on this tricky business:
- if the branch grows upward, then it should be cut off at the outer bud. Accordingly, the branch growing downward is cut to the inner bud.
- always cut the shoots at a 45 degree angle.
- when you cut a branch to a bud, you should leave a stump of one and a half to two centimeters.
- think over your every action, since all conifers grow very slowly and it will take more than one year to correct the error.
- it is better to cut a little less than more.
- the allowable pruning is no more than a fifth of the annual increase.
If you are just planning to plant a juniper on the site, then I strongly recommend that you purchase a plant in a nursery, and not dig it out in the forest.
Juniper from nursery is just at that age and condition when plants tolerate transplanting well and quickly adapt. After two to three years, you will be able to start forming the crown.
And a plant brought from the forest is likely to die. Moreover, many species of juniper are protected by law, since they reproduce very slowly and their population is small.
With regular practice, you will quickly master the science of cutting juniper and will be able to shape any shape from the bushes. It is important in this matter not to overdo it and not to cut off too many shoots, as this can lead to plant disease.
And when giving bizarre shapes to junipers, do not forget that no one has canceled sanitary pruning, and twice a year your plants must undergo a physical examination.
Do not be afraid to take on something new, because in the end, your well-groomed and unusually trimmed juniper will be a business card of the garden and a subject of your pride.