February 16th 2015 we worked on a landscape project involving a tear down of an old juniper mass that have been in the landscape for more than 50 years. For someone who is not involved in bonsai, these junipers are garbage, nuisance, and lots of work to remove. And it was a lot of work. For a bonsai person like me, that mass of junipers is like bonsai heaven. It is a gamble to invest all the work on these plants. They have been in the ground for a while and may not have enough fine roots close enough to the trunk to keep it alive. I took that gamble and risk, and instead of throwing away these junipers I saved about a dozen of the shrubs that show future potential. Dave de Groot once told me that junipers need their foliage to help their roots grow. Keeping this in mind I made sure that any clump we save dmust have enough foliage to support the roots. I also know that the roots must be in a soil media that will keep enough moisture but well draining enough that it will not rot the roots. It’s now about a month and a half later, so far the junipers are still showing continued signs of life…..Crossing my fingers, of course. Once I see them healthy, these junipers are hidden gems, they slowly get polished. In 4 to 5 years these ugly junipers could be amazing. I plan to graft shimpaku foliage on some of these.