Limber Pine?

Discussion in 'Pines' started by Mac In Oak Ridge, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Mac In Oak Ridge

    Mac In Oak Ridge Shohin

    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Piedmont NC
    Limber Pine? (Photos Added)

    I have looked in several books and done some searching on the Internet and here about limber pine.

    I see it said to be a great candidate for bonsai, but I haven't found anything beyond a couple of photos of a few yamadori. Nothing about their care and techniques for developing into a bonsai.

    I have run a cross one at a nursery here (North Carolina). It has a 4" dia. trunk at the soil level and a great bend about 6" up and lots of branching to work with. It stands over 6 ft. tall and could be taken back to 2 ft. tall and have a great deal to work with left.

    Can anyone fill me in on the tree? We are talking about $120 here. I'll spend it if limber pine is something that can be developed and be worth the effort.

    How do they react to drastic pruning, root trimming? Do you handle them the same as all the books tell you to handle Japanese White Pine? Anything I should be aware of?

    Help!

    I have added these two photos of the Limber Pine. I went to the nursery and picked it up. I cut about 2 ft. off the top and trimmed up the bottom area.

    Lots of small sprouts coming off the main trunk. I am taking that as a sign that it buds back quite easy.

    This think already has the bend that I love to see in the old pines. A very good taper. Lots of limbs to work with in the upper area.

    Now if I can just keep it alive. It is in a burlap ball that has been set in the tub and then topsoil filled in around the ball.

    I have to get it out of the ball an into a training box.

    As I said and good advice is welcome.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide this ad.
  3. jkl

    jkl Masterpiece

    Messages:
    2,954
    Location:
    Western NC
    I'd treat it just like you would Pinus parviflora. I've nver done one, but have seen several. They make very nice bonsai. Here is one from the North Carolina Arboretum display near Asheville. You might e-mail Arthur Joura, curator of the bonsai collection. You can reach him via the Arboretum website: http://www.ncarboretum.org/
     

    Attached Files:

  4. JasonG

    JasonG Chumono

    Messages:
    785
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    Randy Knight at Oregon Bonsai has some amazing Limber Pines, mostly large ones. They do need to be treated like JWP and drastic removal of foliage (chopping quite a bit at once) will result in the death of the tree. Reduce gradually over a few years. Root work is same as JWP....

    BTW, $120 is a very inexpensive tree if it is as good as you say it is.

    LP is very much worth the time and effort to be bonsai, they are awesome trees actually.

    Go buy it..... :)

    Jason
     
  5. Mac In Oak Ridge

    Mac In Oak Ridge Shohin

    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Piedmont NC
    Thanks, jkl and JasonG,

    I went back late this afternoon and got it.

    I'll post a picture or two here tomorrow.
     
  6. Mac In Oak Ridge

    Mac In Oak Ridge Shohin

    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Piedmont NC
    Photos have been added to the original post.
     
  7. Ang3lfir3

    Ang3lfir3 Omono

    Messages:
    1,287
    Location:
    Bremerton, WA
    the best person to contact for information about limber pine for bonsai would be Larry Jackel.... he collects them regularly and has an impressive collection of both Ponderosa and Limber Pine as bonsai. When collecting with him and Daniel Robinson (my teacher) last year this was mostly what Larry collected , we don't collect them and have them up here mostly because WP here doesn't do so well on its own... that doesn't mean they don't make great bonsai ( i walked by literally hundreds of wonderful candidates some that needed little to no work to be master pieces) if you can grow WP successfully then it will provide you with a wonderful tree.

    In the wild this tree grows to be a magnificent ancient specimen with massive multiple rounded crowns and undulating branch structures that are truly impressive to behold.

    It appears that the tree you purchased was field grown and not a collected tree? Is this correct? not sure the $120 price for a non collected LP is all that great but it is a large tree indeed... with great age they form wonderfully flaky aged bark.

    good luck
     
  8. Mac In Oak Ridge

    Mac In Oak Ridge Shohin

    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Piedmont NC
    It is field grown from a commercial grower. It was dug, wrapped in burlap, stick in the big tub and some top soil used to fill in around it. When I took the burlap off the "dirt" around it was a dark gray clayey material. Amazingly few roots for such a large tree. I hope it makes it.

    One other detail came out when the burlap was removed. It is a graft. And unfortunately the root stock material, Eastern White Pine I suspect is a little smaller in diameter than the grafted on Limber Pine. So now I have to figure out a way to thicken the first 3" above the nebari.

    I am going to let it alone until next year, just try and get it through the transfer from field to growing box. I put it in a 16" X 16" X 5" wood box. No tap root to have to deal with which was nice.

    Naka says to hit the bark surface with a hammer to get it to swell up. I have read of putting a nail in a stick, sharpening the point and then whacking the area to be enlarged with the nail. All the hole poking is supposed to make it swell in reaction. And also read of cutting lines into the bark with a sharp knife in a pattern keeping with what real pine bark looks like.

    I also have thought I may try to air layer new roots at the graft area and then cut off the original root stock when sufficient roots are established. Wish I knew why they would graft this. Perhaps Eastern White Pine roots do better on the east coast than the Limber Pine roots would.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  9. buddhamonk

    buddhamonk Chumono

    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Ptown oregon
    interesting...the collected limber pine from Oregon Bonsai don't look anything like this one but it likely because it a young nursery tree and the bark hasn't had time to age. They do make quite impressive trees when collected from the wild.
     
  10. tom tynan

    tom tynan Mame

    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    new york state
    Grafting is fast and reliable - combining the attributes of the rootstock with the desired foliage, character of the other plant - in this case the Limber Pine. Almost impossible to find a seedling grown Limber Pine in a commercial nursery. Also - this was for landscaping purposes - so the graft union is meaningless. I thought this was a grafted tree when the original photos were posted - just could not locate the graft union. Unless the grafting is executed by a bonsai nursery - the graft union on most conifers is very bad - high abovethe root base, ugly and impossible to hide. Inverse taper at the graft union is very hard to overcome - another low graft below the graft union - perhaps could result in some thickening of the base - but this is a longshot. When looking at conifers at a nursery - you have to go thru alot of trees to find a graft union that you can work with - maybe 1 out of 50 is really good; no inverse taper and the bark blends fairly well.......
     
  11. Mac In Oak Ridge

    Mac In Oak Ridge Shohin

    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Piedmont NC
    Howdy Tom, Good to hear from you. Thank you for the comments. I'll make a few more photos tomorrow, if this dang snow will go away. It is making it rough to get off in the mountains to look for yamadori, I guess there is plenty of time left.
     
  12. Mac In Oak Ridge

    Mac In Oak Ridge Shohin

    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Piedmont NC
    Here is a photo of the base of the tree with the graft area exposed. This was covered by the burlap the tree roots were wrapped in when I bought it.

    Lesson learned! Find out what the burlap may be hiding next time.

    None the less I think this thing will develop into a decent tree in time.

    Per Tom's comments, I guess I could try and graft some buds on the root stock trunk. If successful that would add some thickness in that area. They could then be cut off when their mission is accomplished. The method of bruising the trunk bark and encouraging callouses to grow and thicken that area is also something to try. That method would also add interest to the bark.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. tom tynan

    tom tynan Mame

    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    new york state
    Hey Mac....That is not the worst looking graft union I have ever seen - not too bad at all. Yes...there is some inverse taper. The bark color is not a bad match. Have you considered replanting the whole tree in the ground and trying to get more growth - thus fattenening up the base. The upper part of the tree will also then get longer/stronger too. The other idea is to buy some seedling Limber pines [on their own roots] and approach graft these to the base. You leave the whips on their own roots in little pots. As these whips take and get bigger - you may also get some swelling etc. You may even decide to eventually keep the grafted whips and remove them from their own roots.
    Good luck......Tom
     
  14. Mac In Oak Ridge

    Mac In Oak Ridge Shohin

    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Piedmont NC
    How about I just skin some bark off a white pine that is fairly old and glue it to the lower part of the trunk?:D

    Tom, that is an interesting suggestion. Just may work. I'll scout around for some small limber pines.
     
  15. Klytus

    Klytus Omono

    It has a strange colour,like a stick of dynamite.
     

Share This Page