Advice on my JBP

DaveV

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Hello, I have a question on my JBP. This is my first experience with growing JBP. I was waiting for it to produce candles this spring/summer so I could perform the recommended candle pruning in order to maintain its current size. It never produced candles, just many buds that formed around the 3rd week in July. The previous owner said that he removed 100% of the candles each year. I do have the book on Pines published by Bonsai Today but could find no information on this. My question is,

1) Should I remove the buds now or just leave them alone until next spring ? (I am assuming these buds will not form candles this late in the season).

The long needles formed from the base of these buds but only on some areas of the tree.

Thank You! :)IMG_0133.jpg

IMG_0134.jpg

Dave V.
 

mcpesq817

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Wow, that's a really nice tree!

When did you acquire it? I ask because I'm surprised it didn't produce any candles in the spring. All my pines (black, white, scots, mugo, ponderosa) produce candles every spring, with JBPs producing the longest candles.

If you recently acquired it, I would likely not do much with it this season but get it strong and maybe do some light needle plucking this fall, and start JBP techniques next spring. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in though.
 

Attila Soos

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You definitely don't want to remove all the buds, or else you may risk to seriously weaken the tree. You should selectively remove those buds that you will not need next year (so, basically you leave two buds at the end of each branch, and remove the rest). Next year's candles will develop from the buds that you will leave intact.

It is very abnormal for a black pine not to have long candles. The fact that the tree didn't produce candles this year shows that the tree lacks vigor due to a root problem, and the tree needs re-potting next spring. During the dormant period (the coming winter), you should pay special attention to watering, if the roots further weaken, the tree may not come back from dormancy next spring. The long needles at the base of the buds are the proof that the buds ARE this year's candles, but they are minuscule. Very small, or non-extisting candles are a sign that the tree is weak and this can almost always traced back to a weakened root system.
 
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DaveV,

When Black Pines don't do what they're supposed to do, like push candles, there is something wrong. I have found that JBPs don't display problems until it's too late, so if you wait for the problem to take care of itself you might lose the tree.

So I would do a few things:
1) don't touch any candles, wait until next year when the tree is clearly healthy,
2) make sure your tree is in free draining soil and gets full sun all day,
3) with your hand, push down on top of the needles to see if they're stiff and sharp or soft and limp,
4) if soft and limp, don't fertilize and consider emergency repotting (consult a local bonsai expert first)
5) if sharp and stiff and the buds, although small, look healthy, consider a mild organic fertilizer
6) it could be your tree needs fertilizer, however if it's something else, you could kill it with fert. so you need to rule everything else out (poor drainage, fungus, insects, insufficient sun light, over watering, bad water etc.) check with a local bonsai expert.

Send more pics so we can better assess the tree.

Good Luck

Juniperuscalifornica
 
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Dave,

I noticed dead rings in the needles in the JBP, this could mean fungus. Therefore you might want to consider a fungicide to take care of this. Be careful, because the fungicide will kill mycorrhizal, the benefical fungus pines need, so try not to get it in the soil.

After the fungus is taken care of, consider a fertilizing program. I have found that they need a good fert. program to stay strong.

JC
 

greerhw

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Cut back on the watering and check to see if the soil is free draining, your developing needle cast. JBP's don't like wet feet.

keep it green,
Harry
 

DaveV

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More pics and info. on my JBP

I acquired the tree in January 2009 from a reputable bonsai dealer.

I live in Iowa

I did repot into a larger pot in the spring. The roots looked healthy then.

The tree is in a very inorganic (free draining) soil. 1 part of each, haydite : turface : granite : lava : pine bark mulch.

I water only when needed. I do not let the soil dry completely ( I use the chopstick method, when the stick is slightly damp I water).

It"s fed well.

It gets full sun most of the day.

When I acquired it, all of the buds were removed. No where neare the size and number of buds that there are currently.

My impression is that the tree looks healthy, needles are green, sharp, firm, as well as the buds.

It just didn't make candles this year. Since this is my first JBP, I was a bit confused.

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Thanks for all the input!

Dave V.
 
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mcpesq817

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Cut back on the watering and check to see if the soil is free draining, your developing needle cast. JBP's don't like wet feet.

keep it green,
Harry
Hey Harry,

Can you explain why you think his pine is developing needle cast? Is it from the yellowish tips of the needles, or the yellow bands in the middle of the needles, or both? I'm a bit new to pines myself and would like to make sure I know what the signs are.
 

DaveV

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From my understanding, needle cast infection starts as brown spots or bars across the needs with yellow margins the sides. Some/very few of the needles on my pine show a yellow spot with brown margins (See the pic on my original post). However, I am no expert on JBP or identifying needle cast.

Dave V.
 

greerhw

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Hey Harry,

Can you explain why you think his pine is developing needle cast? Is it from the yellowish tips of the needles, or the yellow bands in the middle of the needles, or both? I'm a bit new to pines myself and would like to make sure I know what the signs are.
Needle cast, which is a fungus, is the tree's worst pest. Do not water the tree's needles, except during the driest parts of the year. If there is any moisture on the needles at night during the cooler, wetter seasons, then needle cast may follow. First the tips of the needles will yellow. It is also represented by yellow bands in the middle of the needle, with a dark brown ring and can eventually kill the tree. Use a copper based fungicide to prevent or stop needle cast.

keep it green,
Harry
 

mcpesq817

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Needle cast, which is a fungus, is the tree's worst pest. Do not water the tree's needles, except during the driest parts of the year. If there is any moisture on the needles at night during the cooler, wetter seasons, then needle cast may follow. First the tips of the needles will yellow. It is also represented by yellow bands in the middle of the needle, with a dark brown ring and can eventually kill the tree. Use a copper based fungicide to prevent or stop needle cast.

keep it green,
Harry
Great, thank you. I knew about the yellow-banding in the middle of the needles, but didn't realize that the yellow tips were a tell-tale sign as well.
 

davetree

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In the midwest, with humid spring and summer conditions, spray once a month with copper based fungicide.
 

DaveV

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Hi Dave and Harry, I just finished spraying with a copper based fungicide. Thanks for the advice.


Dave V.
 

tom tynan

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When I acquired it, all of the buds were removed. No where near the size and number of buds that there are currently.

Hey Dave..I am trying to understand what happened to your JBP before you got it. Sounds like the previous owner removed all of last years terminal buds - so when you got the tree in your hands - it was already pruned fairly hard. It would seem that the tree reacted by throwing a full set of new terminal buds - and these have never extended/opened? This may have alot to do with the timing of the original bud removal - before you got the tree. The tree may very well do nothing this year - but next year open all those buds. It is hard to figure the exact timeline here - but I am guessing it has something to do with the previous bud removal...good luck with your JBP....Tom
 

greerhw

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Good advice Tom.........

keep it green,
Harry
 

DaveV

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This is what I was thinking, Tom. Thanks for you thoughts.

Hi Ryan, I did not get it off of Ebay. I purchased it from a man that has an internet site though.


Dave V.
 

RyanFrye

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This is what I was thinking, Tom. Thanks for you thoughts.

Hi Ryan, I did not get it off of Ebay. I purchased it from a man that has an internet site though.


Dave V.
Oh maybe he listed it on ebay too....I could have sworn I saw the same tree on their not too long ago...either way very nice tree and I am happy for you...and a bit jealous!:eek::D
 

Brian Van Fleet

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The tree looks healthy enough. Strange that it didn't push growth this year, but the buds set for next year still look good...are they healthy? If you rub one out with your thumbnail, is the base green? The yellow I see looks to be where needles were cut.

If anything, keep it in sun, keep it fed with organics, and see what next year brings. If the buds are viable, it should push strong growth from having a year to rest after repotting and having all the terminals removed.

Go Cyclones!
 
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