Are all JBP created equal?

Zappa

Yamadori
Messages
99
Reaction score
1
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
USDA Zone
7
I reciently trolled a local home depot...I spied a JBP but the needles were huge (>2")...are plants with needles this big able to be reduced to look realistic for a shohin? Should they only be used for dai or should they be used at all? Are there special cultivars that bonsai enthusiasts should stick to?
 
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
12
Location
Ottawa, KS
USDA Zone
6
I reciently trolled a local home depot...I spied a JBP but the needles were huge (>2")...are plants with needles this big able to be reduced to look realistic for a shohin? Should they only be used for dai or should they be used at all? Are there special cultivars that bonsai enthusiasts should stick to?

Left to their own devices, Japanese black pines can grow needles up to six inches long. Check out my thread, "A Good Time was Had by All."

Check out how long the needles are on Ciro's black pine. When the tree is ready, we can get the needles to proper proportion through energy balancing techniques like candling and needle pulling.

Your more likely problem with a Home Depot JBP will be the tangle of roots in the pot. If that doesn't bother you, I would suggest buying the tree and using it in your learning process.
 

Brent

Mame
Messages
210
Reaction score
214
Location
Lake County, Northern California
Yes, as Chris says, needle reduction on species Pinus thunbergii is possible from over six inches to just under one inch (if you are brave enough). However, most people not familiar with pines tend to try to reduce needle length first shot out of the gun. Needle reduction is a finishing technique and in most cases will just slow down your training plan and general growth.

There are a few cultivars that have shorter needles, although there is also a concomitant loss in growth rate (for most). Probably the finest of the short needled cvs is 'Koto Buki', whose full size needles are about 1 1/2 inch, but the growth is painfully slow on this dwarf. 'Shun Sho' has the shortest needles of all, about 1 inch full size, but the tree's growth habit is fairly normal, making a bizarre looking tree that appears almost fuzzy or furry instead of conifer-like. This can be overcome somewhat with expert training. The best all around short needled, tight internode cvs are 'Yatsubusa' and it's closely related cousins 'Ban Sho Ho' and 'Thunderhead'. Of these three, 'Yatsubusa' is the shortest and tightest. Full size needle length is about 2 to 3 inches, but can easily be reduced to about 1 inch. The beauty of 'Yatsubusa' and to a slightly lesser extent the other two cvs, is its tight internodes and back budding ability. 'Yatsubusa' will break buds internodally almost as easily as in the whorl, and will break buds on quite old wood. Grafting on all of these is not much of a problem, but it still should be performed as low as possible.

Two Nishiki (cork bark) cvs that show good dwarfing characteristics are 'Brocade' and 'Hayabusa'. Full size needle length on these two is nothing to write home about, around 4 inches, but most Nishiki cvs are longer than that, and both of these have a remarkable ability to reduce needle length enormously, to little over one inch. Both have excellent back budding ability and are quite similar to 'Yatsubusa' in growth habit. Additionally, both of these will start forming corky bark at a young age. My two year old grafts are already starting to 'crack' at the base.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
 

tom tynan

Mame
Messages
144
Reaction score
0
Location
new york state
Although a home depot JBP may be available - shouldn't one also look to see whether it is a grafted tree - which it likely is and then more importantly is the graft high above the rootstock where it will be forever visible. One of these JBP from a big box store may be a useful learning tree - but cost issues aside [$30 to $40 or more] I am not sure what can be gained. Also...the distance and location between branches may make it impossible to create a reasonable tree without using other techniques [such as grafting]. In fact - it may have no useful lower branches ......which is exactly what you need in the development phase to create a fat base and some taper.......

It is a combination of time and cost [both of which are yours to be spent] - so you may want to consider buying a JBP from someone like an Evergreen Gardenworks - where you get high quality material that is started off correctly. Then in 3-5-7 years down the road you may have a quality tree.

This line of thought has been stated before on this site by others as well - but I thought it worth repeating.

Tom
 
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
12
Location
Ottawa, KS
USDA Zone
6
Tom,
I bought a bunch of these inexpensive Japanese black pines years ago rom Walmart. I found that none of them were grafted. They aren't special cultivars, my belief is that they are the standard seedlings that would be normally used as rootstock as opposed to scions.

The tangled roots are of course a major drawback to a tree ever becoming a good tree, unless you get very lucky and can use them as a feature. However, the $5 I spent on each one was repaid many times as I learned to experiment on them and keep them healthy.
 

John Hill

Mame
Messages
187
Reaction score
2
Location
oHIo zone 5b
Tom,
I bought a bunch of these inexpensive Japanese black pines years ago rom Walmart. I found that none of them were grafted. They aren't special cultivars, my belief is that they are the standard seedlings that would be normally used as rootstock as opposed to scions.

The tangled roots are of course a major drawback to a tree ever becoming a good tree, unless you get very lucky and can use them as a feature. However, the $5 I spent on each one was repaid many times as I learned to experiment on them and keep them healthy.

I agree Chris, this is one that I purchased at either Walmart or home depot and it could of been sutherlands. The roots on it was a bit tangled in a circle but I have been working on them and I think it is headed in the right direction.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

Attachments

  • bp.jpg
    bp.jpg
    65 KB · Views: 64

Graydon

Chumono
Messages
717
Reaction score
7
John - I loved how you greeked out the Budwiser. I laughed out loud as I used to do props on some TV series and had to creatively greek out brands all the time. I always wanted to simply put some black gaff over the name and call it done.

Not a bad tree either...
 

John Hill

Mame
Messages
187
Reaction score
2
Location
oHIo zone 5b
John - I loved how you greeked out the Budwiser. I laughed out loud as I used to do props on some TV series and had to creatively greek out brands all the time. I always wanted to simply put some black gaff over the name and call it done.

Not a bad tree either...

LOL!
Yea I looked in the trash can I have out by my trees but could not for the life of me find a pop can (go figure) So I pulled out the old bud and thought I would tape it cause I was not advertising ;)
Didn't think anyone would catch it,,Good Eye my man!!

A Friend in bonsai
John
 
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
12
Location
Ottawa, KS
USDA Zone
6
John,
That's nice work. The ones I could find were always much worse than that in their tangliness.
 

Ashbarns

Mame
Messages
131
Reaction score
3
Location
Victoria Australia
Just as an example the needle size on this yatsubusa is about 2". I am working on getting the trunk to branch ratio in better proportion and of course reducing the needle size even more.

Ash
 

Attachments

  • JBPyatsubusa.jpg
    JBPyatsubusa.jpg
    32.4 KB · Views: 19
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
12
Location
Ottawa, KS
USDA Zone
6
Don't think, though, that small needles are the be-all and end-all on JBP. It depends on the size of the tree. What we want are proportionate needles that are even throughout the tree. This doesn't happen naturally or easily, it takes a plan. This tree has needles of two different sizes. The longer ones are over 4 inches long, the short ones are about one inch.

I left the candles uncut on some branches because they were not as strong. Those needles have grown to their full length. The others are the result of candling on July 4. I cut a few long needles at the top of the tree, but only for the photograph.
 

Attachments

  • front2.jpg
    front2.jpg
    56.6 KB · Views: 24

Similar threads

Top