Black Pine Seedling Cuttings

CWTurner

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Scott,
Okay, cutting the tap root makes sense, and I did that with a bunch of 2-3 YO seedlings last spring.
Are you saying that with seedlings at this exact stage, that cutting off the entire base is akin to cutting just the taproot? I couldn't discern if your seedling had anything more than a taproot in the pic provided.
Thanks!
CW
 

Dav4

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Good question CW

Pine seedlings produce a single tap root that grows vigorously downward to provide a good anchor for the tree.

Some time ago, bonsai enthusiasts figured out that cutting the tap root produced a number of lateral roots. The technique was first described in Kinbon magazine and later translated in Bonsai Today #20 (referenced above). As the lateral roots develop, the young trees grew faster, denser, and produced a flared trunk base that is desirable in pine bonsai. That's the goal with these seedlings.

Scott
...and it get's the future needle buds down closer to the soil and roots, which is what you need for top notch shohin.
 

markyscott

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Scott,
Okay, cutting the tap root makes sense, and I did that with a bunch of 2-3 YO seedlings last spring.
Are you saying that with seedlings at this exact stage, that cutting off the entire base is akin to cutting just the taproot? I couldn't discern if your seedling had anything more than a taproot in the pic provided.
Thanks!
CW
...and it get's the future needle buds down closer to the soil and roots, which is what you need for top notch shohin.
Hi CW - with seedlings at this stage, you can cut back the tap root anywhere up the stem. I cut the stem short, because as Dav4 says - this places potential needle buds and adventitious buds close to the eventual nebari which is really important if you goal is to develop black pine shohin. You can have high success rate even when you cut it short if you time it right.

Scott
 

Nybonsai12

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Cool thread @markyscott
Interesting about how you started them in the greenhouse. What kind of temps do you keep it at?

I certainly envy the length of the growing season some of you have so to compensate and pass the time during winter months I started black pine indoors around early December or so, not in a green house but in my bathroom to start and then moved to my basement under grow lights once I had to start fertilizing. Most did just fine after the cutting technique. Only odd behavior was purplish needles that I can only suspect was the result of cooler temps in my basement. They greened up fine when temps rose and I moved them outside and appear to be growing well this season. Did you experience anything like this with needle color?
 

Eric Group

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Good question CW

Pine seedlings produce a single tap root that grows vigorously downward to provide a good anchor for the tree.

Some time ago, bonsai enthusiasts figured out that cutting the tap root produced a number of lateral roots. The technique was first described in Kinbon magazine and later translated in Bonsai Today #20 (referenced above). As the lateral roots develop, the young trees grew faster, denser, and produced a flared trunk base that is desirable in pine bonsai. That's the goal with these seedlings.

Scott
Right cut the tap root... So, I did a bunch of seedlings this growing season and when I cut them, I left the radial roots at the top of the roots, and just removed the long central tap root. I have obviously not had much time to judge the impact, but the survival rate was very high.., thus far I only lost maybe 1 or 2 of the 30 or so that sprouted... Well, I lost many prior this point due to to "damping off"soon after they sprouted, but as far as those that made it to the cutting stage, nearly all survived!
 

markyscott

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Cool thread @markyscott
Interesting about how you started them in the greenhouse. What kind of temps do you keep it at?

I certainly envy the length of the growing season some of you have so to compensate and pass the time during winter months I started black pine indoors around early December or so, not in a green house but in my bathroom to start and then moved to my basement under grow lights once I had to start fertilizing. Most did just fine after the cutting technique. Only odd behavior was purplish needles that I can only suspect was the result of cooler temps in my basement. They greened up fine when temps rose and I moved them outside and appear to be growing well this season. Did you experience anything like this with needle color?
Hi NY.

I have a heater that comes on when temps dip below 40 and a fan when temps go above 70. The fan gets more of a workout than the heater does, in general. And I put bottom heat on the seedlings. It's all to extend my growing season from ten months to twelve.

In the winter with cold temperatures its normal to get some color change like that in the needles.

Scott
 

markyscott

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Right cut the tap root... So, I did a bunch of seedlings this growing season and when I cut them, I left the radial roots at the top of the roots, and just removed the long central tap root. I have obviously not had much time to judge the impact, but the survival rate was very high.., thus far I only lost maybe 1 or 2 of the 30 or so that sprouted... Well, I lost many prior this point due to to "damping off"soon after they sprouted, but as far as those that made it to the cutting stage, nearly all survived!
Hi Eric - sounds like you've had great success. I understand the damping off problem. One year I lost almost every seedling to damping off. I've hardly lost any since I switched from sand to starter soil and started spraying fungicide religiously after they sprout.

Scott
 

Eric Group

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Hi Eric - sounds like you've had great success. I understand the damping off problem. One year I lost almost every seedling to damping off. I've hardly lost any since I switched from sand to starter soil and started spraying fungicide religiously after they sprout.

Scott
What do you mean by "starter soil" exactly? Is this a mix of your own or some premix you buy?
 

Eric Group

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I have seen this in stores before.. I suspect it is your liberal application of fungicide that upped the success and limited the damping off, but perhaps the soil helped some. I had the highest success rate in a really coarse "Boone's Mix". I tried three different mixes- Boone's Mix, potting soil and turface... I will have to give that miracle grow mix a try next time!
 

markyscott

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I have seen this in stores before.. I suspect it is your liberal application of fungicide that upped the success and limited the damping off, but perhaps the soil helped some. I had the highest success rate in a really coarse "Boone's Mix". I tried three different mixes- Boone's Mix, potting soil and turface... I will have to give that miracle grow mix a try next time!
They're only in the seedling mix until they sprout and rooted in the mix of seedling starter and vermiculite in the well. Everything else is Boon mix. It's all I use.

Scott
 
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Eric Group

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They're only in the seedling mix until they sprout and rooted in the mix in the well. Everything else is Boon mix. It's all I use.

Scott
That is funny... I kind of did the opposite! Started them in the mixes I mentioned, then moved them to potting soil... You started them in potting soil then move them to Boone's mix! Takes all kinds... hope your Pines grow strong and fast for you.
 

Smoke

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That is funny... I kind of did the opposite! Started them in the mixes I mentioned, then moved them to potting soil... You started them in potting soil then move them to Boone's mix! Takes all kinds... hope your Pines grow strong and fast for you.
hmmm...anyone else notice this?

One starts with a Porsche and switches to a VW while the other starts with a VW and switches to a Porsche....yet they are both successful. Kind of makes one wonder if either is better than the other....really?
 

sorce

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hmmm...anyone else notice this?

One starts with a Porsche and switches to a VW while the other starts with a VW and switches to a Porsche....yet they are both successful. Kind of makes one wonder if either is better than the other....really?
The Porsche is better for the environment.

Sorce
 

Anthony

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Start with 3/5 mm gravel and Canadian peat moss and 3 x 3 " clay pot
Finish with the same and thus far no damping off.
In one year the seedlings are dense of needle and needing a pot about 4 or 5 times as wide, but the same depth.
Then work your way up to 12 to 16" wide but less than 6" deep and still a porous clay pot.

Some grow at a tremendous rate, others thicken the trunk, and grow more slowly.

Not sure how much is a lot of fertiliser, but on-line notes from the American gvt services use 12 N and P /K ,

If nothing J.B.pine are really satisfying to just grow.
Good Day
Anthony

* Won't use pumice and anything connected to clay, as they will cause problems x years down the road at the
core of the pine. Silica based builder's gravel won't decompose or other.
 

Eric Group

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hmmm...anyone else notice this?

One starts with a Porsche and switches to a VW while the other starts with a VW and switches to a Porsche....yet they are both successful. Kind of makes one wonder if either is better than the other....really?
Exactly my point. The more I experiment with soils I find that regular old dirt (potting soil) grows trees bigger the fastest. The more specific the need becomes, the fancier the soil gets... Sprouting seeds (moist but not too wet to avoid damping off) seems good to have a more free draining mix... Reducing root mass into tight Bonsai trays, slowing growth and encouraging ramification of raw growth- good to have a coarse free draining mix... Taking younger, smaller trees and growing them to larger, more mature trees as quick as possible- potting soil in large pots or good old ground growing work best! But that is just how I do it...

If all these soil threads and silly little NON-Scientific experiments I do in my own yard have taught me anything it is this: TREES WANT TO GROW! They don't hardly seem to care if you put them in sawdust or marbles- if you provide light, water and nutrients in a combination that is beneficial, they are probably going to live. Yet I still spend more money and time buying and preparing soil combinations than probably any other facet of bonsai!
 

markyscott

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There are folks who care what other people grow their trees in. I'm not one of them. Please let's not make this thread another soil war - there are so many others we could revive to choose from. My suggestions is to use what works for you. Make sure that you're very happy with the root development in whatever soil you choose - it's very important down the line. I'm very happy with what I use on the trees under my care in my back yard as I'm sure others are with what they use.

Scott
 

Eric Group

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There are folks who care what other people grow their trees in. I'm not one of them. Please let's not make this thread another soil war - there are so many others we could revive to choose from. My suggestions is to use what works for you. Make sure that you're very happy with the root development in whatever soil you choose - it's very important down the line. I'm very happy with what I use on the trees under my care in my back yard as I'm sure others are with what they use.

Scott
Well said.. Didn't mean to derail your thread, just going where the conversation took it...

So, back to the point I meant to be making regarding seedling cuttings- do you think it is sufficient to just remove the tap root and leaves the fine roots at the top of the mass the way I did, or is there little benefit to that, and the full seedling cutting method would produce dramatically better results? Perhaps someone who has tried both before could comment? I am fairly new to growing Pines from seed, so I want to get it right... I plan on doing another batch next year most likely. Maybe @Eric Schrader has some input there? Seems I saw him say he had tried both the seedling cuttings and had grown them without doing the cuttings...?
 
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