Bonsai Mirai: Asymmetry podcast 10/26/2019 - Telperion Farms

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This episode of Ryan Neil’s podcast features Chris Kirk and Gary Woods of Telperion Farms talking about some of their methods of field growing, especially of Japanese Black Pines. This episode is full of good field growing knowledge, but they tend to be scattered around in their conversation and topics. Most of these topics are directly related to field growing Japanese Black Pine, though some methods will work with container grown JBP. The goal with these methods is to produce reliable back budding on their field grown trees. I wanted to take some of the key points of discussion in this podcast and condense it down to a summery of the important bits, with a more ordered arrangement.

According to the growers, their secret is in controlling the Auxin, Cytokinin, and Sugars in the plant with an emphasis on manipulating the Cytokinin and Sugar.
  • Auxin
    • Produced in the growing tips.
    • Responsible for suppressing bud growth behind the apical bud.
    • Slower moving in the plant than either Cytokinin or Sugar.
  • Cytokinin
    • Produced in the roots.
    • Controls the growth rate of the shoots.
    • Carried with H2O through the Xylem to the furthest areas of the plant and where concentration is highest is where you see the most growth.
    • Cytokinin travels up to 105x faster than Auxin.
  • Sugar
    • Produced by the leaves and needles.
    • Travels up to 105x Faster than Auxin
    • Sugar manipulation is what the growers at Telperion Farms concentrate on manipulating.
    • Reducing sugar supply while maintaining Auxin and Cytokinin causes the tree to try to regenerate it from both roots and apical bud.
How does Telperion Farms manipulate the Sugars of the plant to facilitate the rate of growth that they are known for?
  • All buds have the same size cells. Growth happens in areas of high Auxin, Cytokinin, and Sugar.
    • Removing the Sugar production and leaving Auxin and Cytokinin will force the tree to replace leaves. Basically, the Plant has elements to grow, Auxin and Cytokinin, but needs to replace the Sugar factory.
      • i.e. Needle removal along shoots leaving growing tips will cause back budding and not slow down the tree’s growth. Regular pruning of growing tips, while causing back budding, will also slow down a tree’s growth.
  • Telperion Farms is known for their field grown trees with long sacrifice leaders.
    • Sacrifice leaders will cause trunk thickening, and as they let these leaders run they will needle pluck up to the growing tip, causing a large amount of back budding down the sacrifice.
      • Trunk taper is achieved by planning out a second sacrifice leader. They will set up a secondary leader and let it grow out so that when they prune the main leader, the second leader is full of energy and will spring up quickly.
  • On JBP, they achieve back budding on the trunk and older wood through needle plucking and encouraging whirls (Junction formed each growth period) on their sacrifice leaders.
    • Pulling needles on sacrifice leader and leaving 1 whirl:
      • Back budding
      • No more trunk expansion
    • Pulling needles on sacrifice leader and leaving 2 whirls
      • Little back budding
      • More trunk Expansion
    • Pulling needles on sacrifice leader and leaving 2 whirls and stripping needles except for a few on the terminal bud:
      • More buds form.
      • More Trunk Expansion
    • Age of the tissue on the trunk has an effect on how well this method works for back budding. Ideally one would use this method on trees 5 years and younger. After 5 years it becomes more difficult to induce back budding along the trunk in this manner.

  • Cuttings and Seedlings – Generally their method of working on cuttings and seedlings echoes most of the methods I’ve seen in other publications and research.
    • Root work is done first on rooted cuttings/seedlings and then they are grown for 1 – 2 years in a 1 gallon root maker pot. A root maker pot basically air prunes to prevent circling roots – likely similar results would be obtained in a pond basket.
    • In the Springtime, they will wire initial shape into the seedlings.
    • After 1 – 2 years, the seedlings are transferred into a root control bag and filled hallway with their nursery mixture. On top of that mixture they will apply a barrier and spread the roots over the barrier and fill the rest of the way with soil.
      • Their nursery mix consists of 40% Pumice, 40% Composted Bark, 20% Composted Steer Manure
    • They will use an Auger to punch a whole, and drop the whole bag into the ground.
    • Trees planted in this way will stay in the ground for 5-6 years before dug up for additional root work.
      • Without a root control bag, they recommend digging every 3-4 years to do root maintenance work.
  • Using the root control bag method, they state you can plant nearly anytime of year, though they usually plant in Spring.
  • Grafting in the field JBP
    • They see good results grafting in the field, with quick recovery.
    • Typically they graft in the Springtime.
    • They wrap grafts in parafilm.
    • Typically, on JBP they find it is too late to graft once the candles have fully extended.
  • Grafting in Field, Junipers
    • Typically graft when the bud ends start turning
    • Also see success in grafting in June after initial spring growth has hardened.
    • Both of these methods give good recovery time before winter.
    • Grafting in Autumn can be done with grafts taking, but they will require more winter protection.
Some of the topics were just touched on and could definitely go deeper. It would be great to hear from some of our more experienced Pine growers about the details in needle plucking, their experiences with leaders and sacrifice branches, and how they get backbudding on their JBP in containers. Anyone else who has listened to this podcast, feel welcome to correct me if I misheard something or add on to these notes in the comments!
 

River's Edge

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This episode of Ryan Neil’s podcast features Chris Kirk and Gary Woods of Telperion Farms talking about some of their methods of field growing, especially of Japanese Black Pines. This episode is full of good field growing knowledge, but they tend to be scattered around in their conversation and topics. Most of these topics are directly related to field growing Japanese Black Pine, though some methods will work with container grown JBP. The goal with these methods is to produce reliable back budding on their field grown trees. I wanted to take some of the key points of discussion in this podcast and condense it down to a summery of the important bits, with a more ordered arrangement.

According to the growers, their secret is in controlling the Auxin, Cytokinin, and Sugars in the plant with an emphasis on manipulating the Cytokinin and Sugar.
  • Auxin
    • Produced in the growing tips.
    • Responsible for suppressing bud growth behind the apical bud.
    • Slower moving in the plant than either Cytokinin or Sugar.
  • Cytokinin
    • Produced in the roots.
    • Controls the growth rate of the shoots.
    • Carried with H2O through the Xylem to the furthest areas of the plant and where concentration is highest is where you see the most growth.
    • Cytokinin travels up to 105x faster than Auxin.
  • Sugar
    • Produced by the leaves and needles.
    • Travels up to 105x Faster than Auxin
    • Sugar manipulation is what the growers at Telperion Farms concentrate on manipulating.
    • Reducing sugar supply while maintaining Auxin and Cytokinin causes the tree to try to regenerate it from both roots and apical bud.
How does Telperion Farms manipulate the Sugars of the plant to facilitate the rate of growth that they are known for?
  • All buds have the same size cells. Growth happens in areas of high Auxin, Cytokinin, and Sugar.
    • Removing the Sugar production and leaving Auxin and Cytokinin will force the tree to replace leaves. Basically, the Plant has elements to grow, Auxin and Cytokinin, but needs to replace the Sugar factory.
      • i.e. Needle removal along shoots leaving growing tips will cause back budding and not slow down the tree’s growth. Regular pruning of growing tips, while causing back budding, will also slow down a tree’s growth.
  • Telperion Farms is known for their field grown trees with long sacrifice leaders.
    • Sacrifice leaders will cause trunk thickening, and as they let these leaders run they will needle pluck up to the growing tip, causing a large amount of back budding down the sacrifice.
      • Trunk taper is achieved by planning out a second sacrifice leader. They will set up a secondary leader and let it grow out so that when they prune the main leader, the second leader is full of energy and will spring up quickly.
  • On JBP, they achieve back budding on the trunk and older wood through needle plucking and encouraging whirls (Junction formed each growth period) on their sacrifice leaders.
    • Pulling needles on sacrifice leader and leaving 1 whirl:
      • Back budding
      • No more trunk expansion
    • Pulling needles on sacrifice leader and leaving 2 whirls
      • Little back budding
      • More trunk Expansion
    • Pulling needles on sacrifice leader and leaving 2 whirls and stripping needles except for a few on the terminal bud:
      • More buds form.
      • More Trunk Expansion
    • Age of the tissue on the trunk has an effect on how well this method works for back budding. Ideally one would use this method on trees 5 years and younger. After 5 years it becomes more difficult to induce back budding along the trunk in this manner.

  • Cuttings and Seedlings – Generally their method of working on cuttings and seedlings echoes most of the methods I’ve seen in other publications and research.
    • Root work is done first on rooted cuttings/seedlings and then they are grown for 1 – 2 years in a 1 gallon root maker pot. A root maker pot basically air prunes to prevent circling roots – likely similar results would be obtained in a pond basket.
    • In the Springtime, they will wire initial shape into the seedlings.
    • After 1 – 2 years, the seedlings are transferred into a root control bag and filled hallway with their nursery mixture. On top of that mixture they will apply a barrier and spread the roots over the barrier and fill the rest of the way with soil.
      • Their nursery mix consists of 40% Pumice, 40% Composted Bark, 20% Composted Steer Manure
    • They will use an Auger to punch a whole, and drop the whole bag into the ground.
    • Trees planted in this way will stay in the ground for 5-6 years before dug up for additional root work.
      • Without a root control bag, they recommend digging every 3-4 years to do root maintenance work.
  • Using the root control bag method, they state you can plant nearly anytime of year, though they usually plant in Spring.
  • Grafting in the field JBP
    • They see good results grafting in the field, with quick recovery.
    • Typically they graft in the Springtime.
    • They wrap grafts in parafilm.
    • Typically, on JBP they find it is too late to graft once the candles have fully extended.
  • Grafting in Field, Junipers
    • Typically graft when the bud ends start turning
    • Also see success in grafting in June after initial spring growth has hardened.
    • Both of these methods give good recovery time before winter.
    • Grafting in Autumn can be done with grafts taking, but they will require more winter protection.
Some of the topics were just touched on and could definitely go deeper. It would be great to hear from some of our more experienced Pine growers about the details in needle plucking, their experiences with leaders and sacrifice branches, and how they get backbudding on their JBP in containers. Anyone else who has listened to this podcast, feel welcome to correct me if I misheard something or add on to these notes in the comments!
Good summary so far of the important points. As usual the devil is in the details, timing, needle removal in areas that buds are not desired and retention of needles in specific areas and locations buds are desired. Removal of other needles to ensure sunlight hits the areas buds are desired. This is where container grown pines have an advantage in my experience. We can rotate the tree to expose the chosen area to the strongest influence of the sun.
I have not seen the podcast but use most of these techniques in developing pines. There is also a focus on strengthening apical growth prior to removal and always a continuing focus on maintaining enough foliage and vigor to get the desired response. I think Gary and Chris are at the forefront of pine development technique and appreciate their continued work and sharing of their efforts with the industry.
 

sorce

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Hey...

You're using Mirai to up your popularity and get famous.....

You gotta stop this!

😜🐸🚲🙉🔥✅🚗🙏🐫👡

Sorce
 

Marco79

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Hi guys, new here; sorry for reopening an old thread, but i just listened to the Telperion farms Asymmetry episode and i had hard time understanding what they really mean when they mention leaving 1 or 2 whirls; is it on the sacrifice branch? Isn't it whorls? Only on the sacrifice branch? This is a bit confusing, did anyone understand exactly what he means?
 

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River's Edge

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Hi guys, new here; sorry for reopening an old thread, but i just listened to the Telperion farms Asymmetry episode and i had hard time understanding what they really mean when they mention leaving 1 or 2 whirls; is it on the sacrifice branch? Isn't it whorls? Only on the sacrifice branch? This is a bit confusing, did anyone understand exactly what he means?
The process is as stated, leave one or two whorls on the sacrifice leader , removing needles on the leader except for the top candle on the leader!
What should be mentioned is that the main response for back budding is created when the sacrifice leader is removed, not as the whorls are thinned out or needles removed initially. This primarily focuses growth for thickening of the trunk initially!
Sacrifice branches if left in the lower portion of the tree are treated differently.

Also it is possible and perhaps desirable to only remove needles on the leader where they shade other portions of the tree under development. Thus retaining extra foliage for extra strength going forward. It is a matter of balancing the development zones so each grower adapts for their preferred process. This is also true for the removal of leader, some stage the process and others remove all at once. this can also be dependant on the particular tree's level of development.
 

Marco79

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The process is as stated, leave one or two whorls on the sacrifice leader , removing needles on the leader except for the top candle on the leader!
What should be mentioned is that the main response for back budding is created when the sacrifice leader is removed, not as the whorls are thinned out or needles removed initially. This primarily focuses growth for thickening of the trunk initially!
Sacrifice branches if left in the lower portion of the tree are treated differently.
Thank you so much, this is making everything quite clear; I'm gonna try to plant a couple of nursery Austrian Black Pines and a Sylvestris on the ground as soon as possible and try to follow the Telperion Method.
 

River's Edge

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Thank you so much, this is making everything quite clear; I'm gonna try to plant a couple of nursery Austrian Black Pines and a Sylvestris on the ground as soon as possible and try to follow the Telperion Method.
For best results, start from seed and do the root work and wiring for the first three or four years in grow boxes before planting in the ground. Nursery stock is not developed for bonsai usually and the initial trunk movement is generally poor along with the root structure. These are two key elements in the value of Bonsai.
 

River's Edge

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The last time I spoke with Telperion they were starting with one to two year old seedlings from a nursery, not from seed themselves. This would give them the opportunity to arrange roots and wire if desired prior to ground planting. Nursery stock that is older is more difficult to work with, particularly the wiring part. Given the size of their operation this approach makes all sorts of sense and saves a couple of years work. in a smaller scale operation, I prefer to take the approach of seeds, stem cutting for radial roots, then initial growth and wiring in grow boxes. Simply a personal choice.
I have quite a few pines that I purchased from Telperion and fully appreciate their product.
 
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