Can you guess? Name this pine!

bwaynef

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This one is 2½ years old. I've only been working it for a year now. I think it was a volunteer in one of my other pots.

Take a guess as to the species ...unless I've spoken with you about the tree.

Take other shots at (me?) it about its styling too if you want. I'm aware of my problems wiring but if you must, you can nit-pick about my wiring too.


<edit>I'm posting a brighter picture to see if anyone else wants take a guess. </edit>
 
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Graydon

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The first guess would be Pinus virginiana but based on the bark I could venture Pinus clausa.

Or it could be Pinus pondbasketus?
 
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Considering the darkness of the photo, I'd say Japanese Dark-grey Pine.
 

bwaynef

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My apologies on the photo darkness. It was brighter on my laptop. I reposted a brighter picture for you.
 
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bwaynef

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If I understand correctly, Martin, you're from SC? (If not its NC.)

Its no surprise then that you'd be familiar enough to correctly state the species of this pine. We're covered up in them in SC. The upstate has more P. strobus than loblolly, but we've got our fair share of loblolly too.


Alright, we've got the species out of the way. On to the critique if anyone cares to...
 

Martin Sweeney

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Bwaynef,

I live in Waxhaw, NC. I am less than 5 miles from the SC line, east of Rock Hill / Fort Mill. Loblollies all over the place. Might try some now that I have seen yours. Figured with the long needles I would be in over my head.

I saw where Ken Duncan identified this one over on Bonsaitalk. Have you had a chance to meet Ken? He is a good man to know in South Carolina for local bonsai knowledge and advice.

Regards,
Martin
 

bwaynef

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I did meet Ken this past winter. I got a tour of his garden and a couple others'. He's definitely knowledgable. I hope to pick his brain a little about what he knows about loblolly ...among other thigns.

A lot of people have said that loblollies don't make good bonsai, but I haven't ever seen any of their loblollies trained as bonsai with the long needles they talk about. Ever seen a Japanese Black Pine's needles that hasn't been trained as bonsai?
 

Martin Sweeney

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Bwaynef,

Sure enough have, and a good point. But I have also seen plenty of techniques on how to make them smaller, never seen any info on Loblolly as bonsai.

Also, I learned that the Loblolly sheds lower branches as part of its growth habit. Would be interesting to see how bonsai training techniques might impact this genetic dispostion.

From the Clemson Extension web page:
The tree looses its lower branches with age, forming a fairly open, oval-rounded crown at maturity.
Loblolly pine … is very adaptable to extremes of soil. This species is frequently container-grown, and it is easily transplanted.

Please update with your progress and successes!

Regards,

Martin
 
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Alright, we've got the species out of the way. On to the critique if anyone cares to...

It's difficult to critique a tree at this stage of development. You have some movement in the trunk, and the branches are spaced nicely enough. But looking ten years down the road with the best of care and technique, what do you see in this tree? It definitely needs more girth in the lower trunk. I am surprised, though, that it is only 2.5 years old. It does look older than that. All in all I would have to say this is a pretty good start if you can thicken the base and improve the nebari.

I won't beat you up about your wiring, but you brought it up, so apparently you know better. Better to remove all the wiring and then start with the trunk if you want to bend the trunk, than to cross wires in that manner. Wiring poorly is an exercise in futility. We have heard the claim that it doesn't matter how it looks, as long as it gets the job done. In fact, effective wiring looks good. Anchored correctly, you will use a minimum of wire to do the job. It takes some dedication and even some tutelage, but it's worth the effort.
 
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