Cork bark Pine care?

leatherback

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In February I managed to get a decent cork-bark pine. Grafted on non-cork variety, unfortunately. But that is normal for the variety I think.

As it was a new tree, I took it to a workshop and we decided on a repot, as the original ground-soil was still in the roots. As we pulled it from the pot, it was clear that the previous repot had been just an uppot: Halfway through the rootball there was a pot-sized rootmesh embedded in the rootball. We had to cut of 50% of the roots, and maybe 90% of the root ends. At the same time we removed a few branches in the top, as last year it was clearly not trimmed and the top of the tree was pushing so hard, we feared the bottom branch might not make it.

The tree went home. Full sun. Carefull watering. Spring came. Nothing. No New Growth. I do trust the guy of the workshop. But.. Considering he was certain the tree would push growth in spring and take the work as if nothing had happened.. I would like to broaden the ideas on this.

I am slightly concerned. I am not good with pines, so would like to suggestions on how to get this tree back to the active members of the collection, and not see it succumb slowly. So.. I wonder.. Should I do ANY work on it now? What can I do now to make the chances better? I just saw how @fredtruck has a long record of keeping these. Anybody else any thoughts?

As purchased:
20200229_134110-104.jpg

After working it:
20200310_161419-115.jpg

In summer:
20200408-R14A3265-183.jpg
 

Brian Van Fleet

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They can be fickle. Watch the water and it’s likely to grow ok next year. I would hold off doing any work until next fall. It obviously isn’t going to get away from you if you don’t work it this year.

Have you heard the saying about collected trees? Year 1 they sleep, year 2 they creep, year 3 they leap. Maybe it applies here too. I‘d feed it well, watch the water, and give it as much sun as you can. If the photo is recent, it looks healthy enough to expect good growth next year.
 

Cadillactaste

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That's a really nice looking tree. Love how it corks up and looks all muscle like. Glad to hear...BVF feels it's not concerning. Because I would hate to see you lose this tree.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I have one that did the same. Not a cork bark, but a JBP. It seems they can do nothing for a year with no real harm. Mine is in the second year of doing nothing, so it's going to the burn pile.
Jbp and I aren't compatible, as you know.

I'd go with BVF's advice.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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It has been difficult to find good information on corkers, so I documented almost all my work on the cultivars I have grown over the years. They don’t all behave the same, and I don’t know what your cultivar is, but you may be interested in some of these posts.
 

fredtruck

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I agree with Brian. I wouldn't do anything to the tree now. This is a wait and watch game. With a tree like yours, which has great cork, by the way, I would water it only when it needs it; that is, when it is somewhat dry. Keep it out of the wind, also. Wind as a drying agent is usually well covered, but if it is a cold wind, portions of the tree can freeze, even if it is above freezing. Another good point Brian made is that all the cultivars (and there are many) respond differently to the same input. I haven't read anything on corkers that works consistently from cultivar to cultivar. The next time you repot (like in 5 to 8 years or so), I would be very leery of root work, except of the most elemental kind, like overly long roots that hang down or roots that go around and around the pot. Cork bark black pines don't usually respond well to root work, unless you have a very serious problem like root aphids, etc. The idea with cork bark black pines is to stimulate growth. The tree can't grow on top if it is repairing its roots.
 

leatherback

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Happy to say the tree is still with me, unchanged :).

Now winter is on its way. @fredtruck and @Brian Van Fleet I find it hard to find info on wintercare for these. Do you protect them in winter? Or can they take light frost, like the regular Thunbergi?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Happy to say the tree is still with me, unchanged :).

Now winter is on its way. @fredtruck and @Brian Van Fleet I find it hard to find info on wintercare for these. Do you protect them in winter? Or can they take light frost, like the regular Thunbergi?
I treat mine just like my other JBP, no winter protection until it gets below about 20f.
 

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