Cork or peely bark JBP?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MrFancyPlants, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    Do you think this is a cork bark or will it always look peely like this? Should I maybe clean up the bark now that I have started to reduce the sacrifice growth?
    So far I have repotted, trimming up only the thin band of circling roots at the bottom of the nursery pot. The idea was to get it in to the flat and start to direct more energy to the numerous but weak looking lower branches. I have been rubbing off all but the apical bud on sacrifice section. I am going to let it run a little more to help establish the roots, but it is on notice because it is starting to reverse taper. In the next year or two, I think I will decide on branch selection as well as picking out a few new sacrifice branches to increase the taper. Any tips for directing more energy down? I guess will have to wait and see how vigorous it is come springtime.
     

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  3. Brian Van Fleet

    Brian Van Fleet Imperial Masterpiece

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    You're on the right track here, and except for removing the browning needles, your work for this year is done. Leave the sacrifice branch otherwise intact...it needs a few years to thicken the trunk.

    Don't peel pine bark. It is a bonsai foul with a 15 yard penalty.
     
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  4. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    Haha, thanks Brian. Do you think this is a cork bark variety?
     
  5. Brian Van Fleet

    Brian Van Fleet Imperial Masterpiece

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    Too early to tell for sure, but it's doubtful unless you bought it as a corker cultivar.
     
  6. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    I believe it was an air layer off of a seed chosen for it's noteworthy bark, so you are likely right. Not a true cork if there is such thing. But, it is remarkable that it is forming plates already even if some look like they are ready to fall off.
     
  7. Nice, oh by the way, with your fall work, don't forget to fertilize. If you have more than 6 weeks to average first frost this fertilizer can be your "normal" full strength, weak dose if first frost is near. But now that everything has extended and is hardening off, a dose of fertilizer will help with forming strong buds for next year's growth.

    Nice stock in development.

    Your bark looks like normal bark beginning to form. It could become cork, but if it does, it will split longitudinally, length of the stem, with the across the stem cracks being less prominent. True cork bark JBP can start showing corky bark as early as 4 years, with the first "wings" forming before 10 years. Some of the slower cultivars and many of the seedlings from cork bark JBP don't really show cork until they are about 10 years old. It varies widely. Most seeds from cork bark JBP never show corking, they come out normal, especially if a normal JBP was around to pollinate the cork bark JBP. So seeds are a gamble. Some will cork, some won't. One in 5000 will both be an early to cork and be a "yatsubusa" - multiple budding dwarf mutation. So that is why so many are propagated by grafting or layering.

    Normal bark JBP will start forming bark relatively young, as young as 4 years. The cracking for normal bark with be roughly equal, horizontal and vertical. Mikawa JBP is supposed to get a reasonably rough bark without becoming cork bark, though Mikawa from seed can be all over the map as far as what bark will look like, most seedlings end up looking like fairly ordinary JBP in terms of bark.
     
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  8. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    Here it is in the heat of the summer.

    I think I need to pick a future leader soon and pick some branches to avoid reverse taper. Is it too late to decandle?
     

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  9. Brian Van Fleet

    Brian Van Fleet Imperial Masterpiece

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    I wouldn't decandle; it's not developed enough for that technique. Glad it's healthy, but the photo doesn't really show enough to offer advice. Branch selection can be done in fall, and you can remove most of last year's needles from the sacrifice branches in the fall too, so they don't shade out the final branches.
     
  10. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    Thanks Brian and Leo. Leo I didn't see your last post until I went to update the thread.. Fascinating stuff. And, I did fertilize well last fall.. I have been a little more slack with my fertilization regimen this year, so it is a good reminder to pick it up. I started brewing my own beer this year so my compost bin has a lot of "black gold" in the bottom half ready to distribute. I'll probably do a round of liquid and then distribute "hop sacks" full of vermi-compost to give organic fertilizer a shot.
     
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  11. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    No danger in the sacrifice shading anything out. Although I'll admit to a peculiar technique for removing the older needles on the sacrifice section. I wait for a bunch to turn nice and brown and I light the bottom ones on fire. They catch easily and spread until all of the brown ones are gone, and a cluster of green needles above are invariably
    scorched, leading to the fuel for the next round of reduction a few months down the road. My rational for such a technique is mainly to satisfy a slight mania, but I have read that many species are morphologically effected by flame, enough so that the pinecones will exhibit a different shape. I figure it could help encourage backbudding and "auxin flow." So far there is only slight scarring on part of the sacrifice.
    Sorry for the blurry photo, but there it is in the middle showing the scale of the sacrifice.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
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  12. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    Great news; I am a home owner again. I've started to reassemble the surviving members of my cast of misfit material from their foster parents. I am hoping for some direction on where to go with this JBP. I'll probably sign up for a BYOT workshop for the specifics since it is so hard to glean structure from these photos. This gracious foster parent didn't have a very sunny location for this so you can see the growth lower down is getting a bit leggy. I believe it is relatively healthy and even appears to be developing a couple pine cones.

    I think the next priority for this tree is to pick out a new leader for development, which could be tricky as the third whirl up doesn't have any natural leaders; i.e. the branches all jut out at pretty awkward angles. Whether I pick a leader from the 2nd or 3rd whirl, I was thinking that wiring the sacrifice branch could help induce and set movement into the trunk as well as positioning the future leader. Like maybe wire a big loop into the sacrifice and anchoring it back down to the pot and around with a mind for movement and altering branch placement.

    I also think I should start considering branch selection including starting more sacrifice growth on the selected branches to help out with the trunk taper. There is some reverse taper starting up thanks to the unchecked whirl like development. The bark texture seems to accentuate the reverse taper.

    Last priority is roots. The roots do seems to be developing nicely since I potted into the flat. I tried to arrange the roots well without setting the tree too far back when I repotted, but I also think there are some sub surface roots that could be eliminated after I feel the top is moving in the right direction.

    IMG_0287.JPG IMG_0288.JPG IMG_0289.JPG IMG_0290.JPG IMG_0292.JPG
     
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  13. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    I did a little branch selection in the lower section so that I could see things a little better. I still need to remove a branch from the top usable whirl (last picture on the right in previous post). I believe the one on the right will become the new leader; you can't see from the picture, but it is the strongest. I think that by twisting and bending the sacrifice, I can bring it up into a naturally dominant angle. Then I would remove the back branch to limit reverse taper.

    Does anyone have suggestions for how to remove the sacrifice branch when it is time? I'm thinking I will wire the sacrifice firmly to bring up the new leader and let it grow and set for the next year or so. The rapid growth should help it set quicker although it is quite springy at the moment. When I am satisfied that it is set in the position that I want, my idea is to then slowly nibble away at the sacrifice and lower down onto the trunk, with the purpose of going after every bit of reverse taper in the top node. Could keeping the sacrifice alive promote healing and allow me to be more aggressive with carving into the trunk? Should I have a goal of leaving a hollow and/or a stub.

    I'd love to see some examples of large sacrifices and how they have healed after they have been sacrificed.
     
  14. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    I took this tree to the nvbs meeting to try to sneak it into a workshop, but chickened out/ ran out of time to have anyone take a look at it. I think I might give it a go myself. My plan is to anchor the grow box down in a sunny spot, but a screw through the center of the sacrifice so that I can try to sustain a strong twist when I pull down the sacrifice with a guy wire and a zip tie. I can get the movement I want by twisting and bending the sacrifice with my hands; the new leader gracefully takes the lead. The question is if I can lock it in with a guy wire with or without raffia or a bracing wire.
     
  15. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    I tried to isolate that top node that I am worried about the reverse taper on, but also want to leave my options open for styling the new apex. Any thoughts about guy wiring the sacrifice down with a twist to try to induce some movement while popping the new leader up?
     

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  16. Is your trunk at "finished" diameter? If yes, reverse taper is a problem, if you are still heading towards another 50% increase in trunk diameter, don't worry about reverse taper, there will be sufficient growth to hide what you have.

    You need a sacrifice branch in your lowest first whorl. That area needs more wood. Upper whorl needs to be reduced to no more than three branches, one or two of the smallest to be your second branch, later you will reduce to one for second branch, and one to be the leader. The current sacrifice should be kept until trunk is the diameter you want. Two inch diameter or more for a tree 8 inches tall, 4 inches or more for a tree over a foot tall.

    Just my thoughts, if Adair M or Brian VanFleet or others more experienced than me, gives you different advice go with their experience.
     
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  17. dirk hoorelbeke

    dirk hoorelbeke Chumono

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    It all depends on the envisioned endpoint. Try to draw a picture how you want the tree to look. After that you can figure out how to get there. Making a plan guides you in the right direction, make adjustments along the way... seldom a plan is the path you eventually take. So sketch what you want with the potential of the material in your mind.
     
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  18. MrFancyPlants

    MrFancyPlants Chumono

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    Thanks guys. I've already picked out the new sacrifice from the first whirl so that I can start building some taper. I am looking forward to tourquing a strong twist into the existing top sacrifice as I think it will induce some interesting movement in the finished leader. And, keeping the sacrifice for a few more years should help lock in that movement. That being said taper rather than overall thickness will become the he next priority when the leader is in place.

    It is interesting contemplating the final goal for the tree. I'll admit my strategy generally tends towards embracing design elements without envisioning a final design. Although it lets the tree lead me it is perhaps a bit short sighted.
     
  19. dirk hoorelbeke

    dirk hoorelbeke Chumono

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    I see 2 options when starting from young material.
    a) Choose a photo and apply bends and cuts to achieve (approximately) the image you are after. The big advantage is that you can bend from the beginning and you can place your big sacrifice branches (and the resulting wounds) out of sight. An other advantage is that when you apply a technique and it doesn't have the results you want that you learn and can make another plan / experiment the next time.
    b) Bend "at random" keeping the envisioned proportions in mind, select usable branches and select sacrifices and possible final branches. The bigger you want the tree to be, the slower the bend. Keep in mind that most of the time the movement has to start from the base if you want a tree with a lot of movement.

    When you have a lot of trees it is best to do b) first. After a while you select the best trees to work further on. When you only have 1 tree, make a plan.

    It is totally different than working with trees (yamadori or garden center material) that have qualities you want to use. Developing young material is HARD since you need to know what the effect will be of your choices on the long term.

    For this tree there is not a lot of movement in the lower section and not a lot of taper. If you want more taper in that section you will need to restart with a new (low) leader, or you will need to grow out some lower branches and reducing the apical portion. If you let things like it is now you will have a bigger trunk next year, with no taper.
     

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