Cork pines - it's all about the bark!

Bonsai Nut

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After the discussion we recently had about Mugo versus Japanese Black pines, I thought I would hunt out some nice examples of cork pines to illustrate the extreme corkiness that has been developed in some varieties. As far as I know, you cannot get this kind of cork in a mugo pine. These examples are all selling right now in Japan for $50 - $60, so they don't appear to be extremely rare; just the fact that they are listing them 5 at a time would suggest they are not...











 

greerhw

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I've had Nishiki and they are an aquired taste. Most I've seen have reverse taper from poor grafting onto JBP trunks. The one I had was a pretty good graft, you had to look real close to find it, but it was there. I tired of mine and found it a new home. I think they are just a novelty to most collectors.

Harry
 

fredtruck

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Do you know what cultivars of nishiki your pictures are? I saw a number of cork bark pines in Japan but nothing like these.
 

JasonG

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What I find as odd, is in some of my show books from Japan these corkbarks are displayed with the reverse taper. It isn't that big of a deal over there.

Some of the pictures you posted here are killer trees.....I would like to have a few on the bench.

Jason
 

buddhamonk

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here's mine I posted a while back - I thought the cork on it looked good but now I think there's barely any compared to those...

 

irene_b

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I'd love to see these in a landscape where the bark could really be shown to advantage.
I am not to sure that this one I found is not a cork bark pine.
Irene
 
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irene_b

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A pic of my cork bark pine.
Irene
 
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Graydon

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OMG I love the corkers. <drool>

Thanks for the pics Mr. Nut! I agree that poor examples can be found with grafts slightly above the root crown leading to inverse taper but that does not bother me as long as the rest of the tree is a great example of a nishiki.

I must have 12 varieties of nishiki on the bench, most are not mature and are not photo worthy now unless you like young immature cork. It's very interesting to watch it develop and learn the subtle variances between the trees as it splits and curls. Some appear to be quick with developing cork and some are so slow you can't notice any change over one season.

I don't think they are rare (or assume that they are not over in Japan) as the primary method of creating is grafting. If you have plenty of time, lots of under stock and a parent tree for scions you can create all that you have the patience to do. I have had much luck in grafting over the past few seasons and now really need to cull some to keep bench space open.

It's worth noting that some of the varieties respond well to reproduction from cuttings. Brent has had as much luck as anyone here in the states with cutting grown nishiki and has some great immature but full of potential trees. This is only important if you want that fat cork on your nebari - and who would not? I purchased a couple of them from him as well as got one cutting to strike on my own.

I have a seedling JBP (from seed I planted) that is exhibiting some symptoms of corking. I tagged it and will keep watching to see how it develops. Chances are strong it is a viral issue or something else causing that seedling to show odd bark but I guess time will tell.
 

Walter Pall

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As far as I know, you cannot get this kind of cork in a mugo pine. These examples are all selling right now in Japan for $50 - $60, so they don't appear to be extremely rare; just the fact that they are listing them 5 at a time would suggest they are not...

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One can have hundreds for 50US$ per piece. Nobody wants them in Japan. They used to be popular 30 years ago but now they are considerd in bad taste. Most Europeans wold not want them either, but there would still be enough who would think that this is good material. They cannot be imported officially into the EU. But there are quite a few holes where they still get in. Every time such a thing comes to my workshops I cringe. What in the world can one do to these freaks to make them look decent? And then they have this habit to die slowly, branch by branch.
 

greerhw

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Here's one I had for about 3 years, but I grew tired of it and sold it. I don't want any more.

Harry
 

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Attila Soos

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You love them or hate them.

I love rough bark (when I go hiking, I am always touching and sniffing the bark of old pines in the forest - some smell like vanilla and bring out the animal in me, my wife needs to hold me back before I mount them).

The reverse taper bothers me, so I like the last two pictures - they look very promising.
 

Vance Wood

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After the discussion we recently had about Mugo versus Japanese Black pines, I thought I would hunt out some nice examples of cork pines to illustrate the extreme corkiness that has been developed in some varieties. As far as I know, you cannot get this kind of cork in a mugo pine. These examples are all selling right now in Japan for $50 - $60, so they don't appear to be extremely rare; just the fact that they are listing them 5 at a time would suggest they are not...











I find these tree interesting in their own right, but I do not find them particularly appealing as a bonsai. In fact I find them grotesque. I am not being critical of those who do grow them, or those who might want one but for me--it's not what I am looking for. I think some get caught up in the novelty of the tree and over-look its short comings as a credible bonsai. No matter how well refined the foliage masses might be, without exposed branches and trunks that make sense, they don't work for me. To me, they look like a bunch of bushy branches growing out of hand full of bark; glued together, mounted on a stick and shoved in a pot.

I also understand that they grow fairly well from cuttings.
 

Hans van Meer

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They are a acquired taste yes, but some, like the one in the third picture, I would not mind having in my collection at all. I think it is wonderful!
This picture below shows a Shohin Literati of mine. And it proves that every species is worth having a look at! I have been working on this one for more than 13 years now and always in a small pot like this.
Hans van Meer.
 

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greerhw

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Here's my last one. a shohin I bought in Feb. it lasted until July, so much for Nishiki.

Harry
 

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JasonG

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They are a acquired taste yes, but some, like the one in the third picture, I would not mind having in my collection at all. I think it is wonderful!
This picture below shows a Shohin Literati of mine. And it proves that every species is worth having a look at! I have been working on this one for more than 13 years now and always in a small pot like this.
Hans van Meer.
I love this shohin of yours Hans! Very cool tree! Good work.

Here's my last one. a shohin I bought in Feb. it lasted until July, so much for Nishiki.

Harry
Sorry to hear that Harry, that was a cool shohin.

Jason
 

JasonG

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Here is a picture of a huge corkbark that I found poking around on google images. This tree is an awesome tree and not quite as grotesque as the others. This is a tree that I would love to have in my collection and one I would go out to every morning and give thanks to the bonsai gods for letting me take care of it.

With some work this can be a killer tree!

Jason
 

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irene_b

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One can have hundreds for 50US$ per piece. Nobody wants them in Japan. They used to be popular 30 years ago but now they are considerd in bad taste. Most Europeans wold not want them either, but there would still be enough who would think that this is good material. They cannot be imported officially into the EU. But there are quite a few holes where they still get in. Every time such a thing comes to my workshops I cringe. What in the world can one do to these freaks to make them look decent? And then they have this habit to die slowly, branch by branch.
Any guess why that happens?
Irene
 
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