Corkbark JBP, ‘Taihei’

Brian Van Fleet

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This is a Corkbark JBP cultivar that showed promising bark in the photos. I bought it from a grower, Dave DeWire, out in WA in 2009.
I’ve showed pix over the years, but it hasn’t had its own thread yet. These are as offered from the grower in 2009:
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It’s about 24” tall.
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Brian Van Fleet

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The next shots are from when I received it. Dave is a good grafter, has lots of cultivars, but the tendency of his corkers is to have angular growth, and large spans of trunk between branches. At one point, I considered training the first branch as the next trunk section and treatin everything else above it like sacrifice growth. As slow as they bark up, I decided to try working with the whole tree instead.

I slip-potted it into a larger 7-gallon can, and applied a bend to the trunk, and wired out the primary branches.
1D4EE4FB-720F-42F8-8257-437591AEEDD4.jpegFB7C3DDB-DCA3-4FF1-9666-CB9D9C418390.jpeg
 

Brian Van Fleet

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March 2012, I attempted a graft, which failed.
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In September 2012; 3 growing seasons after the initial wiring, it was pretty full:
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So I pulled old needles, pruned it lightly:
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And then pruned and wired it again, changing the front, and reducing the apex:
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Still struggling with the gap between the first and second branches, but visually, this helped a little.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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A repot was about all to report from 2013.
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I also learned the Taihei responds badly and unreliably to summer candle-cutting. Here is a shot showing the result from 2010:
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So I haven’t used that technique again with my corkers.
 

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In late 2013, I made another attempt to make something I could stand to look at, and was so frustrated by the attempt, I stuck it in the ground and ignored it for 2 years. Here is a shot from 2014:
9FA5971E-E2D8-4C1A-865C-94D99E056C51.jpeg
 

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But it was becoming a challenge to water, so in March 2019 I decided to repot it. And it was lodged in that 13” pot pretty tight after 4 years.
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Since it responded so well to neglect, I overpotted it into this 17” wide pot, in very coarse soil, using pumice, lava, and medium akadama, 2:1:2, and hope to get at least another 5 years in this pot.
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I also took a chance and pruned it back, and did a little wiring, ending up reducing the visual space between the first and the rest of the branches.
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Wilson

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Great work on a special, but challenging type of pine. Dave DeWire seems like a super interesting dude. I talked a bit with him through emails, and am amazed at all the cool types of trees he is growing.
 
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Any chance this could work as a literati, or is it too thick? I’m not saying that it should be done, just posing the question. I have a lot of respect for how far it has come with the benign neglect.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Any chance this could work as a literati, or is it too thick? I’m not saying that it should be done, just posing the question. I have a lot of respect for how far it has come with the benign neglect.
I have played around with removing the bottom branch, which would give it a more literati feel, but I don’t think it improves the look any. The trunk movement isn’t interesting enough to make it work.
A3B110D1-FA61-4D9C-B4B8-654F3D971C07.jpeg
 
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Definitely not with that full of a top, but if it was nice and sparse? Again, not saying it is worth it as I think the design has really turned a corner with maturity overtaking the large gap between the branches.
And, your virt highlights how the removal of the bottom branch emphasizes the straightness in that section.
I need to get myself a corker. I love the healthy green needles on this one.
 

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I have played around with removing the bottom branch, which would give it a more literati feel, but I don’t think it improves the look any. The trunk movement isn’t interesting enough to make it work.
View attachment 244902
Don't do this, your eye is drawn to much to the almost straight park of the trunk. With the branches it looks great. Without, you take away a key feature of this tree.
 

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