Dwarf Scots Pine - Branch Dying


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Columbus, OH
I recently bought a nice-sized P.s. 'Beuvronensis' from a local landscape nursery. It's has nice, compact, short-needled foliage and looked to be in perfect health. I've had it for about 6 weeks and over the last 3-4 weeks I've had a branch mysteriously die. It's the thickest branch of a 3-branch whorl off one of the main branches (does that make sense)...I only mention that because the other branches in this group are perfectly healthy and it's not like this branch was alwaysthe weakest of the group.

I've really done very little to this tree since I've gotten it other than watering. I did remove a branch on the other side of the tree that I knew I would never use as part of the final bonsai design...but it's nowhere near the lifeline for this branch, and, like I mentioned, the other sub-branches on this branch are just fine.

So, any ideas what I should look for?

You've ask one of the toughest questions in bonsai, I have had healthy Itowgawa shimpakus just drop a branch for no reason I never knew why, I would make more jin out of them. Even if your cut the branch off, which you should, you may never know what happened. That's what makes this hobby so frustrating at times.Good luck.

keep it green,
Hi Emk, looks like your pine had one branch got physical injury due to human, animal or others (insect). You may look for the sign of insect in where this died branch emerging from other branch or trunk. Bonhe
Trees do this. Some more than others. It's important to understand that it's all just grist for the styling mill - now you have a jin and a whole new set of styling possibilities, so rejoice. Trees do this all the time in nature, and when we collect a yamadori it will often have lots of deadwood features, often a much greater proportion of the tree dead than living. All else being equal, those are highly prized!

As long as you have even one area still alive on a tree you have potential for a great tree some day. I like to think that if you can carve, graft, learn techniques to bend even thick branches and trunks, and if you have a decade or two to grow in the ground or nursery pots, almost ANY tree that's a workable species can be turned into something pleasing, perhaps even something impressive. And if not, you'll at least learn a lot along the way. :)
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