dwarf scotts pine

discusmike

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This a dwarf scotts pine with a trunk size of 1-1/4,and it looks to be ready for a chop,it has many small branches down low,i plan on cutting above this worl of branches,i have hardly any experience with this species,and i dont see any post of people working on them,any help with finding a future design or info about this species would be appreciated,it does look very apex dominated like the regular scotts pine but needles are shorter.How many years do you think it would take to make this tree even start to look like a bonsai?five,ten??I'm going to take some better pics later today when the sun goes down,but i think you can get a good idea of what im working with.
 

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Vance Wood

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I think you are right. The entire top of this tree should come off down to the branching at the bottom third of the trunk. Then some of those branches should be shortened but not until the new growth starts to push hard and gets rolling. If the timing is right you should get a bunch of back budding on the lower branches and be able to shorten them even more. I think you will have a decent bonsai in about five years or less.
 

discusmike

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Cool,thanks Vance,i always appreciate advice from someone with your experiene.
 

Vance Wood

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Cool,thanks Vance,i always appreciate advice from someone with your experiene.

I grow a lot of Scots Pines like this one. The base of the trunk has nice movement to it and from the first set of branches up, there are good possibilities to make a really nice small to medium sized bonsai. The down side is that you are going to have to eleminate some of the other bottom branches or you will receive a knuckle for your efforts. The branch whorls that are common in Pines cause a swelling (knuckle formation)at the point of origin if not controlled.

With what I see you are going to have to eleminate these extra branches sometime this season or this is what will happen. Essentially you are going to be doing a classic trunk chop using the upper right hand branch in the first photo as the new leader and one of the other branches as a first branch provided you can get it to back bud.

You will probably see a good deal of back budding all over this tree provided it is vigorous and well fertilized. Hopefully this will happen and you will recognize which to keep and which to discard. However there is something else you have to understand. New buds that break on old wood tend to be very fragile for at least one season and probably should not be touched for two seasons. They tend to break off easily and do not like being messed with until they start to form wood.
 

discusmike

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Is this kinda what you were thinking Vance?
 

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Vance Wood

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Is this kinda what you were thinking Vance?

In a word: Yes. Now have the courage to let it develop for the rest of the season. You acheive what you are looking by cut and grow, cut and grow. Until you reach a point where you can do more than this resist the temptation to mess with it.
 

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