If you had 100 two yrs old ponderosas, what experiment would you do?

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Let's say you had access to 100, maybe even 200, ponderosa starts that were 2yrs old and about 9" tall? I am sure there are numerous experiments that could be done. 14925502793031838244604.jpg
 

GGB

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I can't think of anything insane BUT, I personally love starting with super young trees because nebari is totally in your control. See above comment for a fun way to pass the time and gain a very important new skill
 

0soyoung

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With 128 trees, you could divide them into 16 groups of 8 trees - enough for a full factorial experiment with 4 two-level factors (high/low control variables); stuff like repot in spring versus Aug/Sep, pond baskets versus nursery pots (or ground versus pots, say), root pruning versus no root pruning, lots of fertilizer verus a little bit or none, sacrifice leader versus no sacrifice, etc. This kind of design can be expanded to explore more variables than just 4 with the same number of trees, with the consequence that you may not be able to tell if the effect was due to an extra factor or resulted from the combination of A and B.

The tough question is how are you going to measure the response to the treatments? Things I can think of are length of internodes, stem/trunk thickness, number of buds, needle length, the tree survived versus died. Qualitative things can be judged (like this group looks better than that), but data (quantitative measures) are always better.

On the other hand, if you are interested in optimization of a factor or two, like how much water, how often, and/or how much fertilizer, you need a more complicated experiment design, but you will again need multiple numbers of trees per trees per treatment AND you must decide what is it that you are going to measure as the response?

What do you postulate the experiment might show?
How do you measure that?
 
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I can't think of anything insane BUT, I personally love starting with super young trees because nebari is totally in your control. See above comment for a fun way to pass the time and gain a very important new skill
Hardcore XXX root grafting XXX
Give me more details! I literally have as many ponderosa as I want at my disposal to try some experiments.
My lady might not agree......but ....... I don't care. Plus I'd like to make a contribution to the horticulture and this is a good opportunity.
 

Bonsai Nut

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What are the questions people ask most often related to Ponderosas (specifically) versus other species?

I would chose one of those. I don't own a Pondersosa, so I can't really comment, but you might consider something related specifically to their care - perhaps pruning or root work.
 

A. Gorilla

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Give me more details! I literally have as many ponderosa as I want at my disposal to try some experiments.
My lady might not agree......but ....... I don't care. Plus I'd like to make a contribution to the horticulture and this is a good opportunity.
There's a root grafting thread around here somewhere, and it involves maples. I'd like to see that happen. I'd like to see an established thicker ponderosa be subjected to these guys as grafted-on-roots.

I'd also like to see the roots splayed out on a board, and fed through some penny nails to ensure a radial pattern as they develop.

Wind them together and see how trunk fusion goes.

Anything that people do when they screw with maples, try it with these guys.
 

Anthony

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How to keep them HEALTHY
How to get the trunk to thicken, rapidly.
How to refine branches.
What size needle length works as a Bonsai and at what height of tree.
How does it heal from a major wound.
And so on.
Good Day
Anthony
 

ianb

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Not really, they are pretty worthless to me. Ponderosa won't survive in my area unless they are grafted with JBP foliage, and the only thing that makes that worthwhile is a gnarly trunk with old bark and deadwood - an old collected tree in other words.

In addition there's no guarantee that needle reduction or other techniques you do on young vigorous trees will translate to an old collected specimen.
 

plant_dr

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How much I could sell them for to buy some decent material....I'm here all week folks;)
I literally laughed out loud at that one. And I'm still chuckling a bit just thinking about it again...
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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What would I do?

The only good bonsai use of ponderosa is when collected with gnarly 100 plus year old trunks. With an old trunk, they ate great bonsai. Take away the gnarly trunks, and you have a mediocre tree with poor bonsai prospects. Long needles, sparse branching, and s moderate to slow compared to JBP growth rate. Sure, when a seedling hits about 50 to 75 years it develops nice bark, maybe as early as 35 years, but until then they do not have the natural growth habits for good bonsai. You need the gnarly trunks.

If you are growing from seed, there are a dozen species with better traits that will give you a decent tree in 15 to 30 years. Better use of your time, JBP, P rigida, P sylvestris, P mugo, P virginiana, P contorta, and other 2 or 3 needed pines.

Don't get me wrong, I love the 2 Ponderosa I have, but both are over 100 years old. I had ponderosa seedlings for a few years, they were uninspiring, no character, I decided to put my energy elsewhere.
 

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