Japanese Black Pine Kotobuki

Drewski

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I picked up this JBP Kotobuki at a local nursery today. It’s humble material, but will allow me to start learning how to work with JBPs. My thoughts were to let it grow for a while to thicken up the trunk. Eventually, I thought chopping at the red line and using the branch with the green arrow as the new leader would be a reasonable course of action. While letting it grow I was thinking I would want to remove the branches above the red line, leaving the apex, to allow the lower branches that will be kept to develop more robustly. Am I on, or close to, the right track? And would it be best to wait for fall to remove the branches? Or can that be done mid-summer?
 

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Potawatomi13

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Nope. Personally see very tall tree but no "material". Sewing or making Bonsai? Distressingly boring straight trunk cured somewhat by cutting above 5th or 6th branch from bottom(for now). After gains in strength and foliage after cutting is time to cut lower to bottom branch perhaps next year if strong enough. In mean time can lower surface of soil to see what surface rootage looks like and pick eventual front for tree. Doing such drastic cutback is not good idea to repot tree until strength regained and not good idea to repot before cut back as tree very top heavy and would be unstable in pot damaging roots. One insult at a time! Major project ahead for you.
 

sorce

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I like the length and straightness of it's entirety.

Mostly because while you do have some heavy growth up top it still seems salvageable, via lopping of heavies and starting new thinner branches, or chopping it down to one of many appropriately vigorous, lengthed, exit angled and positioned higher "new leaders".

I don't think it could stand alone, but if you could find a couple few more of these over the years, I think you could make a pretty convincing group or forest.

Sorce
 
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Hey, didn't you post a 911 cab with a tree in the front seat? I really hope you brought it home in that! :p

I don't think this tree is hopeless at all, @Drewski! You have bitten off a major challenge to be sure, and I suggest spending the next year or two with it learning as much as you can about how to work with JBP and how to keep this particular tree alive and healthy. It looks like you have a 6ft tree with a 4"-5" base. I am making some estimates, assuming the pot is on the floor, and the closet door is 96". That means your finished tree is somewhere in the first half - and more likely the first quarter or third - of this stock. IF you wait until you have the best information, then approach the reduction gradually and carefully, I could definitely see a respectable tree coming out of this. I think you have to push all that energy going on up in the clouds (pardon the pun) DOWN into those weak lower branches. Maybe plan on changing the angle to a slant to deal with the straightness later on. I am actually pretty hopeful for you.

Keep in mind, I am NOT a pine expert - I have one JBP that is decades from being anything to look at. Maybe somebody else will chime in. @Adair M ? @River's Edge ?
 

Drewski

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@luvinthemountains

Yes, it came home in the front seat of the 911. And there was a pyracantha in the back seat. I always get a few looks on the drive home. And it seems the guys driving the big flat bed trucks and dump trucks get the most entertainment out of it. 😄

The tree was on a stool when I took the pics, so it was a bit deceiving. But the base is about 3” or so, and the height from soil is about 5’. And the plan is to get more energy into the lower branches, hence removing branches between the eventual tree and the current apex.

As I said above, the real goal here is to use this tree to learn to work on JBP. If I end up with a tree that makes me happy that would be all the better. 😊

@sorce

The nursery had another one, but that’s it. It was the first time I found JBPs this big in one of the local nurseries. And JBPs don’t seem to be commonly found around here, so I highly doubt I could get enough for a forest. But it is an intriguing idea. 👍
 

JackHammer

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I think it is a fine start. Gradually encourage growth towards the bottom before your trunk chop. If I was looking at the same tree, my path forward would be the same as yours.
 

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