Japanese Black Pine "Mi Nishiki"

darrellw

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Probably like everyone else, I've been busy repotting. Still quite a few trees to go, but I thought I'd start posting some pictures. This is a tree that I got from Brent at Evergreen last fall, and I did the initial styling last November at a pine workshop held by one of our club members. Then it was repotted a couple of weeks ago at my new study group. The front half of the roots were cleaned out, and it was potted in 1/3 each akadama/pumice/lava. The back half will be cleaned out next repotting. The pot was mostly selected based on size, but seems a good match for the tree at this point.

According to Brent, this is a cutting grown, cork bark cultivar, and it ten years old (I guess eleven, now). The first shot is the tree as offered by Brent. I do not have any pictures after the inital styling or during the repotting session (need my own photographer!).

In the future, I plan to develop the left hand branch into a near semi-cascade, and the crown should be compact, and not any higher than the current top.
 

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rlist

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Hey Darrell. As I noted at your place, this is a nice little tree and I look forward to your work on it. As I also noted, I thought that the planting angle would better serve a semi-cascade if it was rotated something like 15-20 degrees, as now it has an informal upright feel to the planting angle. Something similar to my horrible virt is what I had in mind.

I am assuming the planting angle was discussed during the workshop... Can you shed a little light on the decision making process and why it was left the same? I am curious, and hope to use this as a learning lesson, so please don't take it as anything other than that!

Rich
 

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darrellw

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Hi Rich,

We did talk breifly about the planting angle, but to change it at this point (in this pot) would have required the removal of some more roots, and we elected to keep it close the the original angle at the moment.

-Darrell
 

cbobgo

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Very cute little tree, although I think I like it's look as a short little upright, rather than a semi-cascade, but maybe I just haven't caught your vision for it yet.

- bob
 

Rick Moquin

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I'll have to second that. Although, JMO and it is difficult to depict from a flat picture.
 

darrellw

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Here is a quick virt of where I think this tree is going. Slight tilt to the left, left branch extended a bit. Perhaps it should have more compact, rounded crown? Anyway, any thoughts/comments/suggestions welcome!

-Darrell
 

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bonsai barry

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After looking at your virt, I couldn't help but wonder if you mght have more effectively accomplished your vision if you had left it in a growing pot as you developed the tree's apex and branching?
 

darrellw

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After looking at your virt, I couldn't help but wonder if you mght have more effectively accomplished your vision if you had left it in a growing pot as you developed the tree's apex and branching?
Hi Barry,

Good question. The pot it is in now really isn't that much smaller than the nursery container was, and it was time to start getting the old soil changed. There isn't a lot of major growth left to attain. The major branches are already there, and just need refinement and ramification. The crown will be "new", and there will be a period of time that the top of the trunk is a bit thin, but most of building the crown will also be adding fine, ramified branching.

Or at least, that is what I think needs to be done!

-Darrell
 

cbobgo

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ok, so when you said semi-cascade you meant just that branch, not the whole tree? I think that works pretty well.

I think making the tree just a bit shorter than your virt shows would be good. And my other suggestion is your first branch on the right is a little too strong. The movement of the tree should be flowing leftward with the low sweeping branch. So you may want to reduce that 1st right branch a fair bit.

It's going to be a great little tree.

- bob
 

darrellw

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ok, so when you said semi-cascade you meant just that branch, not the whole tree? I think that works pretty well.

I think making the tree just a bit shorter than your virt shows would be good. And my other suggestion is your first branch on the right is a little too strong. The movement of the tree should be flowing leftward with the low sweeping branch. So you may want to reduce that 1st right branch a fair bit.

It's going to be a great little tree.

- bob
Thanks, Bob.

Here it is with a few more tweaks along what you have suggested.

-Darrell
 

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cbobgo

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I like the top changes alot, and have taken the liberty of very crudely erasing a little more of the right hand branch.

- bob
 

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darrellw

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Thanks, Bob. Here is your virt with a little more refinement, I also reduced the canopy on the left, and extended it on the right to match the movement of the lower branches.

-Darrell
 

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Graydon

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That is going to be a very sweet tree Darrell. It's nice seeing the transitions from the photo of the tree as it is now thru to the last virt posted.

How long to do think it will take to get the tree to that point? Have you seen a mature 'Mi Nishiki' in person? How deeply does it cork? At what age does the corking really begin to pop?

I purchased one of these from Brent sometime last year. I'm currently letting it grow out but I can only wish I can find a tree in it as compelling as yours. Perhaps when it's ready for styling I'll post some photos and try to enlist some help in the virt department.
 

darrellw

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Thanks, Graydon.

Those are good questions, and ones that I would like to hear the answer from our more experienced members! I've only been seriously into pines for a couple of years, so this is all (edcuated, I hope) speculation on my part.

I think in the next 2-3 years I can complete the framework of the tree. The lower branches are already well on their way, and there are beginnings to all of the top ones. At that point, the basic outline with be in place, but it won't be very refined. Another 2-3 years and ramification will start to develop within the outline.

This is all based on my observations of pine growth in the last couple of years, combined with the statement of a very experienced club member (who helped in the initial styling) that it could be ready to show in 5 years. He runs our club shows, and sets a very high standard, so I place a fair amount of weight in his opinion. I just might add a fudge-factor because I might take a wrong turn or two...

As far as the cork, I have not seen a mature specimen. Brent said the corking comes slowly, over 20 years, so if it takes another 5 to get this tree in good shape, the bark should be about there by then.

Please do post your tree when you are ready.

-Darrell
 

cbobgo

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looking good darrell, but I'm not sure if I like the extension of the top canopy. But that's personal preference. This is well on the way to being a great little tree.

Do you have some others for a shohin group, or do you think you will display it by itself?

- bob
 

darrellw

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Do you have some others for a shohin group, or do you think you will display it by itself?
Most of my trees are shohin, or near shohin. But I think (hope?) this tree would be able to stand on its own.

-Darrell
 

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