Mattmattmm

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Hello guys,

I am relatively new to bonsai, I got a Chinese elm about a month ago and have managed to take care of it well. I went to a garden centre yesterday and saw this beautiful JWP that I got not realising how different it was to the elm.

I have been researching all night and can not find consistent information. The soil is very very solid and it takes a good while for the water to soak in. I have read that JWP do not like a lot of water and need well draining soil. So firstly should the soil be this hard? Secondly I can see roots coming from the bottom and some near the top which tells me it needs to be repotted however I have read that mature JWP can be in their pots for 3-5 years.

I just want to get the watering down before I do anything so if anyone could provide me with some advice that would be great.
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Hi Matt and welcome to the site! Before we start talking about white pines, could you share your location with us? That looks like a California tree...
 

Mattmattmm

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Hello!

I am in the UK. The nursery told me that the tree was imported from Japan 3 months ago. what do you think?
 

sorce

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You can check your regulations on importing to see if it was, this may also reveal other things for you.

I would use toothpicks to aerate the soil, you might be ok to Repot after the summer Solstice, preferably near the first full moon.

Freshly repotted trees can show drain hole roots in a day, that's not a good sign to Repot.

It sounds like it could use repotting, just not now.

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce


Sorce
 

Adair M

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It appears that your soil has created a crust over the top. That’s not uncommon. You can scrape the top layer of that crust off, and replace with fresh bonsai soil. Only do the top 1/2 inch.

wait until early next spring to repot.

Your tree is JWP foliage grafted onto a JBP trunk. It’s about 15 years old.

This coming September would be a good time to wire it and style it, then repot early next March.

Do water it every day. Give it as much sun as you can. You can use a sharpened chopstick to punch holes into the rootball mass to aid drainage.

Pines don’t like “wet feet”, that is to say, soggy soil. They do need to be watered, they want the water to drain through. I use inorganic soil, equal parts akadama, pumice, and lava.

Right now, your tree should be growing needles. They’re very delicate, don’t mess with the foliage right now. Mid summer, you can fertilize, and continue to fertilize thru the summer and thru the fall. Late summer, the old needles will yellow and fall off. That means this years growth has “hardened off”, and it’s safe to wire it.

I have lots of JWP. Feel free to search this forum for posts under my name with “JWP”or “Japanese White Pine” as keywords. You’ll find lots of info and pictures.
 

Adair M

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By the way, your tree may not need repotting. Once you get that crust of what appears to be dried spaghnum moss off the top, you may find it drains better. Spaghnum moss on the top can act something like a thatched roof, and slow drainage. (Er, absorption!).

Can you ask the shop where you got it if it was imported bare root, or did it come in potted with soil? If it came in bare root, it will not need repotting for a couple years.
 

Mattmattmm

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By the way, your tree may not need repotting. Once you get that crust of what appears to be dried spaghnum moss off the top, you may find it drains better. Spaghnum moss on the top can act something like a thatched roof, and slow drainage. (Er, absorption!).

Can you ask the shop where you got it if it was imported bare root, or did it come in potted with soil? If it came in bare root, it will not need repotting for a couple years.

I got it from a nursery in Lutterworth and I don’t know if it came in barerooted. I should of asked. The tips are like white and abit yellow... is that something to be concerned about?

Thankyou for all of your help 😊
 

AJL

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The tree is probably a bit stressed assuming it was imported this year,- it takes about 1 month to transit in a dark refrigerated shipping container from Japan to UK then it needs to be quarantined 3 months on the UK nursery in a sealed tunnel or glasshouse before it can be sold on to you.
Presumably you bought it from a nursery who had quarantined it provided phytosanitary certificate documentation?! This species can only be imported under licence from Japan.
Trees that size would not usually be transported bare rooted - as theyre usually planted in sterile akadama or something similar before export from Japan to UK.
Are the candles extending now?If the yellowing is only on old needles its probably not a big problem
 

Mattmattmm

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The tree is probably a bit stressed assuming it was imported this year,- it takes about 1 month to transit in a dark refrigerated shipping container from Japan to UK then it needs to be quarantined 3 months on the UK nursery in a sealed tunnel or glasshouse before it can be sold on to you.
Presumably you bought it from a nursery who had quarantined it provided phytosanitary certificate documentation?! This species can only be imported under licence from Japan.
Trees that size would not usually be transported bare rooted - as theyre usually planted in sterile akadama or something similar before export from Japan to UK.
Are the candles extending now?If the yellowing is only on old needles its probably not a big problem

Yes candles are starting to extend and I have just punched some holes in the souls for better drainage so hopefully we are on the road to a healthy tree.

What are your thoughts on feeding? I have Pokon liquid feed at the moment but I’m unsure on the time scales. Am I looking at every week, bi weekly, monthly etc..?
 

Adair M

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Yes candles are starting to extend and I have just punched some holes in the souls for better drainage so hopefully we are on the road to a healthy tree.

What are your thoughts on feeding? I have Pokon liquid feed at the moment but I’m unsure on the time scales. Am I looking at every week, bi weekly, monthly etc..?
Don’t feed it anything right now. It just needs sun and water.

I’m not familiar with the import regulations into the U.K. from Japan. If that tree had been imported into the US, it would have had to be barerooted.
 

Mattmattmm

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Don’t feed it anything right now. It just needs sun and water.

I’m not familiar with the import regulations into the U.K. from Japan. If that tree had been imported into the US, it would have had to be barerooted.
Hi Adair,

Thankyou very much for all of your information. After punching some holes in the soil and scraping the top mossy layer, I gave it a little water this morning and it’s drained so well.

In your professional opinion when should I feed also for future reference what kind of signs should I look for when repotting?

Matt
 

Adair M

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Hi Adair,

Thankyou very much for all of your information. After punching some holes in the soil and scraping the top mossy layer, I gave it a little water this morning and it’s drained so well.

In your professional opinion when should I feed also for future reference what kind of signs should I look for when repotting?

Matt
Since I use inorganic soil, I use organic fertilizer. I don’t fertilize in spring when the tree is growing. If you do, you’ll get long needles and long internodes. Wait until the spring growth has finished growing, and has hardened off. This is typically mid summer. Then begin fertilizing.

I use the little cakes from Japan that come in the big tins. The only thing in English on the label says “Joy”. So, I call them Joy cakes.

I’m not sure exactly what you mean about “signs when repotting”. If the tree is draining well, no need to repot.
 

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