JBP Airlayer

wvbonsai

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I posted this tree for critique and direction a week or so ago however i got no responses. On another forum some members advised to post more images after fall needle plucking to give a better glimpse into the foliage in order to better advise me in direction. I am going to post those imagese here in a new thread in hopes from some advice from you folks as many on that other site are newer at this than I am.
Here is the link to the old thread http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2899
 

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Tachigi

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JC,
Not sure what type of advise your looking for.........

Why did you decide to layer in that chosen spot?

Do you have any successful experiences air layering pines?

What is your experience with JBP...I ask because your needle plucking seems a bit premature

Why did you buy this tree given the faults you listed?

A little color to your images with comments of where your head is at always helps those that wish to help. Plunking down a tree and say give me advise is often a hard thing to do with out offending the presenter with out any additional info. nor is it fair to the contributing members as they have know idea how to help.
 

wvbonsai

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I chose to layer at that spot because that sectionmof trunk has all the taper of a stove pipe and there are svereal options for a new leader right below the proposed severing point. The layered portion would make a nice tree in it's self. I would say that I am possible 3-4 weeks premature for plucking but I don't think it will effect me adversely. I have been growing pines for about 3 years and have never layered but I consult with Julian Adams occasionally in reference to Jbp and Jwp. He has successfully layered countless pines and I will be folowing his methods. He is in Va so roughly the same zone. I appreciate ur input and hope we can work through this!
 

Bill S

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JC based on your comment about using lower branches for the apex says you plan to keep the bottom of the tree, in the words used towards the same kind of idea I had, why waste the time, cut it off and start the traing in earnest.

I understand that it has some size and branches, and IF successfull you get a second tree, but I don't think many have all that great of success with airlayering these, although some do.

The area above the nebari bothers me, because the roots haven't barked up yet, or is this a graft?? If you were going to use the top of the tree layered off, you might get a better tree, than the bottom. Can you hard prune some of the branches to use most of your existing tree, and get away from the top growing out of control?

Have you read Brents articles on growing JBP for bonsai - if not try this link - http://www.bonsaitalk.com/lug/link_in_frame.php?link=11&c=59
 

Tachigi

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JC,

Ok my question still stands... What advise are you exactly looking for?

You seem to have a game plan in mind, a role model, who is is good at what he does, to take examples from. Most importantly a tree that could benefit from something drastic happening to it.

Seems you have this well in hand...
 

greerhw

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Good tree to practice on.

keeo it green,
Harry
 

Brian Van Fleet

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J.C.,
This looks like a young, grafted cork-bark black pine. If this is the case, I would definitely NOT layer the tree; it just won't produce roots for you. If you don't like the little bit of reverse taper near the base; that is the graft union where the understock (non-corking) and scion wood (the corkbark variety) and you'll need to decide if you can live with it or not. If I had to guess, it looks like a Gan-Seki-Sho, or WabiSabi. Do check out Brent's site at www.evergreengardenworks.com for more on corkers, but I don't think these varieties are in his catalog.

If it was my tree, I would do this instead:

1. Do not needle-pluck the lower branches. It will reduce your chances of back-budding, and you'll need some back-budding to avoid long, bare sections and the eventual need to replace those branches entirely.

2. "Nip" the ends off the upper branches and get the tree to produce adventageous buds closer to the trunk. Eventually, you'll replace the apex with the branch circled in green in the image.

3. Do a little wiring for shape this winter. If this is a corker, you'll need to add movement to branches while they are still young. Once they develop cork, you can't really wire them anymore.

4. Take your time and keep the tree strong. Corkers do not grow as fast as other JBP. Styling will come mainly from clip-and-grow. You will need to keep the tree back-budding for this to happen.

5. When you repot (and I'd wait until the tree is VERY rootbound), spread the roots and plant slightly deeper.

6. Call Wee-Tree and confirm that this is a corker...I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that it is.

Enjoy! It's got lots of potential.

Brian
 

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Brian Van Fleet

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Quick virt...I am no graphics expert, but an idea of what could happen in 3-5 years.
 

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wvbonsai

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Thanks for taking time to explore some possibilities with me. You are spot on on the cultivar. It IS a grafted wabi-sabi cork bark JBP. I have read all of the articles you suggested plus just about everything else you can think of! :) Also you can see where it has been completed by another forum member here http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=935 I like your line of thought as outlined in the virt but using the entire tree would leave it very out of proportion with the current trunk dia if using the 1:6 ratio. The trunk is about 3" in dia so that should yeald a tree 18" or so. I know that I could use your sacrifice branches to thicken the trunk but having 1 major chop done on it previously by other owners I think it would take longer than the time line I had in mind for this tree.
If I attempted the air layer and succeeded I would have the tree as illustrated by the first image. If it failed I would simply sever it anyways as if it had served its purpose as a sacrifice branch and be left only with the second image. However, If i am successful I will have both.
I know that airlayering JBP is risky but as long as I have the backup plan of going the route toward the second image I am prepared to accept if it fails. After all, whats life without risks.
 

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rockm

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Do not use mathematical equations to mandate what's accceptable and what's not. You wind up with impossible goals, goals that don't make any artistic sense or completely neuter a particular tree. It's not about the ratio. It's about the PERCEIVED ratio--what the EYE deems acceptable. There is considerable leeway there. I think this tree falls well within that grey area.

The current trunk, if it's a cork bark variety, will increase in diameter as it "barks up," so it will become more substantial as you work it over the years. Even if it doesn't the suggested design and current trunk diameter go fine together.

I would NOT chop it drastically as you have outlined. You will regret it.
 

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