Occidentalbonsai

Seedling
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Hello bonsai nuts! This is my first post and I’d love for some ideas on how to style this jbp. It’s around 25 years old or so and my main concern is that the trunk has little to no movement. There are probably a few options and while I have my own ideas on what to do, I’d love any suggestions this group might have. Thanks in advance!
 

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Leo in N E Illinois

Imperial Masterpiece
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This pine looks like it has been grown with too much shade. There is no interior growth left. Too much shade, not enough sun & fertilizer, and you will end up with a sparse tree.

But with time, and I do mean 5 or more years, it can be fixed. You don't mention where you are located, so I can not give you season specific advice, I don't know if you are in Maine, or Australia, or California. Please edit your profile to include approximate location info, we don't need your address, just a location that we can make a guess at your climate with.

Top priority, would be to get this in the sun, minimum 8 to 10 hours of direct sun per day. JBP are heavy feeders, begin a regular fertilizer program. Begin fertilizing now through in late summer, through autumn. Pause fertilizing in winter, resume fertilizer early spring. During the rehab of this tree, keep fertilizing through out the summer. Once you begin the refinement phase, you stop fertilizer before you decandle, then no fertilizer until after the new shoots on the decandled branches have matured their needles. Late summer. THen begin fertilizing again. Brand of fertilizer is not important. Organic, inorganic, water soluble, doesn't really matter.

The trunk is pretty thick, difficult to bend. If you really want movement in this pine, it is too late for the main trunk. Your new tree is one of the branches at the first whorl of branches. That branch that starts at the first whorl, and goes up diagonally, like a secondary trunk, I would make that your new main trunk. I would begin removing the old straight trunk now, maybe remove half the foliage. Then the following summer you can remove the rest of that trunk.

Keep all the skinny branches at the first whorl, one of them will become your first branch. The fat diagonal will be the main trunk. The first whorl (2nd from the roots) on the diagonal, keep all the skinny branches, one will become your 2nd branch and one will become the next segment of main trunk. You will chop the diagonal above the 2nd whorl and continue the trunk using one of the branches. But this might not be done until next year. This year just reduce the rigid straight trunk.

At least that would be my plan. There are other options. Once this tree gets fertilizer and sun, it should start back budding.
 

Occidentalbonsai

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Leo in NE Illinois:

Thanks so much for the reply! I guess to add more context, I've got an increasing number of plants and am looking to keep learning more and more so I really appreciate the wisdom of you and this broader group.

I'm located in the coastal redwoods in Sonoma County, CA so it's our wet winter season and I'm tending to various winter tasks for the trees. In doing so, I removed wire from this JBP and removed dead needles (+ a few more) to allow for it to dry out in between rain. Given the season, and the fact I can see the structure more clearly now, I figured it was time for some pruning - as my sense is that things will start warming up here in about a month or so. Hopefully this helps explain why it looks bare, I needed to clean it up (perhaps I cleaned it up too much? :oops:) after a lot of rain we had.

Looking at the trunk, you confirmed my plan which is awesome as I wasn't really confident about the plan to chop the trunk. I agree that there is more movement at the first whorl and that there is more interesting material to work with there over the longer term. Given the trunk needs to be tended to, would you wait till next year to repot, or do it now just before spring?

Of course, perhaps I should just keep fertilizing and wait till next season?

Thanks again for the feedback - very much appreciated!
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
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An aggressive fertilizer regimen and a lot of sun exposure will force your tree to grow and back bud all over the place. You have to get your hands around the initial aspect of growing these guys before attempting to stye one of them.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Shibui

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This one has obviously had a pretty tough quarter century. Lack of pruning has left long, bare branches. That's just what happens when pines are just allowed to grow. Just how thick is that trunk near the ground?

I agree with the first branch being the best option in this tree but it is not really clear where to go after that.

Down here where pines actually grow slowly all year I would take out the main trunk and cut all other branches back to leave just the lowest 6-10 pairs of needles and hope for good budding in spring. in some places I believe the best time for that would be spring as the weather warms.
 

Occidentalbonsai

Seedling
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thanks for the replies here! I got this tree last year knowing it was just left to grow and that it would be a project. I'm looking forward to working with this material to add movement and ensure it is happy and healthy.

The trunk at the bottom is about 2 inches and I agree it will be more of a long term project. Perhaps the word "styling" in the subject line was a bit off the mark here haha

Thanks for making my first post less painful than I thought! I have a bunch of trees and may use this forum as a resource for crowdsourcing feedback.

IMG_2415.jpg
 

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