rootpuma

Seedling
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Hi all I am new to the forums but been reading and studying a while. I have ten trees and many cutting I care for, I was gifted a JBP for fathers day. I was not there to pick it out, so my wife made a $140 decision on her own with no knowledge on what to look for in nursery material. Well she picked a decent looking "seven year old" JBP to her that had a lot of styling to it....oh boy does it.

The wires have been left on for years around the trunk and were almost halfway grown over the wire in a spot or two. Lucky for me they were two different size wires so they were easy to remove. However, the trunk is deeply scared...like where the wire was its the size of your pinky and the rest the size of a quarter or more. I am aware they leave the wire in some trees esp grafts of white pines onto JBP...but I didn't want the wire in there for peace of mind.

I got the wire off as soon as I could! I have no plans to touch the plant till next fall at the soonest with the exception of feeding it a lot of N and repotting it this fall into a much bigger pot as it is in a shallow 1 gallon pot, this should allow it to grow freely as I will be gone from the U.S. for the next year. After that it will just grow....possibly for two years or more at which point I might start some training of the branches.

Is there anything else I can do to help this tree along to looking half decent in my life time?
Also the nursery sent her home with a basket full of akadama, pumice and lava rock...they told her it can only be planted in that material...when I repot do I need to use that or what do you suggest...Im sorry I know this is a loaded question. But thinking my wife and son will be here to water them...what if they miss a day in this hot Texas heat. I have already told them they might have to suck it up and water daily.

I will post a pic in a few days when I get home.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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Welcome to Crazy!

Few days?

Travel safely!

Sorce
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Welcome to the site!

As far as I can tell, someone was giving your wife pretty good instructions. I'll have to wait see the photos, but as soon as you mentioned criss-crossed wires on the trunk of two different sizes, it sounds exactly like a method used by some growers to scarify the trunk at a young age to accelerate caliper development and stimulate back-budding. As described to me by one grower "you want to do the exact opposite of good bonsai wiring - too tight, don't make the wire loops parallel or equidistant, cross the larger wire with a smaller wire running in the opposite direction" etc. After a year you can remove the wire and rewire in the opposite direction, though sometimes the wire is embedded so deeply it is simply left on the tree.

This kind of scarifying of young stock is not visible as the tree doubles in size/caliper. Kinda like striking the trunk of your tree with a hammer, or scoring vertical lines with a knife, it forces the tree to callous up, and then continue to grow as normal. I've got 44 immature JBP that I am growing for the 6 year JBP contest that I have wired this way. Compared to seedlings at the same stage of growth that have NOT been wired, they are easily twice as thick due to callousing.

Some immature JBP trees will look very funky as they are being developed, with overlong sacrifice branches, etc. Do not think a JBP pre-bonsai is going to look like a mature JBP bonsai (just smaller) :)
 
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rootpuma

Seedling
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I have no plans of it looking like a mature bonsai for at least another five years or so...depending on the scars.

The wires ran parallel to each other...not criss crossing.

For the next two years I want to get it into a three or five gallon pot so it can grow...I could possibly go larger. Looking to get that thick trunk...hoping it will fill up the voids on the trunk...thoughts?

Any thoughts on soil when I repot early this fall.
 

rootpuma

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asyou can see...its fugly looking...but has potential....I'm sure the nursery doesnt accept returns...🤣
 

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River's Edge

Masterpiece
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asyou can see...its fugly looking...but has potential....I'm sure the nursery doesnt accept returns...🤣
I think the explanations given to your wife were reasonable, not sure about the age of the tree? Would suggest it is possibly younger given its size and bark appearance.
That being said, I would ( this fall) place in a larger grow out container and plan on watering and fertilizing for several years. With proper care you can create three inch trunks in containers. I use grow boxes and Anderson flats for that purpose! The grow boxes hold approximately two and one half gallons of media and the Anderson flats hold about three gallons of media. The grow boxes are five inches in depth and the Anderson flats I use are 7 inches in depth.
Using the Akadama, pumice and lava will be free draining ( sifted to particle size ) . During hotter periods will definitely require watering daily. I would check with locals as to the percentage of Akadama best suited for your area. ( higher percentage equates with higher water retention.)
I live in a wetter, cooler climate and use 25% Akadama, you may be better off with 30 to 35% akadama or even higher.
Growth is very dependant on water, oxygen, and available nutrients in a balanced manner. I would not focus on providing higher amounts of nitrogen, rather a good quality organic fertilizer to complement your inorganic substrate!
Another option to increase water retention is the addition of bark chips, also seived for particle size and the practice of covering the surface with shredded sphagnum moss to limit evaporative loss from the surface.
The best thing you can do is teach those responsible for their care to water properly and check consistently if watering is required! One major advantage of inorganic substrate is the difficulty in overwatering, a major disadvantage is the speed with which it can dry out. Thus the importance of balancing the components with your climate and situation.
Lots of forum members in Texas can help you with the specifics.
Good Luck.
 

James W.

Shohin
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I think the explanations given to your wife were reasonable, not sure about the age of the tree? Would suggest it is possibly younger given its size and bark appearance.
That being said, I would ( this fall) place in a larger grow out container and plan on watering and fertilizing for several years. With proper care you can create three inch trunks in containers. I use grow boxes and Anderson flats for that purpose! The grow boxes hold approximately two and one half gallons of media and the Anderson flats hold about three gallons of media. The grow boxes are five inches in depth and the Anderson flats I use are 7 inches in depth.
Using the Akadama, pumice and lava will be free draining ( sifted to particle size ) . During hotter periods will definitely require watering daily. I would check with locals as to the percentage of Akadama best suited for your area. ( higher percentage equates with higher water retention.)
I live in a wetter, cooler climate and use 25% Akadama, you may be better off with 30 to 35% akadama or even higher.
Growth is very dependant on water, oxygen, and available nutrients in a balanced manner. I would not focus on providing higher amounts of nitrogen, rather a good quality organic fertilizer to complement your inorganic substrate!
Another option to increase water retention is the addition of bark chips, also seived for particle size and the practice of covering the surface with shredded sphagnum moss to limit evaporative loss from the surface.
The best thing you can do is teach those responsible for their care to water properly and check consistently if watering is required! One major advantage of inorganic substrate is the difficulty in overwatering, a major disadvantage is the speed with which it can dry out. Thus the importance of balancing the components with your climate and situation.
Lots of forum members in Texas can help you with the specifics.
Good Luck.
Good info! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
 
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