JWP - is it alive

MartyB

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Hello,

This is my first spring season with a JWP, I am still learning how to care for it so I am not familiar with this period yet. I got it mid summer and was able to maintain it until now.

I am concerned that it is June1 and the candles are very short, and more on the yellow side of the spectrum than green. It has been abnormally cool here in may, with nighttime temps often around 6-7C and alot of rain. I did nothing to this tree other than bury it in snow for the winter and keep it in full sun since the spring.

In fall the pesky-ass squirrels dug it out of its pot twice so I technically repotted it out of season in its same soil twice in september 2018. I was happy to see it put out some tiny candles in april and thought it had survived that but they dont seem to be developing fast and I am not sure they are supposed to be this color. I havent fertilized or watered much as I believe they like it to be rather dry, and its been raining quite a bit so it wasnt really necessary. Any comments on this would be appreciated thanks
 

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Japonicus

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It appears ok, but wow, Zone 6a I would expect sooner development.
Let me ask, do you have any other pines in normal health that are within a couple weeks or so
of this one, in the candle stage?

My needles have all opened up now, but still separating if that makes sense. Still unfolding but not bound up.

STOP feeding in Spring. Creates longer candles thus needles, and longer internodes.
 

MartyB

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Thx for your input. I havent fertilized at all yet, as I understood this impacts needle length.

Its been abnormally cold here (Quebec Canada) so I would guess by native species comparison we are a month behind. I have no other pines to compare to. But the off-green yellowy tinge has me concerned, maybe for no reason.
 

Nybonsai12

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Looks ok. Make sure it’s in full sun and don’t over water.
 

Nybonsai12

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Leave them. Trying to remove them could damage new needles.
 

garywood

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Still growing slooooooooow, only a few clusters have green tips pushing out of the candles. But its pushing out some cones? I should probably remove these? Tips welcome.
Marty, there is a general guide to fertilizing bonsai and specifically 5needle pine. It's a good guide if you have a finished bonsai -But- the important thing is health and vigor regardless. Your tree needs fertilizing, lightly, regularly for as long as it takes to regain vigor. Addressing needle length and internode length is secondary at this point.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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@garywood - is correct, you do need some fertilizer, but as he suggested, at half or less of the label dose. If you are technically minded and or have the info on hand, I would shoot for 72 or less parts per million, mg/liter, as nitrogen would be your maximum dose. With organic fertilizers the ppm N calculations can be difficult or misleading. Just cut their suggested dose in half, or to one fourth.

You mentioned you had to repot due to squirrels digging the tree out of the pot in September. Twice. Root damage alone in September could explain the slow growth. I have had pines (not JWP) take a year or two off on extending candles after serious root pruning or the root damage from being collected. I have repotted JWP in late August with success, and slow growth, minimal growth the next spring. I also have had many JWP die on me after spring repotting. I have had many JWP die on me after late summer repotting, but for my ''Lake Michigan influenced" Lake effect climate, late summer repotting is more successful than spring repotting. I definitely try to avoid repotting JWP if at all possible. I try to set them up so they can go 5 to 10 years between repotting. It is a trauma they don't deal well with.

Cold also contributes to slower growth, but JWP are high mountain pines, they may grow slower in the cold, but the growth will be fine and catch up to normal size by autumn. So cold is not why your new grow is small, it is the root damage from the squirrels.

I found my dogs were fair, not 100% but pretty good at keeping squirrels away, as long as the dogs were in the yard with the trees most of the day. When I did not have dogs, I would use wire mesh cages to protect newly repotted trees, I also found a 1 to 2 cm layer of sharp crushed granite or quartzite would help deter squirrels. The coarse crush sold for turkeys or emu, (they might list it as ostrich), This coarse crush for turkey is sharp enough squirrels don't like to dig in it. Find a farm feed store that supplies goods for turkey growers.
 
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