Little Pine, Big Character

Smoke

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Two years ago I started a small pine out of frustration in a thread holding a goodly record on views, well over 8000. That thread contains many posts by me and many of those posts I am not too proud of.

One thing that can never be said about Al is that he doesn't post any work. If I can't make my point with words then by God I will just show you how it's done. I hope some of those other guys in that post started something to share two years later.

I have decided to share it so far today. You can read the whole wretched mess here

In Feb. 2008 at the shohin seminar I took a blackpine workshop. Let's just say that at the workshop I was a little dissapointed about the caliber of the material. The dialog was good and pointers on aftercare and stuff like that so it was a bargain. I styled my small whip. Not even as large as a pencil, but satisfying none the less.
 

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Smoke

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In July of that year we had "The Thread" about technique of wrapping small whips with wire and bending them and giving them a squash.

Of course I mouthed off in the thread about those that I have and the junipers I had lost due to twisting the wood free of the cambium and killing them. I decided to try one on a pine. I had a small whip which already had a good styled crown but a long thin trunk. What better candidate to try this on but that.

Wrapped the damn thing in enough wire to bring back Frankensteins Monsters wife and squashed the hell out of it.
 

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Smoke

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During 2009 the pine was allowed to just grow. It did....and well. plenty of fertilizer water and sun.


In spring 2010 I cut back but left two candles to grow on. These would become sacrifice leaders to help thicken the trunk. Needles were cut off the trunk of these long leaders to keep the energy moving forward.

The tree was moved to full sun and double fertilizer was poured to the tree. This tree easily had as much a two to three pounds alone placed on it this year.
 

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Smoke

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This week I needle plucked (way late) and pruned back to retain shape. Wire was placed on branches that had doubled in length. This tree is allowed to lengthen in the branches, wire shape and wiggle them and then prune to length. I need whats going on in the trunk to also be going on in the branches.

This is where I am so far.

Two years and the trunk is well over 1/2 inch now. Wire is being allowed to bury itself in the trunk and will just grow around it and graft itself together. The trunk has been scarred where it touches itself and will also knit there increasing it to well over 1 inch by next years end. The parts of the loops in the trunk coils that touch the ground had been covered with long fibered moss and are now showing roots which emerged out of the bark and has really given me a cool base on this thing.

A couple more years and the trunk should be all fused together and I can start the shari process. While pruning I left a few stubs which I jinned just to repeat that in the canopy for later.
 

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Smoke

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Close up of the trunk area. Note how the coils on the right touching each other have already fused. The other side has a good shot of the base but it does not show well in a photo. The camera keeps trying to focus on a branch and blurrs what I am trying to shoot. I would just manuel focus if I wasn't so blind.

Not this spring, but the spring after that when I cut off the leaders, it will be time to repot. Hopefully all can be exposed at that time. Note the twisted ends of wire at the righ of the base as it enters the soil. That is a tourniquet just below the soil line which can be seen showing a pretty good flare. It's gonna be even better in two years!

Stay tuned for Feb. 2012
 

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Smoke

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Sorry, I forgot to take a shot against black with the trunk showing. This is probably the front of the tree as this view best shows the trunk.
 

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Brian Underwood

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Oooh, twisty... Lookin pretty good for just two years. The last time I was at Jim's he showed me a couple twisty junipers that he accidentally left the wire on too long, thought they were goners, but now after a few years, they have the best shari of the lot. I hope the same for this little guy.
 

Smoke

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Did some fall work on the small pine. Looks to be ready for a bonsai pot this spring. Now just have to find a good pot for it. All the good shohin pots I have for this tree are a little large for the tree.
 

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John Ruger

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That's a hell of a nice little pine. You developed a ton of character in it.
 

JudyB

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What an amazing transformation. And in such a short time. Thanks for the progression, it's inspiring.
 

tmmason10

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Man you are good Smoke. You get incredible results really fast, and inspire me to want and try new things. Very nice looking start to a shohin pine.
 

will0911

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That is a cool technique! Didn't know pines could fuse....looks darn good!
 

Bill S

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Al, none of the junis made it??
I thought I remembered Kathy Shaner saying that often you are only moving the bark and cambium separately from the wood, obviously that only goes between branches. We were working on a procumbens nana.

That little guy is lookng good, youv'e learned that lesson well.
 

Smoke

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I still have one juniper kicking along. Will be taking it out of the pot soon and putting it in the ground.
 

discusmike

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That is one fast growing little pine,after reading your thread on juniper wiring,i tried a few myself last winter,there still alive and growing well,i have to eventually show them so you and other fellow well experienced practitioners can let me know if i had done everything correctly.As usual,nice work Al.
 

camikins

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During 2009 the pine was allowed to just grow. It did....and well. plenty of fertilizer water and sun.


In spring 2010 I cut back but left two candles to grow on. These would become sacrifice leaders to help thicken the trunk. Needles were cut off the trunk of these long leaders to keep the energy moving forward.

The tree was moved to full sun and double fertilizer was poured to the tree. This tree easily had as much a two to three pounds alone placed on it this year.

Can you give a bit more info on your fertilizing regiment?
Thanks.
Cam.
 

Bill S

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Camikins do a search on his posts, I think you will find he's done a bunch, check ertilizer, and humic acid.
 

Smoke

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Someone asked for a more eyelevel shot of the tree with the buds.
 

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jkd2572

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I appreciate the progression pics and story. It really teaches me what can be done. Thanks again.
 
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