local pine species not often used- Pinus Sabiniana

headive24

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So this is one of the first yamadori i have ever collected. I wasn't planning on collecting one of these Foothill/ghost/grey/digger/etc Pines; but this one caught my eye for whatever reason. It has still never been wired or anything; because it was only collected about 5 months ago. I am seeing new budding and the tree, in my opinion, is going to survive the initial transplant. I am looking for a pot for it and plan to probably cut off the highest branch. I've read people say not to use this species becuase of the foliage on them, but i was wondering if you guys saw any of the beauty i see in it; or if you agree it shouldn't be used. (I'm going to keep it either way). and also if anyone has a styling suggestion or potting stye suggestion. Thanks
 

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bwaynef

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For a recently collected tree that's not had any bonsai technique applied, I'm not particularly daunted by the foliage. I think you should definitely give it a shot.

Where are you? In what general location does this tree live? Coastal? Mountain? Wetlands? You get the idea.
 

headive24

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bwaynef: I am in the San Joaquin Valley in California. We have very hot, dry summers here and pretty mild winters. The tree was collected from the foothill transition zone where the Mountains are just rising from the valley floor. Where a road was carved in the side of a mountain, this tree was on the man-made peak on the uphill side. Does that answer pretty well your question? I noticed when I take the main road that climbs the mountains; that this is the first conifer you see mixed in with the oaks, sycamores, buckeyes, etc. For a while it is the only conifer until you enter zones with juniper, calocedrus decurrens, and other pine species. I've never seen P. Sabiniana growing in the valley floor where I live, but their natural environment experiences hot dry summers same as valley floor.
 

bwaynef

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I'm certainly not the resident Pine expert on the forum, but since no one else is engaging, I'll offer my thoughts. I wouldn't touch this tree for the rest of the year. Fertilize it and give it plenty of sun, ...and don't let it dry out completely ...but do let it dry some. Next spring, I'd half bareroot it and plant it in an inorganic mix. According to wikipedia, it looks like its related to ponderosa, so that'd be where I'd take my growing/maintenance cues from. I don't remember the details, but essentially, you have to build foliage mass before you can shorten the needle. Feed it. Feed it. Feed it. Then prune it back a bit to take advantage of the backbudding that's resulted from all the feeding. (Until I saw it was closely related to Ponderosa, I was going to suggest you treat it like a JBP (decandle in summer) and see how it responded. The more cautious approach is to treat it like a Ponderosa/Long-needle Single-Flush pine.)
 

headive24

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bwaynef: your knowledge/suggestions are appreciated. I'm going to research the Ponderosa and how to care for it. I'll likely respond again later after I do so. Feel free to do the same if you think of anything else. Thanks again
 

GGB

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Sometimes pine species respond to fine ramification with super small needles. like virginia or scots pine. Sometimes they don't, like wild type eastern white pine. And then there's the ENTIRE south east of the USA and all of it's long needled pine species. I have spent a lot of time researching loblolly and other southern natives but can only find hints or claims without any photo evidence. I myself dove into a few species but am years away from ramification stages so I know nothing currently. I say give it a shot.
A member on here is having a good go at paper bark pine currently. always heard that species was no good but sometimes it's just because no one tried too hard. If JRP and JBP can sport 3/4" needles when they're naturally 5" to 6" I don't see any reason other pines can't be reduced. Within reason, no pinus palustris. The problem is there is no info to go off of so it's trial and error.
 

headive24

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GGB- appreciate your response. this might sound like a dumb question but I'm pretty new to this so do you mean cutting the needles down to us shortly or are you talking about the tree doing it on its own once there are finer, smaller branches?
 

headive24

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GGB- appreciate your response. this might sound like a dumb question but I'm pretty new to this so do you mean cutting the needles down to us shortly or are you talking about the tree doing it on its own once there are finer, smaller branches?
Sorry correction: "do you mean cutting the needles down so they are shorter or ..."
 

headive24

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GGB: Nevermind, after researching I have answered my own question I believe. I will work on ramification and I will let you know if the tree responds with shorter needle length. I am new to bonsai but I've been studying plant biology so some things are familiar. Thanks for the help and feedback.
 

Potawatomi13

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Is bigger trunk size, possibly bigger tree in your plan? Possible to subscribe to Bonsai Mirai Live:confused:?
 

PaulH

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I have a lot of these growing on my property but have never been tempted to try one for bonsai due to the long needles (up to 10 inches). Your needles look a lot shorter. Are you sure its digger pine? If so maybe its a lucky mutation.
 

GGB

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I was going to mention that too @PaulH , needles seem like .. virginia pine short. But I don't know anything about digger pine. So I try not to add to the noise
 

headive24

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I am positive that it is P. Sabiniana. I have another one as well. The picture that i posted for some reason does look like shorter foliage than it has in real life. Literature all says the needles grow 8-12 inches, but I have found that the needle length varies even on a single tree. If you look at this sapling, the needles on the bottom are about 4.5" whereas those on top are about 8".

One weird thing about this tree was that at the time of collection, there was already a place where the main trunk had been cut/broken off, but it looks to clean and straight to have been natural. I can't think of why someone would have done that and the landowner says noone he knows of would have done that, but people do things i dont understand all the time, so who knows. But based on the location, the bark color, the foliage color, the smell, and the branching structure; i would say I'm about 95% sure that it is in fact a P. Sabiniana.

But that being said, it wouldnt be the first time i've been wrong. either way i appreciate any and all input.
 

headive24

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Here is a picture of the sapling Digger i have
 

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headive24

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This sapling I will probably never style, but i wanted to have another specimen to possibly take cuttings from/ do some personal research/ and keep the other one company
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Why not? I found saplings of most pines to be super flexible, a little less than young junipers but still flexible enough to make some serious bends and twists.
Taking cuttings can be done, even when it's twisted ;-)
 

headive24

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Why not? I found saplings of most pines to be super flexible, a little less than young junipers but still flexible enough to make some serious bends and twists.
Taking cuttings can be done, even when it's twisted ;-)
good point. im trying an "S" shaped trunk now
 

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