My First JBP

Grant Hamby

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Just got my first Japanese Black Pine, still pretty new to pines in general. I picked this one up on Muranaka's ebay page. I feel like it has great potential. I've always loved shohin pines and I've done a fair amount of reading on here and Bonsai Tonight. The concepts are just beginning to make sense, but I figured the best way to learn is to actually do them. So here we are.

I know that fall is an important time to work on JBP, but having just received this pine, does it need any work now?

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Count needles on lowest (weakest) branch. Eventually you want the bottom to be as strong as the top. So now you can start removing the needles to close down the gap. Leave at least 12 pairs of needles per shoot. Wire the tree and use as many branches as possible. Next year you will remove the branches you don't need. I would repot in spring. It is to early in this trees life to decandle, that is my opinion, but i'm not an expert. For more info i always recommend the lectures of Ryan Neil.
 

Grant Hamby

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Count needles on lowest (weakest) branch. Eventually you want the bottom to be as strong as the top. So now you can start removing the needles to close down the gap. Leave at least 12 pairs of needles per shoot. Wire the tree and use as many branches as possible. Next year you will remove the branches you don't need. I would repot in spring. It is to early in this trees life to decandle, that is my opinion, but i'm not an expert. For more info i always recommend the lectures of Ryan Neil.
Thanks for the advice! And yes, big fan of Ryan. I'm hoping to sign up for his pine course one day, but that's quite a commitment for me in Missouri.
 

aml1014

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I only wired a few branches, the ones I'm pretty sure I'll keep. I felt like I was destroying every needle and bud as I wrapped it around so I couldn't keep going, haha. Gotta learn more about wiring these things.

View attachment 122682
Yep, pines are a bitch to wire at first lol. Just takes practice like everything else in this hobby.

Aaron
 

Grant Hamby

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You're probably not going to keep that lowest branch on the left. It's growing out of the inside of a curve.

For wiring, check out Colin Lewis's tutorial on www.craftsy.com. It's free once you register. Search for "bonsai".
Yes I agree. It's currently just guy-wired down & out of the way for now. And yes, I recently watched that video and finally got to apply some of the techniques, but I still don't always know how to deal with the weird situations.
 

Grant Hamby

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Ah... the weird situations...

Pruning.

You select the branches and sub branches so that they alternate. Left, right, left, right. Basically, eliminate the weird situations.
That makes a lot of sense! I still don't really know too much about when to prune these, so I just kind of worked with what I had. Trying to take it slow and not kill it, haha.
 

bonhe

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Hi Grant Hamby,
If I were you, I would not perform any work except daily care. The reason: the tree came from California with different weather. I would let it acclimate first, at least one year before I would touch it. I guess I am more conservative in term of taking care the life!
Good luck to your new pine.

p/s: I can see the tree already has needle cast!
Bonhe
 

Grant Hamby

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I'm glad it's okay for the winter. And yeah I don't plan on doing much aside from keeping it healthy for a while.

Needle cast? Sounds horrible... Guess I should figure out how to deal with that.

That wiring job looks great, Adair. I put some copper wire on my Christmas list. And yes, I will definitely watch Boon's videos! Thanks for the suggestion!
 
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