My first pine :)

Redwood Ryan

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Hey everyone. I went to my local Lowes today and picked up this:



Trunk:


The trunk is about an inch and a half thick. The tree is an Austrian Black Pine. I would love and appreciate any help on styling or just advice overall. Could I chop this? Would it back bud well? Thanks any and everyone!


Ryan
 

Redwood Ryan

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I don't really have a reason to I suppose, but how should I go about styling this? I haven't any experience with pines, so this shall be fun. Thanks!
 

Brian Van Fleet

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If you were to chop it, this is what I'd do. Wire the first branch and new apex.
But...you can still wire the future first branch and future apex, and leave the current apex (sacrifice branch), cutting it off in a couple years when the trunk is thicker.

Welcome to the world of pines...they're addictive, but give yourself a few years to really "get it" from an annual scheduling perspective.
 

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Tink32

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I don't really have a reason to I suppose, but how should I go about styling this? I haven't any experience with pines, so this shall be fun. Thanks!
Hey Ryan,

I dont know much but some of the things Ive been studying on my ABP... they throw out barred branches, basically they all come out around a central area of the trunk and left on their own they will cause the trunk to swell up in that area which can cause uneveness in the trunk, reverse taper and such. Im not sure how many branches to leave, I would imagine leaving 2 branches is ok just as long as they arent directly across from each other or "barred".

one other thing I know is they like to be on the dry side so dont over water them, and then theres the basic pine care... dont cut too much off at one time, Ive heard you can go as far as taking 50% in one season but I personally think thats too much. you just gotta have patience, they do take longer to style than deciduous trees, and if you didnt know already dont bare root pines, always keep a little of the original soil. they rely on mycorrhizae for survival. hope this helps somewhat:)

Tink
 

shohin kid

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This, to be honest, is not the best material. But since it appears to be young, wire movement in it. It is way to early for a trunk chop in my opinion. Your primary concern should be growing, it is far from a "bonsai".

SK
 
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SK...

You sound like a guy playing with a gun and happy it hasn't gone off yet.... yet being the operative word. It is indeed better not to completely bareroot pines. In fact with larger trees it is better to do half a side at a time, and giving them more that one year between "dubious root tampering" is a must. You should never repot one year to the next with them. So I wouldn't push you luck thinking you can get away with that next year... and in fact I hope it's still alive at the end of the summer.

If you are talking about a sprout, that's a horse of a different color... but otherwise you should give it more time.

RR...

It's sort of impossible to give you thoughts on the tree's development path without knowing what you think you'd like out of it as an overall height. The facts of the matter are that at 1.5 inches you won't be able to effectively keep the trunk as it exists because of the fact that putting some movement into it would be a pain... so the notion of wiring a new apex (the low branch that is heading upwards would be a good new leader) is a good one. But whether to put it in the ground or a oversized grow pot is more determined by how tall you'd enjoy to see the tree. It's not going to happen soon by any stretch. It will take the better part of a decade to make a nice shohin out of it... two or more to get something nice in a taller height. But the approach is different depending on your available space to grow it in, and your vision.

Kindest regards to both,

Victrinia
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Pretty sure mycorrhizae is critical to the health of pines...it's a symbiotic relationship that makes nutrients available to the trees by their attachment to the roots of the host. Good news is that enough is usually present on the roots themselves to inoculate the pot, and I've read that it's actually airborne...? At any rate, I screen some of the old soil and add it back to the tree as I repot, sprinkling it around the roots, then adding new soil on top. Bare-rooting pines is not necessary...definitely not worth the risk when you starting getting up there in tree.

I have a few JRP seedlings I grew from seed, and never added mycorrhizae to the pots, but when I pulled them out of the pots to check them last summer, they were FULL of the stuff, I mean WHITE soil. It was very cool to see.
 

Bill S

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:eek::rolleyes:

Thanks Victrinia, I was thinking of what I would write as I read it too, you did better than I would have.

ShohinK year after year messing with the roots of pines is dangerous, at best.
 

grouper52

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It looks like you have a long term project, and you have a yard. Good combo. Plan on 10+ years with this guy before he's even in a pot. (Sorry)

Don't bare root entirely, but take him out of the pot and prune off about half the depth of the roots this year. Put him back in the pot after you have raised the pot's soil level enough to have the tree's base stick a few inches above the edge of the pot - the rains and watering will gradually wear the surface soil away so you can see the surface roots/nebari. Chopsticks will allow you to scape some away as well. Fertilize well this year.

Next early spring, take him out of the pot again, and try to root prune off any large or deep roots, and use a root hook or chopstick to disentangle and partially desoil the root ball further. Plant him in the ground in your yard. Plant him at a slant, at least a small one, unless you want to go for a formal upright (I wouldn't try).

Then, when it is dormant the next winter, chop the whole thing up just below that large healthy whorl. The next spring it will start to put all its energy into the few small branches that sit down low - those will form your future tree. Learn what to do from there from Brent's blog at Evergreen Gardenworks, or Stone Lantern's Pine book.

Good luck and enjoy.
 

garywood

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Hi Ryan, to muddy the water a little more :D Welcome to the wonderful world of pine bonsai. They are addictive! Once you go through the training of pines you will REALLY appreciate seeing good ones. If you've read much about pines you will see there are about as many training techniques as there are people and the good/bad thing is you picked one of the tougher ones to beginwith. Most beginners make the mistake of applying Japanese black pine technique, a different animal. So, while you are growing it on, keep one unusable branch to experiment on. Keep notes on dates and procedure for future reference. An examle, do a june candle prune to see if you get new growth. Pines react differently in differing zones so learning as it grows will put you ahead of the curve.
Wood
 

garywood

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Ryan, here is a Scots pine that had growth very similar to yours. This tree was grown to be a short fat tree. It will only have one scar which is another thing to plan as you grow. 5 years in a root control bag in the ground. It is now in a bonsai pot and the top (escape branch) will be removed in late summer. Another trick, don't prune the excess foliage untill it grows new roots for you.
Wood
 

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Klytus

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I always remove the extraneous loose soggy dirt from the surface,next i snip off those lifeless twigs,followed by an apparisal of buds.

If the big bud at the top is solitary i would leave it be for the time being,if it has buddies then it can probably go.
 

tom tynan

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Hey Ryan..The first thing to do is to confirm whether this is a grafted Austrian Black pine - I cannot see a graft union in the picture - so it may be below the soil line. If it is a grafted tree you will have detremine the quality of the graft and its visual appearance. The tree is very straight in the lower third and your first set of branches are in the classic wheel pattern - all branches meeting the trunk at the same location - you need these to create taper and movement - but they will also create an unsightly bulge within 2 to 3 years - so you will have to deal with this sooner vs. later. They do back bud well and you should have no problem getting the tree to pop new buds - but for now that is not the issue. Given the amount you have spent and the straightness of the trunk - you may want to consider chopping the tree and then planting it back in the ground. I see this tree as a long term project ie. 5 to 10 years to create the basic structure. For me - you have to first check the graft - if it is a bad graft - it should be considered for practice or for landscaping purposes......Good Luck...Tom
 

Redwood Ryan

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Oh boy. I don't even know where to start. But, thanks everyone for your advice. It has helped me a lot. Thank you grouper especially, I really like what you mentioned in your post. But I appreciate everyone elses advice just as much. I should've known it wasn't a good choice of material, but oh well. They did have much taller ones (about 2-3 feet tall), and those did have thicker trunks, so I'm questioning if I should've gotten one of those instead. But I will definitely not bare root this tree.

Someone, I forget who, mentioned a trunk chop this year. nd then another person mentioned just growing it out. Which would be the best for this tree?

Thanks everyone!
 
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