My Main Tree Purchase for the Year....JBP Advice Needed Please

just.wing.it

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I have a poor track record with pine trees....
I want to do it right this time, to the best of my abilities....even if that means systemics to beat back needlecast.

No PBA Bonsai Fest at the Nat Arb in DC this year.....so I ordered a tree online 😱.

It looks like it may have had a few branches cut off before shipping and some new growth is already showing in those spots, but most of the candles appear to be intact and needles are just opening up.

Its in a very water retentive mix that I'll change out next spring.

It has some whorls going on....

@Adair M
I'm curious to get your thoughts on this tree....I don't really want to do anything this year, other than grow and study. But I'm thinking that it may be wise to do some branch selection, being such a mess up top.

Is it safe to cut out unwanted branches at this time?
Should I be worried about bleeding?
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River's Edge

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Just curious what is the diameter of the trunk? And what is the distance from the nebari to the first whorl of branches? Trying to gauge the development required for best results!
 

JoeR

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All I can think is I can't wait to see a thin shari along the trunk with some deadwood up top. Nice purchase IMO. I'll be following along as I work on a similar JBP from Bill Valavanis.
 

just.wing.it

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All I can think is I can't wait to see a thin shari along the trunk with some deadwood up top. Nice purchase IMO. I'll be following along as I work on a similar JBP from Bill Valavanis.
Thanks! Hmmmm....jins.....shari.... Future.
 

River's Edge

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Thank you , measuring the trunk just above the nebari or flare is approximately 1 inch, the height to the first whorl is about 11 inches. At that point the branches have thickened the trunk.
If you wish to develop the tree with the current trunk thickness than I would consider grafting the lower part of the trunk for a shorter tree. The movement in the lower trunk lends itself to great branch placement on outside curves beginning 4 or 5 inches up. I can see three scion grafts with a new apex beginning around the nine inch mark. This would add further taper, movement and lots of development options.
If you decide to choose the graft option then the first step would be to decandle a few of the stronger upper branches. This will give you some nice grafting scions for next winter. Probably middle to late March in your area. Best to check with a local bonsai artist who grafts pines.

If you chose to develop a larger tree than I would thicken the trunk first by selecting a new apical sacrifice, retaining all the smaller branches and one of the thicker branches at each whorl. If you control the thickness on those branches and they are properly positioned then they may become part of the final design. However they are pretty close together. At least in the picture it appears to be less than two inches between the two whorls on the top part of the tree. Make sure that if you leave two thicker branches on a whorl that they are not opposite each other. that will increase the opportunity for inverse taper.
Placed in the ground or a grow box thickening the trunk to approximately three inches would take another three or four years of strong growth. Perhaps longer n your climatic zone.

Just to illustrate a similar case, here is one that I chose to graft lower due to movement , boring straight section and upper branches concentrated in a small range in the upper trunk.
Note: I keep a lot of foliage to keep the tree healthy during development, also the trunk I am working with is a lot older and thicker. Yours should be a lot easier to work with!
 

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just.wing.it

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Thank you , measuring the trunk just above the nebari or flare is approximately 1 inch, the height to the first whorl is about 11 inches. At that point the branches have thickened the trunk.
If you wish to develop the tree with the current trunk thickness than I would consider grafting the lower part of the trunk for a shorter tree. The movement in the lower trunk lends itself to great branch placement on outside curves beginning 4 or 5 inches up. I can see three scion grafts with a new apex beginning around the nine inch mark. This would add further taper, movement and lots of development options.
If you decide to choose the graft option then the first step would be to decandle a few of the stronger upper branches. This will give you some nice grafting scions for next winter. Probably middle to late March in your area. Best to check with a local bonsai artist who grafts pines.

If you chose to develop a larger tree than I would thicken the trunk first by selecting a new apical sacrifice, retaining all the smaller branches and one of the thicker branches at each whorl. If you control the thickness on those branches and they are properly positioned then they may become part of the final design. However they are pretty close together. At least in the picture it appears to be less than two inches between the two whorls on the top part of the tree. Make sure that if you leave two thicker branches on a whorl that they are not opposite each other. that will increase the opportunity for inverse taper.
Placed in the ground or a grow box thickening the trunk to approximately three inches would take another three or four years of strong growth. Perhaps longer n your climatic zone.

Just to illustrate a similar case, here is one that I chose to graft lower due to movement , boring straight section and upper branches concentrated in a small range in the upper trunk.
Note: I keep a lot of foliage to keep the tree healthy during development, also the trunk I am working with is a lot older and thicker. Yours should be a lot easier to work with!
I deeply appreciate those two breakdowns! I have never attempted grafting....yet.
I think I may take the latter route, I'd like to thicken it up a bit, and select some primaries....but I'm very concerned about needlecast.
I need to figure out a good way to treat what it may already have and preventative measures going forward.
I have various sprays, like Daconil and Copper and Neem....but the systemics thatbare absorbed by the roots seem to be the prevailing wisdom.

Any thoughts on that?
 

Oleg

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There is presently a thread "Should I get rid of single pine with needle cast to avoid infecting other trees?" being replied to. His treatment is getting nods.
 

just.wing.it

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There is presently a thread "Should I get rid of single pine with needle cast to avoid infecting other trees?" being replied to. His treatment is getting nods.
Currently, this is my only pine tree. So hopefully I can keep it contained.....and not have to socially distance all of my trees all over the lawn.
If I have an outbreak, I promise to report it....😎
 

Oleg

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just.wing.it

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Definitely need to remove many branches as they will cause inverse taper. The tree is about a foot tall but the branches are all at the top 2 in... Am not sure if you have any other option other than literati. I would wire one or two branches with literati in mind and cut back most of them. I would definitely cut off all the big branches now as they have no place in the final design.
 
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