My Radiata

napo_v

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Hi,

I´ve decided to post some pictures of my Radiata pine, I bought it several years ago (I think maybe 9) when I was a teenager, I didn´t know much about bonsai at that time, neither about Pines (nor today ha ha ha), so I planted in a small pot, chopped it and wired a little. Years later, as I learned more, I realized I did a poor job on styling it, and ended with a formal upright, and disorganized branches. So last year I decided to wire the branches to produce a better shape, finally it begins to look like something.

Sorry about the second picture, but I took it with my cell phone.

I´m not sure about its future, but I think it is looking better.

Hope you like it.

Any comment or suggestion will be appreciated.
 

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Graydon

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Hey - cool to see a photo of a radiata pine tree. I spent this week cutting up about 300 sheets of pine plywood and it was radiata pine no less. Now I don't feel so bad.

I'm sorry I can't help you with your pine as I have never seen one alive. It certainly looks better in the progression photos.
 
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I find it funny that no matter how hard I look I cannot find Pinus Radiata (Monterey pine) for sale and I live in the monterey bay, its native habitat. You have one of the best pines for bonsai and its to bad no one seems to grow them in nurseries. These trees need a little more moisture than most pines and they also benefit from occasional misting. They also do not like high heat. Think cool california coast with semipermanent stratus and mist most of the summer. I might also increase the pot size a little.

What location are you in and do you know where to get any?

:D
 

bonsai barry

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One drawback of the monterery pine is that it is relatively short-lived. I've been told by park rangers that in the park setting these trees live to be 70-80 years old.
 

Graydon

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Huh. I had no idea it was a monterey pine. I take it back, I have seen them in nature. Cool trees for sure.
 

napo_v

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Radiata

Thank you guys for the comments,

I live in Ecuador, and the radiata pine is by far the most common pine around here, they are very easy to find in nurseries, parks, streets, houses, national parks, etc., I have also found stores that sell seeds. It is also very cheap, I don´t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I´m guessing maybe less than 50 cents. A 2m tall tree could cost around a dollar in a nursery.

Radiatas grow nicely, from what I know, but since I live right in the Equator Line, i have 12 hours of light all year long, so I don´t know the right time for needle plucking, prunning or repoting, as they appear to be active at every tiem of the year.

I have also another radiata, and I think someday it could make a literati, with lots of patience and hard work.

Thank you also for the information.

Regards,

Napo
 

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One drawback of the monterery pine is that it is relatively short-lived. I've been told by park rangers that in the park setting these trees live to be 70-80 years old.


Natural life spans, which are the result of the tree reaching a height at which it can no longer overcome the forces of gravity to supply nutrients to the foliage, do not apply to bonsai. With bonsai, the tree will never reach that critical height, making it possible, in theory anyhow, for a tree to live forever.

Barring outside influences such as disease, rot, insects, lack of care and so on.



Will
 

Mooseman

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Will, That is an intriguing point you made. I am not doubting what you say, merely thinking around the implications of it. So the gravity/nutients thing is the main/only natural determinant factor in a tree's lifespan, (assuming none of the deleterious ones you mentioned). This raises a number of questions in my head.

I guess I had assumed that there would also be other factors due to failures of systems akin to the range of human ageing factors. Thinking about it though I guess what you describe may be a kind of parallel to furred up arteries or maybe heart failure in a human.

I am interested though because from my distant memories of my biology degree there are three main contributors to water/nutrient passage through a plant, root pressure, transpiration pull and capillary action. One wonders why a tree would be programmed to outgrow its own supply chain and die.

So why would a tree not simply stop gaining height at the point where it can no longer supply the apex, due to dieback, but just continue to grow successfully at this limit until affected by some outside factor like disease.
 
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Mooseman,
My guess would go like this, from the top down.

The needles on a pine live about three years, so every three years you have a complete new set of fresh, two year and three year old needles. When they get old they drop off and brand new ones take their place. As long as they get energy they renew themselves.

The trunk carries nutrients from the soil to the needles and nutrients (and water) from the needles back to the roots for storage until there is a shortage and it is needed for the life of the tree. Each year a complete new set of transport tissue is grown, it never gets more than one year old. That is what makes the rings you see when you cut the trunk in half. Old exhausted cambium and the outer new and active cambium. That also is why the trunk gets bigger in diameter as time passes.

The roots grow until something stops the growth or until they reach a source of water and nutrition. A root dies and new ones grow to replace it. You cut a root off and give the proper conditions and that root will send out fine feeder roots to replace the energy that the old root provided. The surface of the roots are just like the trunk. They are constantly being replaced by new transport material, cambium. Roots have rings just like the trunk does, old retired cambium and the new working cambium. That is why roots get bigger in diameter as time passes, just like the trunk.

So as the days and years go by you only have a living pine tree that is no more than three years old. All the rest of the tree is retired and used up material that does nothing but add support to the new material that is constantly forming. There is really no reason that a tree can't live forever, given the water and nutrition that is required for life.
 

napo_v

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Nice discussion guys,

I have seen many of these monterey pines dying in parks and streets, and they do not seem that old, but as I read, this pine do not like air pollution, with is a major issue in populated city, so is Quito, the place where I live.

I assume that if I give them the proper care with nutrients, pests and diseases control, water, etc., I could have a nice tree to show to my grandchildren some day, he he he, if I ever get married, but that is a completely different topic to talk about.

Regards,

NApo
 
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Trees evolved successfully because they became the tallest plants, besides other trees, there was no other competition above the grasses, shrubs, and other plants on the ground. To be the tallest meant receiving precious sunlight first. We'll skip the obvious problems this caused by demanding a solid support structure (wood) and the damage gravity causes by bending branches, trunks, and breaking off many parts of the tree.....we'll also skip the necessity of a secure anchoring system that was needed to prevent the tall tree from merely tipping over.

As the tree grows taller it needs more and more photosynthate for energy and for building materials, to accomplish this it needs more leaves, and hence, more branches...these shade the lower ones out, some are lost due to nature, and the upper branches and leafs keep growing.

Now if a tree escapes the high probability of being injured or damaged by the forces of nature, insects, disease, etc it will continue this race to be the tallest. But they do have an absolute maximum height of about 120 meters. The California redwoods are about 110 meters tall.


And now back to the point, water stress increases inside a tree in relation to the height of the tree, the higher it grows, the more stress is created. Cells will not grow if water stress is to high and this limit is reached at around 120 meters. The tree grows higher than it can feed its foliage, gravity can no longer be overcome.

However, the main cause of death of trees in nature is nature itself, environmental changes, storms, insects, winds, etc all kill more trees than old age ever will. The toughest survivors like the bistlecone pines live to be thousands of years, never reaching a critical height because of the extreme conditions that break off parts, erode parts, and generally beat back the trees forever.


In a bonsai pot, a tree will never see the extremes that kill trees in nature, well at least not with good care, they will never reach the critical height, and for all intents, they should then never die of old age, or natural circumstances.



Will
 
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Acually, what is going on with this species of pine is that it becomes susceptible to pitch canker fungus and borer beatle due to drought winters. In my climate with a cold ocean current and hot inland temps, this tree will only do well in the immediate coast and only when we get regular rain in the winter. The summers here are very dry with mabey 1/4 inch of rain during an 8 month period but plenty of coastal stratus, fog and mist. Radiata needs this atmospheric moisture to survive the dry soil conditions through the year. However if we get a series of dry winters coupled with less marine layer during the summer we start seeing these trees become susceptible to this fungus that they all carry. The oldest ones are the first to drop simply because older trees are less vigorous in general. First you see much pitch bleeding on the trunk and branches and then tip dieback followed soon by death. I have removed dead Monterey pines here over 150 years old before that were so covered with pitch that 5 showers later I still have it on my arms. In container situations with adequate irrigation you should never have this problem.

Nursery staff here sound like a broken record. They keep saying the reason they do not carry this species is because of the fungus problem. I have clients that I have been advising to soak their large landscape trees 2 to 3 time during the summer and they look so very lush while the other pines in the neighborhood are looking sickly.
 

napo_v

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Needle blight

I have had some minor infections of Dothistroma pini, or needle blight, and I used some copper based fungicides to control it. Ocassionally I found a couple of brown needles that seemed to be infected but I just take them off and throw them away in a garbage bag. I think have seen also some pines with symptoms of canker fungus, but I´m not sure, I now that some resistant strains are being developed.



Napo
 

napo_v

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Update

Today I finally took pics of my trees with a real camera, not the one in my cell phone, so I decided to post an update of my Monterey Pine. I’m planning to re-pot it into a rectangular pot, do you think that would be a good combination?

Regards,

Napo
 

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treebeard55

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Napo, how's that Monterey pine doing?

I remember seeing a laboratory sited exactly on the equatorial line, north of Quito. The outer walls were sloped a bit, to cast some shade according to the time of year, on the planting beds next to the north and south walls.

I don't know the degree of slope. (This was more than 40 years ago.) What impressed me so much was that the owner of the lab had planted identical arrays of perennials on the north and south sides of the lab, and the two plantings were exactly 6 months apart in their annual cycle at any given time! (When the northern ones acted like it was autumn, the southern ones acted like it was spring.)

From that, I offer a hypothesis. I believe Quito is close enough to the equatorial line for this to work. I think if you were to situate your pine on the north side of a wall, it would soon fall into a northern-hemisphere annual growth cycle. E.g., from March thru May it would act as if the season were spring.

Site your tree on the south side of the wall, and I think it would soon adapt to a southern-hemisphere schedule, acting as if it were spring from September-November.
 

anttal63

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aussie radiata's

ya doin a good job there. down here in aus. we lovem!;)
 

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anttal63

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hey beard how ya doin. sorry i should stated, these are not mine sadly. some of my favourite here in aus.:) yes they are terrific!
 

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