Need to revitalize a Ponderosa

mrchips1952

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I have a 75+ year old Ponderosa that is looking sickly. I did a repot yesterday and consulted with a couple of friends on what it needed. They suggested Super Thrive. Any of you ever use this product? I sure hope I don't lose this gnarled tree !
 

treebeard55

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Can you put up a few pictures, of the tree and of specific symptoms that are causing you concern? There are some knowledgeable people here, so hopefully someone can give you some pertinent feedback.

As for Superthrive, I've heard mixed reviews for years. I've never known it to make much difference, for good or ill. Them's my sentiments. Sometimes I do think it has a placebo effect on a tree's owner. ;);)
 

mrchips1952

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Sickly Ponderosa

Here the photo of my off color Ponderosa.downsized_0508011005.jpg
 

treebeard55

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From the picture, it almost looks like the needles are drying out, as if they're dead. Is that how it looks close-up?
 

snobird

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It seems this tree was replanted very recently by the appearance of the soil and the rock holding up the tree? If then, was its appearance like this before repotting? I do not think it has a future at this stage from its appearance on the photo:(.
 

mrchips1952

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Pondrosa

Needles are slightly brittle and the tips of some have turned an almost while color or very light green.
 

treebeard55

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I hate to say it, but that doesn't sound hopeful. What do you know of the history of this tree since collection? How long after collection did it go into a pot? Has it been repotted a second time since collection?

I've got an approximately 80-year-old ponderosa that came from Andy Smith last year. Here is a picture of the new candles and buds. Your tree's needles and buds should look a lot like this. (Yes, that's a mousetrap on the deck; I use them, set but unbaited, to scare away tree rats.)
 

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mrchips1952

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Andy Smith

Glad you mentioned his name. I have been looking at his website for over a year and I may buy a tree from him in the next week. Check his website for the "Burlap Specials". My Ponderosa was left out this winter along with all my other pines and it's the only one I am concerned about.
 

milehigh_7

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Glad you mentioned his name. I have been looking at his website for over a year and I may buy a tree from him in the next week. Check his website for the "Burlap Specials". My Ponderosa was left out this winter along with all my other pines and it's the only one I am concerned about.

You are in Colorado Springs right? You should be able to head south down 115 and find someone that will let you dig Ponderosa to your heart's content. Also, pinyon and RMJ.
 

bonsaiTOM

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CHIPS,

I can't be sure from the photo but I suspect there might be a fungal problem going on. Is there a lot of black on the needles below the browning tips? :eek:
 

Bonsai Basho

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Hi Chips

Dear Chips

Do you have a picture of the growing tips close up?

Photographs can be deceptive but the needles look very dry. Are the needles cool or warm to the touch?Compare with your other pines. If the needles are warm then they are dead.

If there are no healthy growing tips i.e they are brown and dry and or the buds are blind or dead the the tree is lost. Sorry.
 

BrianBay9

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I have a 75+ year old Ponderosa that is looking sickly. I did a repot yesterday and consulted with a couple of friends on what it needed. They suggested Super Thrive. Any of you ever use this product? I sure hope I don't lose this gnarled tree !


When operating a bonsai nursery in San Diego I had the opportunity to do some experiments with Superthrive. I used it when potting up hundreds of young trees of a variety of species, and had control groups for each species with no ST. The results were that for almost all species, there was no difference in growth rate or survival rate with Superthrive. The only exception to that was with Japanese Black Pine. In that case use of Superthrive INCREASED THE MORTALITY of the pines. I've never tried it on Ponderosa pines, but I would not recommend spending the money.

Brian
 

treebeard55

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.... My Ponderosa was left out this winter along with all my other pines and it's the only one I am concerned about.

A ponderosa is as cold-hardy as a musk ox. Winter cold per se wouldn't harm the tree.

I love Andy's Burlap Bonanzas! Even when I'm not ready to buy another ponderosa, I like to go and look over the trees he's offering, sometimes imagine how I would style a given one. Then I wipe the drool off the keyboard and go on to something else. ;)
 

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