New pine, need advice

jmuzzey

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Hello again, I received a new JBP yesterday. I have one other supposed JBP, but I am not sure if it is one or not. But that doesn't really matter right now. This pine was a good deal to me. It stand at roughly 24 inches tall. I got this tree sight unseen, and when I unpacked it, I was happy to see a tree in good health, movement in the trunk and a ton of new buds/candles.

I have the Bonsai Today book on pines, and have read or referenced it too many times to count. I get confused when it comes to fall pruning though. You can see in these pictures(which I downsized, hopefully they are the correct size) that the tree has many buds/candles. Do I leave this alone till spring? Should I select the buds I want to keep and pinch off the ones I don't? Do I remove the new growth? If I leave the new growth, should I just pull the needles from this past year or previous year? The needles are very long and they all appear to really be from this years growth. Any help or advice would be appreciated. I look forward to learning proper care for black pines, I have seen some amazing transformations and trees from quite a few on this site, and I want to improve the ones I have.

Here are the pics...you can see that there are numerous buds or candles. Each branch tip has anywhere from 3 to 6 candles on it.





 

hetesss

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The only thing to do this time of year is to remove the superfluous buds. That is, anywhere there are more than 2 buds (as shown in you last 2 pictures) remove the strongest buds leaving only 2 per junction. In late winter you should remove some of the apical branches, as the tree is looking pretty top heavy.

At this stage in your tree's development, you should not be worried about needle reduction. You should be concentrating on development pruning to increase trunk thickness and to produce back-budding (especially in the lower branches). If you are happy with the trunk girth, your short-range goal should be to balance the growth of you tree from top to bottom. You need more needle weight on the bottom of the tree, so do not remove old needles there.
 

garywood

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JM, What do you see as the "finished" tree? As was mentioned, there's not much "bonsai" work to do unless you go with a literatish style. Depending on what you want will dictate how to prune. Without having a goal in mind, you can't use the trees physiology effectively to speed the process. The tree in the photo is 11yrs old and no "bonsai" work has been done yet.
Wood
http://thingsofwood-gary.blogspot.com/
 

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jmuzzey

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Being that I just got this tree, I have not come to a decision as to how I see it in the future yet. I am going to look more closely at it this weekend when time allows. It is very top heavy right now, so I definitely want to push growth back. I would like to focus on thickening the trunk I think over the next couple years which is going to require lower branching. If I can get a couple buds to form on the lower part of the trunk by pushing growth back, then that would be ideal to me.

I will have to study the tree and do some sketches to see where I want it to go. I am not really a fan of the literati style, so i do not want to go that route.

I will have to figure where I want to go and then ask more questions from there on how best to get there. Even after reading the master series pine book over and over, reading bonsai today and bonsai focus, reading on the net, etc., I am still confused as to proper black pine care. So if I am asking dumb questions, please bear with me. I am just trying to learn from others with more experience.
 

JudyB

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I am not very experienced with pines either, just getting my JBP to a point where I can start to work with it. I'm wondering why fall needle plucking is something not to do with a tree in development? I thought that it helped to balance the energy into the weaker parts of the tree? I also have been reading this same book, and am struggling to apply the techniques to my trees... It also does talk about fall pruning of the strong areas, which I don't really understand, as I thought that pruning in the fall would not be a good idea. I'll be watching this thread with interest, thanks.
 

Brent

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You are years, if not a decade away from "proper black pine care". This is a common mistake of beginners. There is a vast difference between JBP maintenance, which is what you mostly find in books, and JBP training, which is almost never found in books. You are in the training stage. The 'nice' trunk movement you have is probably useless unless you want tree without any taper. Training JBP involves growing a series of planned sacrifice branches while simultaneously developing potential final branches. It is not intuitive. Try reading the Pine articles at my website below, then read the blog articles at http://bonsainurseryman.typepad.com. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for the links.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
 

jmuzzey

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I will read the articles and blogs. I have no problem working on a tree for a decade or more if needed. I plan on keeping them anyways. Time is not the problem, I am still young(37). The problem is like Judy said, there is conflicting advice between books, articles, mags, and from people with experience.

I would plant both my pines in the ground, but I am afraid it gets too cold here. From what I have read, they are fine in zone 5 and possibly to zone 4. But then it says they can handle temps down to -15F, but with wind chills, it gets colder than that here in the winter. I do not want the needles to die back due to freezing. So I figure my best option is a large growout box kept in the garage over the winter.

Before asking more questions, I will do some reading from the links you provided. Thank you,

Jay
 

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