cmsheehan

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Hello everyone! Thanks so much for accepting me to the team... I mean group;)
So I recently collected this beautiful pine from Massachusetts, right near the ocean. I believe it’s either a Scott’s Pine or Pitch Pine, possibly a Japanese Black Pine.
I successfully transferred her into a new pot using a nice mixture of a few different mediums I’m sure she’ll be happy with.
The trunk was anchored/wired into place using raffia to protect it. My question is what should my next step be... Should I wait? Should I wire? Should I do a little pruning... I feel I should prune before I start wiring seriously.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

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cmsheehan

Seedling
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If it was just collected, I would not do anything to it at all until it recovers. Let it grow and keep it alive. Health of the tree comes first.
Thank you, I was hoping for a different response but was expecting the one you gave. Maybe I can work on patience, while I wait.
 

plant_dr

Chumono
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The next step is going to be one of the HARDEST things to do in bonsai! You have to just wait! You need to just leave the tree alone for at least a couple years to make sure the thing survived the collection process. One season might not be enough because trees can push growth the season following collection using energy it stored from before. If it grows more the year after that, you're more in the clear but it is still better for the tree's health and vigor if you can wait even longer to make sure it thrives for the future.

I hope that pot has a big enough drainage hole to let water out. Your baby will not be happy with soggy roots.

Also, it will not be happy inside the house- get out outside!

Also also, be prepared for someone more experienced than me to give you some hard truth that this tree was collected at the wrong time of year, etc. - and that it most likely won't survive anyway unless you can give it very specific aftercare until spring and beyond. I'll let them give you those details when they come along. I just want you to be aware that that conversation is probably coming so you don't get too discouraged and give up bonsai completely!

In Spring, head to a local nursery and you should be able to find a similar sized tree for a reasonable price. It will have a strong healthy root system and you'll have better chances of survival. Look for one with a thicker, more interesting trunk than the others around it. Pull some soil away from the base to check if it has a good root spread. If you find a good one, post it here before you do any work to it so we can point you in the best direction for it!

Welcome to crazy!
 
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Potawatomi13

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Beginner mistake of digging in dead of Winter instead of proper season just before bud break, likely late march season. Reiterate leave it alone if survival eventuates at all for at least one year. Not bad looking tree but not Yamadori. Hope it survives.

Completely agree that "Frost-free would be best (Which is why people are wondering why you did not wait a few weeks to dig). But inside in the house is a good way to kill it."
 
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leatherback

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It won’t be shocked if I put it back outside... it’s currently 21F here and right on the ocean.
You gave it the shock of its life pulling it out of the ground under those conditions AND then bringing it into the desert-like climate of your house.

Frost-free would be best (Which is why people are wondering why you did not wait a few weeks to dig). But inside in the house is a good way to kill it.
 

cmsheehan

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You gave it the shock of its life pulling it out of the ground under those conditions AND then bringing it into the desert-like climate of your house.

Frost-free would be best (Which is why people are wondering why you did not wait a few weeks to dig). But inside in the house is a good way to kill it.
Thanks for your response.
Temperatures here are very strange this winter, it’s been close to 50F during the days colder at night but much higher than average for this time and place. Being right on the Atlantic adds to the cold/raw temps at night. I have been keeping it inside at night but in a room with conditions suitable for cold hardy plants. Hopefully I haven’t done too much harm. The last thing I want is to kill something so beautiful and ugly at the same time. I definitely appreciate everyone’s advice, thoughts and concerns!
 

sorce

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Truth, so long as it stays dormant, I don't see any difference between grabbing it now or later.

Welcome to Crazy!

The only room suitable for cold hardy plants has no floor, no walls, no roof and a great view!

Sorce
 

rollwithak

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Good luck with that dude! How were the roots after collection? Did you get any pictures of that process?
 

Gabler

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Thanks for your response.
Temperatures here are very strange this winter, it’s been close to 50F during the days colder at night but much higher than average for this time and place. Being right on the Atlantic adds to the cold/raw temps at night. I have been keeping it inside at night but in a room with conditions suitable for cold hardy plants. Hopefully I haven’t done too much harm. The last thing I want is to kill something so beautiful and ugly at the same time. I definitely appreciate everyone’s advice, thoughts and concerns!

It sounds like you've been in the same weather systems that I have. You'll notice from my profile I'm right on the Maryland/Delaware line, and this has been an unusually mild winter so far. Temperatures have only dipped slightly below freezing at night, maybe 25°F on the coldest nights, and well above 40°F during the day. It's also been a very wet winter (which is pretty normal). The water table is pretty high right now and seeping up to the surface in low places. I worry slightly about the repeated freezing and thawing with so much moisture in the soil, but I don't think temperatures have actually dipped below the freezing point of the sap in the trees' roots. I don't expect to see damage this spring, even though some of my trees stay on benches through the winter. Your pine should be fine outdoors in a sheltered spot.
 

cmsheehan

Seedling
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It sounds like you've been in the same weather systems that I have. You'll notice from my profile I'm right on the Maryland/Delaware line, and this has been an unusually mild winter so far. Temperatures have only dipped slightly below freezing at night, maybe 25°F on the coldest nights, and well above 40°F during the day. It's also been a very wet winter (which is pretty normal). The water table is pretty high right now and seeping up to the surface in low places. I worry slightly about the repeated freezing and thawing with so much moisture in the soil, but I don't think temperatures have actually dipped below the freezing point of the sap in the trees' roots. I don't expect to see damage this spring, even though some of my trees stay on benches through the winter. Your pine should be fine outdoors in a sheltered spot.
Thanks! Yes I’m in the South Shore of Massachusetts. Very similar to the the weather you’re describing, although being right on the ocean it does get extremely damp and raw at night. Thanks again everyone!
 

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