Nishiki

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(Note: I reconstructed this post and corrected the misleading order of the photos from before.)

This Japanese black pine with corky bark ("nishiki") has been in my possession for a number of years. I began applying what I learned from Boon to the tree in 2004. It has developed well over the years. Here it is shortly after wiring in March 2007. The candles had been removed the previous summer, and excess needles pulled that fall. This gives it the look of a plucked chicken.

Its bark is plating nicely, but the big flaw in this tree is its graft. It's too high and will only show up more and more as the years go by. I still haven't steeled myself to try air layering on this one.





In 2008 I candled this tree, following Boon's methods of removing all the candles except the very weakest. I did this in July. Here are the results:



The tree filled out nicely with very even needles. It's coming along well. I just wired the tree last week and here it was in April of this year.

 
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Brent

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Chris

That is one nasty graft. I know you won't mind me saying that this tree is basically worthless as bonsai with the base wings floating in the air like that. You have strengthened the tree, now it's time to ground layer, or airlayer it off the root stock. You have nothing to lose. Forget about candling while you are doing this, you need vigor to push those roots.

Call me iconoclast, but there is a LOT of misinformation around about nishiki kuromatsu. I don't find them stronger or weaker than the species in general. First of all, you can't just lump them all together. There are about a dozen cultivars (maybe more) and I grow about six or seven. I can definitely say 'Kyokko' is stronger growing than the species, the damn thing is a weed. Even the dwarfs 'Hayabusa' and 'Brocade' are rampant growers. I think this myth is cultural. These things go in little pots from day one and people wonder why they don't grow.

Perhaps more on this later, gotta go to bed now.

Brent
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see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
 
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Chris

That is one nasty graft. I know you won't mind me saying that this tree is basically worthless as bonsai with the base wings floating in the air like that. You have strengthened the tree, now it's time to ground layer, or airlayer it off the root stock. You have nothing to lose. Forget about candling while you are doing this, you need vigor to push those roots.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
Yeah, it is a nasty graft. I bought this years ago from an unnamed big name bonsai nursery in an unnamed northeast area of an unnamed country. Whew. I am considering ground layering this one, but have never layered pine before. What method would you recommend as being the most likely to succeed?
 

Brent

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Chris

Ground layering and air layering pines is pretty much uncharted territory for me. I have managed to get roots at the union of Japanese white pine by making small incisions in the bark and rubbing talc based IBA into the cuts and then burying that section, so I know it works for JWP. I have also done this to many of my problem JBP, but I haven't yet assessed them to see if I got any rooting. A couple of things are in your favor, pines are somewhat difficult but not impossible to layer according to reports, and I have seen some excellent nishiki layers. Nishiki pines are EASIER to root than the species, probably due to the bark fissures.

The cut and rub system is safe, but not terribly effective. In this case, the tree is a loss, not even good for scion wood if you don't know the cultivar, so I would go whole hog and just layer in the traditional method. You could start now, strip the bark, apply the highest IBA hormone you can find and either bury the base in perlite/bark, or bag it in moss, whatever works for you. However, don't let it dry out and expect it to take one to two years to get roots.

Brent
 

Graydon

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Chris - I have had less than good results trying to layer nishiki. I think one fault was in hormone strength. The other was not allowing some open time after peeling bark, or as Brent suggested to me using alcohol wipes to clean the area to make sure all cambium cells are dead before proceeding. In the past I have used .8% with no luck. I now have 3% that I made and will be trying it with this. If you needed some of the 3% to try let me know and I'll send you enough to layer a few pines.

I whole heartily agree with Brent on these pines not being weaker than the norm. Down here in Florida they are generally the first pines I have to throw long candles - sometime they seem to be more vigorous than seed JBP. I have an 'ondae' cultivar that has pushed very long candles with the leader being almost 12". I spotted it this morning, noticing it as I walked to my truck.
 
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I am still considering air layering this tree, but not sure if I should try. Graydon, would you layer just above the graft, or in the JBP understock close to the graft. The second method wouldn't change the nature of the tree but might have a better chance of success. What do you think?

Thanks for your input.
 

darrellw

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I am still considering air layering this tree, but not sure if I should try. Graydon, would you layer just above the graft, or in the JBP understock close to the graft. The second method wouldn't change the nature of the tree but might have a better chance of success. What do you think?

Thanks for your input.
Hi Chris,

One thing to consider is that if you can get roots out of the nishiki portion, then eventually the nebari will cork up as well. If you get roots from the understock, the won't.

-Darrell
 
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Yeah, that was my point. It seems very hard to find any corked black pines on their own roots though. If the neck were shorter, I don't think it would be a problem on this tree.
 

darrellw

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Yeah, that was my point. It seems very hard to find any corked black pines on their own roots though. If the neck were shorter, I don't think it would be a problem on this tree.
Yes, I agree. But Brent @ Evergreen has been raising them from cuttings. Here is a thread on one I have:

http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354

Don't know if that is any indication that they will layer or not.

-Darrell
 

Attila Soos

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Chris,
I really like the second picture, for the front. But...what is that sudden curve to the left about, right below the apex?
 
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Now, see, some folks might consider this tree show-worthy but it has at least two more years before I would consider it. It won't get candled this year to allow the bark to form. I will candle it again in 2010 and re-evaluate it.
 
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One more thing, Attila, I had actually chosen the other side as a front, where that jog in the trunk comes directly toward the viewer. I over-emphasized the bend and perhaps it should be eased some, but that's what it is. Thanks for your input!

Chris
 

Attila Soos

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One more thing, Attila, I had actually chosen the other side as a front, where that jog in the trunk comes directly toward the viewer. I over-emphasized the bend and perhaps it should be eased some, but that's what it is. Thanks for your input!

Chris
Yes, I realized that after a few more viewings. My preferred front was actually the side view.
 
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Now, see, some folks might consider this tree show-worthy but it has at least two more years before I would consider it. It won't get candled this year to allow the bark to form. I will candle it again in 2010 and re-evaluate it.
I would not consider this tree show worthy, bonsai show that is, but it has come quite a ways under your care. It will be.

Looking at the last picture posted, I can't help but to think of someone being robbed and told to put their hands up high. There is either a reverse taper, or a illusion of one in this photo, I know the swelling at the first whorl point attributes to this, but it is a little distracting.

Once you get the branches lowered again, this will be a nice tree, you have the material to work with, lots of buds...is the moss there to induce rootage?



Will
 

Attila Soos

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Here is a question Chris, it is similar to Will's. It is a general question about wiring pines: since the candles always grow upwards, at what poing are you going to wire them horizontally, if a portion of the candle is left on.

Obviously, if the branch is in the maintenance stage, and the whole candle is removed, then the new shoot that grows after the candle removal will be very short, and there is no need to be wired. But if, let's say, half of the candle is removed, then eventually this upward-growing candle will have to be wired into a horizontal position. Is the wiring going to happen next year, when the candle is completely lignified?
 
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Here is a question Chris, it is similar to Will's. It is a general question about wiring pines: since the candles always grow upwards, at what poing are you going to wire them horizontally, if a portion of the candle is left on.

Obviously, if the branch is in the maintenance stage, and the whole candle is removed, then the new shoot that grows after the candle removal will be very short, and there is no need to be wired. But if, let's say, half of the candle is removed, then eventually this upward-growing candle will have to be wired into a horizontal position. Is the wiring going to happen next year, when the candle is completely lignified?
There seems to be some misapprehension about the final picture. It's from last fall, the previous three photos are from last week after wiring. I always wire my buds as horizontal as I can, as you might see from the three photos on the last page.

I do not leave portions of candles. I remove the entire candle in the first week of July. If it's too small and weak to remove, the entire candle remains. Did you have specific candles in mind? Can you point one out to me?

Chris
 
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The order of pictures confused me, so the last is not the last in progression.....cool, for a minute there I was thinking "reverse styling"



Will
 

Attila Soos

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I do not leave portions of candles. I remove the entire candle in the first week of July. If it's too small and weak to remove, the entire candle remains. Did you have specific candles in mind? Can you point one out to me?

Chris
I was thinking of a branch that needs to become much longer, so you will leave a big portion of the candle, and remove half of it, or less. It is not specifically addressed to the tree that you are showing.
My understanding is that a candle should be wired not the first, but the second year, when it is lignified.
 
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I was thinking of a branch that needs to become much longer, so you will leave a big portion of the candle, and remove half of it, or less. It is not specifically addressed to the tree that you are showing.
My understanding is that a candle should be wired not the first, but the second year, when it is lignified.
I don't know that I have ever heard that put out as a guideline or a rule. I would say that I will wire as soon as there is no danger of knocking off needles. So if I candled last summer (and I did), I have no qualms about wiring all the way out this spring.

I would wire extension growth the same way.

Chris
 

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