Pine shohin project

AlainK

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Here we go: the best introduction is to post a picture of a tree. This one is in training, maybe you can give me advice.

I read Chris Johnston's post about his JBP, and it made me think of a project I have with a pine -though it's still far from being on the same level ;)

It's a tree I grew from "bonsai seeds" :eek: some 5 or 6 years ago. I don't even know the species, and I'm afraid I will have to wait a few more years to see flowers and cones...
I left it mostly unattended until I chopped the leader to try and make a shohin two years ago. Then I didn't touch it until this spring. I wanted a really small bonsai so I cut all the branches except three. In the last picture, it is wired, I have removed most of the old needles (a bit late, but as I have no intention of touching the roots, I guess it will be fine), and I have taken a branch from the back of the tree to build a new leader.
I intend to feed it so it grows and the scars heal out, that's why I left the lower branch on the right, to make the base of the trunk thicken. I plan to remove it later. I twisted the branches because I don't want a "classical" moyogi, not sure what will become of it, but that's part of the fun.

It's about 5-6 inches from the base of the trunk to the apex, the soil is pumice and composted bark.

Picture 1: April 16
Picture 2: May 3
Picture 3: July 5

Any comments welcome.
 

cbobgo

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I think that the large bulge above your first branch is going to continue to be a problem for you. You might want to consider chopping the tree below this bulge, and wiring the first branch more upward to be the new trunkline.

- bob
 

AlainK

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Ooops. Then I did it wrong :(

OK, it has suffered enough for the time being, I'll see to it next spring.

Thanks for your input.

Alain
 
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There are some things about pines to be aware of, Alain. First, when pruning, leave a fairly large stub. Hollowing out a cut on a pine this much is a sure course to the trash bin. Not because it will kill the tree, but because it will never heal over. A better method is to let that stub dry out for a full year, then carve it down, and hollow just a little, leaving a sharpish point just above center. Somehow, this helps the pine heal better with a more natural look. I always use the putty type cut paste on the cut edges of a wound like this. Others disagree.

Pines are my favorite subject, and although I only really work with Japanese black right now, I hope to be expanding into ponderosa as soon as I can buy some of those great yamadori in Oregon. I see you have put numerous holes in your pot. This is good, but a pond basket might be better next year. It helps the trees grow much more quickly.

Good luck!
 

AlainK

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...a pond basket might be better next year. It helps the trees grow much more quickly.

Good luck!

Thanks for the advice, Chris. I will remember the tip about leaving a stub when you cut a branch, I've got a scott pine that i think promissing, but I made the same mistake, and now I think the only option left is to make a shari on half the trunk :(

I put it in this pot only because I didn't really know what to do with it two years ago, and I didn't have a plastic colander that fitted the size of the tree (plastic colanders are cheap, and I'm a meanie ;), but I will follow your advice and plant it in a pond basket and feed it so it gets thicker.

So far, it's very young and it leaves many options, maybe using the other face, and cutting the first branch on the left when the buttress is wider. I still have a couple of years ahead to think it over anyway...
 
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AlainK

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Mise à jour (update):

Why aren't the original pictures on the site any more? Is this a BonsaiNut policy to delete pictures after a few months?...

Anyway, what can you do...

Just as to enable everyone to understand the previous messages, the first picture is dated 16-04-2008.

Today:

N° 2 : front
N° 3 : back
N° 4 : scale (50 cl. of healthy stuff when used sensibly, not junk drink that funds imperialist wars overseas, ruin you teeth and make teenagers obese).

Several options: the first branch is a "sacrifice branch", it will be removed in due time, after the trunk has thickened, but the possibilities for the "final" design are many. No hurry: this is bonsaï. Patience is the word...

I will repot it in the next few days, the candles are about to open.
 

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AlainK

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...and it's a pinus sylvestris, in French "pin sylvestre" ("forest pine"), or Scots pine for those who belong to the centre of the world ;)
 
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