Pinus Nigra project


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Dayton Ohio
I bought this Austrian pine today from a local garden center. They all head buds low on the trunk. I liked this one the best becouse of the bark. This tree had buds all the way around the trunk. I want to make a shoin size bonsai. Im thinking of choping the trunk above the first set of branches. Is there any thing I need to do to insure as many of those buds grow as possible. Also when is a good time to repot into a basket? Do I work it like a Mugo and do it in july, or now as the candles look to have expanded? Will repoting effect the buds on the tree?



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Hey Andy...A few thoughts about Pinus Nigra; these trees are typically grown for the landscaping market - that doesn't mean you can use one for bonsai. I would have liked to see a trunk with some curvature or taper in the lowest third of the trunk. I am not sure if you will ever be able to make a shohin out of this tree. The needles get quite long and they are rather coarse. It does look like you have a good bunch of low buds popping on the lower trunk. These buds need light and air in order to thrive. they are probably being over shaded by the upper branches. Keep all of the upper branches for now - and perhaps try removing all of the needles on the upper or highest branches - don't remove them all - just leave a good bunch on the end. this way - you will get the needed light lower on the trunk.

Once these lower branches start to grow and extend then you can decide where to chop the tree - for now leave the top as it will extend and push the needed growth. This is what may give you a fatter base, ie. the top growing and the lower branches extending.

These trees are usually grafted - I can't tell if yours has the visible graft union. These trees will back-bud fairly easily - and as your tree shows - it will pop buds even on the trunk itself.

If your heart is really set on a shohin size tree - then you will have to double or triple the base of the tree in order to create the required taper. This will take some work....good luck... Tom
Thanks Tom,

I wasnt worried about taper, because I was thinking of using the lower buds. Also I thought by chopping it would allow the buds to grow more. I will pull needles so more light hits them, thats what I wanted to know. Im going to try and get it into a pond basket later this week. andy
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