Ponderosa pine, two options

FilipMerynos

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Hello guys, and HELLO because it's my first post here :)
I'd like to ask you about the way I should go with my 18yo Ponderosa. I bought it for around 47 dollars and previous didn't mean to make bonsai out of it. Anyway, I have a dilemma with branch marked as "A" on the photos. I think there are to ways I can go with it:

1) up, and make it look kinda literati
2) down (not much), and make pads which will cover the Y section

Haven't decided what to do with the second branch yet.

I hope for suggestions :)
Best regards,
Filip
 

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Potawatomi13

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Difficult awkward this one is. Very healthy/good foliage;). Bark looks more than 18 years. Best suggestion is take to workshop with someone having or working Ponderosa. Please add location to profile for best help.
 

FilipMerynos

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Thank you, well, it's kinda hard to find anyone working on poderosas in Poland, our native is sylvestris. I know it won't be easy to shape it but I really love the nebari and bark :) definitely worth working on I guess.

What's the best month to do such big bends on ponderosas? Is august good or should I wait till late fall / winter?
 
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sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

As far as Literati ..

You're not supposed to have much of any taper in the trunk...
So I'd use branch A and lop the other.

You can learn at Mirai online....

Or set up a Video session with one of @Owen Reich people via his services.
I'm sure he can connect you with a Ponderosa whiz!

Nice !

Sorce
 

FilipMerynos

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I've been thinking about jin-ing the second branch and probably will, but I need to go somewhere with the other one first ;) I have a tier3 on Mirai, catching up and watching everyday. Thanks for suggestion on the branches!
 

VAFisher

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I might use the right hand branch (not A) from your first photo and jin A. Maybe bend it up a little but not too far. That's what I see anyway. I think this could be a very cool tree.
 

FilipMerynos

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I might use the right hand branch (not A) from your first photo and jin A. Maybe bend it up a little but not too far. That's what I see anyway. I think this could be a very cool tree.
You know, that was my very first thought - to save the smaller one. But the A branch is better developed and has more potential I think :)
 

Potawatomi13

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Does Walter Pall ever come your way? Very connected to Randy Knight and Ryan;). Sometimes watching, studying, laying in bed imagining for a couple years is needed for best idea to happen. No big Rush. Doing something just to be doing is rarely a great idea.
 

FilipMerynos

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Does Walter Pall ever come your way? Very connected to Randy Knight and Ryan;). Sometimes watching, studying, laying in bed imagining for a couple years is needed for best idea to happen. No big Rush. Doing something just to be doing is rarely a great idea.
Sure he does :) and totally agree with you on not rushing. Actually it's been 3 months now I'm looking at this tree trying to figure out the best shape ;) and I guess the best will be to bend this branch, almost parallel to the trunk with foliage perpendicularly to it. The trunk is too straight to bend the branch slanted both up or down.
 

augustine

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I'm sure Walter Pall knows quite a bit about Ponderosa pines
 

FilipMerynos

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One suggestion that I often forget myself - consider radically different planting angles before you settle on a design.
yep, but I would have to repot it first because idk how roots system looks, the only thing I'm certain are those roots around the trunk, there is a chance that after planting it on the different angle these roots would flat-hang in the air if you know what I mean :) Anyway I'll take a look at different angles :)
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I want to encourage you to continue your bonsai journey. Glad that Ponderosa pines capture your imagination. What I'm going to type next may seem discouraging, but that is not my intention. You have a nice enough young pondersa pine, continue to work with it. At 18 years of age it is beginning to develop some character, but it needs another 20 or more years to get classic ponderosa pine bark and character.

Ponderosa pine are not particularly good for bonsai, it needles are far too long. It tends to have coarse branches with little or no ramification. They can be tricky to keep healthy in humid climates. There are better species for bonsai.

They are very popular in North America because we can get yamadori trunks, between 100 and 200 years old for modest prices in good quantity. A 100+ year old trunk causes even the most discerning critical bonsai art critic to forget about coarse branches and excessively long needles. Young Ponderosa pines won't show well until they have significant age, at least 75+ years. In the future, if one were selecting nursery stock from seed, I would choose North American species that have better bonsai traits, that will show better at a younger age.

in the future look for
Pinus rigida - pitch pine, it is more cold hardy than JBP, it back buds easily even on very old wood. A reddish brown to black plated bark. It's needles are about same length as JBP, though needles won't reduce quite as short as JBP. Only fault is needles naturally have a twist. It is a double flush pine, like JBP, with 2 or more flushes of candles a year. Trees from seed develop character as quickly as JBP. A good NA species to work with. Probably the best North American species to work with from seed.

These next couple species are good if you can find nursery material from seed or well done grafted cultivars. Some of the dwarf cultivars are really excellent if they have a reasonable growth rate. Most of these can be quite nice in less than 30 years.

Pinus contorta contorta, the shore pines
Pinus contorta latifolia, the lodge pole pine, more cold tolerance than shore pines.

Pinus flexilis, limber pine, a slightly longer needle, more robust growth pattern version of 5 needle pine.

For extreme cold hardieness, consider Pinus banksiana, the jack pine. Some excellent dwarf cultivars available, I have 'Chippewa' and 'Manoment'. Both grow well with very short needles.

there are more, but these come to mind as being better for bonsai from nursery material than ponderosa pine.

worse for bonsai than pondersa is Pinus strobus, eastern white pine. Don't bother, they will be an eternal source of frustration.
 
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