Ponderosa yamadori care question

brownheron

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This post is a follow-up to my post last year that can be found here: https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/ponderosa-needle-cast.51211/#post-884089

I would appreciate your thoughts on whether I should report this tree this spring per my original plan or wait another year given the situation.

A summary of the other thread - last summer we had a big time record setting 'heat dome' in the PNW that was really hard on trees. All the big cedars around my house got scorched and turned brown on the sunward sides, etc. I was pretty diligent with the water but I lost a few trees in black nursery pots and my one 'specimen' yamadori Ponderosa got cooked and almost died. I think the heat combined with the compacted soil combined for a double whammy. While this isn't a classic bonsai, it's a very nice, very old R. Knight collected tree and I sure as hell don't want to kill it. I was concerned my watering during the heat wave may have set up a secondary fungal infection but that wasn't the case and the advice in the thread above was very helpful.

First, here are some photos from last year of the damage. The tree is about 40" high for reference.

Full tree after the heat wave. You can see some of the early yellowing.


Some of the damage. The tree lost most of the older needles and several whole branches. I was pretty sure it was a goner.






After the heat event, I pulled the wire to reduce any extra stress on the tree (some was biting and needed to come off anyway) and carefully managed the water/O2 through the fall into the dormant season. Our record heat was followed by a record cold and wet winter all the way to this April when it snowed at my house last week. This has me waaay behind on my repotting.

This Spring, the tree seems to be bouncing back. The limbs that did not turn yellow have candles that are elongating including some of the tertiary buds which is great. It also makes me think I missed my window for a repot for a Ponderosa even if it wasn't a recovering tree?

Photos from today:

Some of the limbs did not drop their needles but turned a sickly light green. You can see this in the foreground compared tothe background. The candles did not elongate on these limbs and don't look like they will. I'm guessing I may still lose these limbs but the needles are firmly attached still.





Photo of the healthy limbs.





So, if you've read this far... My original plan was to repot this spring. The akadama in the mix has mostly broken down and is quite compacted at this point. It will still take water and drain but I have to go really slow. My thought is that I should hold off until next year - that the repot trauma on a still recovering tree is a greater risk than another year rootbound in compacted soil. Thoughts from the other Ponderosa fans?

Thanks in advance for your insights.
 

Colorado

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This is a super cool ponderosa!!! Great tree. Love the trunk.

How long has it been in the current container?

Hard to say without inspecting the tree in person and how it’s draining. But I would probably leave it another year, personally, and avoid repotting while the tree is in marginal health.
 

Potawatomi13

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A dandy tree🥰! Personally would diligently foliar feed the "sickly" looking needled branches every 2-3 days as long as not raining. Some may survive as long as plenty of Sun and not drying out. STRONG suspicion tiny pot too small for this tree/small soil root mass was the cause of excess heat stress reaction. Foliage could not get enough resources under stressful conditions from small root system😔. As long as is draining well would not add ANY stress like repot this year! For reference have 4 personal Ponderosas from Randy + 6 from other sources and one closely related Arizona pine. Hard to pick among so many fantastic trees. Some questions added to previous poster please: When did you buy tree from Randy? What is substrate? Were roots pruned to squeeze into small pot? Thank you.
 
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BrianBay9

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I agree, if the pot is draining I would wait. Looks marginal to me.
 

brownheron

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Thanks all. I appreciate your time in sharing your thoughts.
 

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