Potential, advice and general opinion on first Japanese Black Pine.

Messages
22
Reaction score
9
Location
Hessen, Germany
USDA Zone
8a
Hi everyone!
Here I stand at the beginning of my Bonsai journey and at least for the time being I feel very interested in conifers. My favorite among them being Chinese Junipers and Japanese Black Pines, at least aesthetically.
I decided to go for a young JBP, partly as a long term project but mostly to learn to care for one and get a feeling for them, as I've seen it can be a bit of a challenge for beginners.
What do you think of the tree? Honest opinions are very welcome.
Is it beneficial to remove one of the branches at the top to avoid a thickening of the trunk at that part and when the tree is so young? (Shown in the last picture)
I was planning on using the lowest branch as a sacrificial branch and probably also the one at the top (many candles are growing from the apex)
I would like to grow a large tree out of it if possible. Any advice with this? I unfortunately cannot leave it in the ground to thicken.
Should I care at all about ramification at this stage? I would like to leave the tree alone as much as possible, but at the same time don't want to develop leggy branches that I'll have a hard time fixing later.
Cheers!
 

Attachments

  • 20210412_112211.jpg
    20210412_112211.jpg
    272.9 KB · Views: 52
  • 20210412_112216.jpg
    20210412_112216.jpg
    206.8 KB · Views: 45
  • 20210412_112218.jpg
    20210412_112218.jpg
    205.6 KB · Views: 38
  • 20210412_112226.jpg
    20210412_112226.jpg
    245.4 KB · Views: 36
  • 20210412_112231.jpg
    20210412_112231.jpg
    287 KB · Views: 37
  • Inked20210412_112216_LI.jpg
    Inked20210412_112216_LI.jpg
    209.1 KB · Views: 48

Tieball

Masterpiece
Messages
2,291
Reaction score
2,152
Location
Michigan. 6a
USDA Zone
6a
I liked what I saw in your photo that I attached here. I’d be growing that upper part with the purpose of overall thickness development. I would not chop it off yet though. I would focus my effort on building the lower tree and just letting that top grow to build trunk thickness. I would this season, and several following seasons, go through the tree and pinch off 2/3s to 3/4s of every new spring candle that develops. On trees where I’ve done this pinching it has helped push thickness, more frequent budding, and visual opportunity....basically adding a body to the area of my interest......especially while young.

Your quest initially is going to be keeping what you have healthy and growing. You have an excellent starting point. Just my view.
ABB74857-E3F6-46AB-904D-91ACD0C56E2C.jpeg
 

Beanwagon

Shohin
Messages
360
Reaction score
683
Location
Sydney, Australia
Id throw it in the biggest pot you can find or in the ground and feed heavily for 5 years.
 
Messages
22
Reaction score
9
Location
Hessen, Germany
USDA Zone
8a
I liked what I saw in your photo that I attached here. I’d be growing that upper part with the purpose of overall thickness development. I would not chop it off yet though. I would focus my effort on building the lower tree and just letting that top grow to build trunk thickness. I would this season, and several following seasons, go through the tree and pinch off 2/3s to 3/4s of every new spring candle that develops. On trees where I’ve done this pinching it has helped push thickness, more frequent budding, and visual opportunity....basically adding a body to the area of my interest......especially while young.

Your quest initially is going to be keeping what you have healthy and growing. You have an excellent starting point. Just my view.
View attachment 367587
Thanks for your answer! Do you pinch every candle, even the ones on sacrifial branches? And at what point in the candle development do you pinch them?
 
Messages
22
Reaction score
9
Location
Hessen, Germany
USDA Zone
8a
Id throw it in the biggest pot you can find or in the ground and feed heavily for 5 years.
Thanks, It's already in a pretty big basket and I'm currently using organic fertilizer. I'm thinking on complementing with inorganic fertilizer also.
 

bwaynef

Omono
Messages
1,195
Reaction score
1,208
Location
Clemson SC
USDA Zone
8a
What do you think of the tree? Honest opinions are very welcome.
Its definitely a long-term project. Not a bad start. Not a particularly good one either, ...but its a start. My biggest concern would be the root situation. At next repot, get them pointed horizontally.
Is it beneficial to remove one of the branches at the top to avoid a thickening of the trunk at that part and when the tree is so young? (Shown in the last picture)
If your goal is a large tree (see below, it is), I wouldn't remove it now. At some point when one of them is clearly stronger than the others it'll make sense to remove the others, but right now you're building trunk (& roots), so I'd leave as much up top as possible. (Shading below can be mitigated somewhat with judicious plucking.)
I was planning on using the lowest branch as a sacrificial branch and probably also the one at the top (many candles are growing from the apex)
Wire your sacrificed so that they're not shading the sacrificed-for tree beneath. You may have to wire out before you can wire up.
I would like to grow a large tree out of it if possible. Any advice with this? I unfortunately cannot leave it in the ground to thicken.
You need to identify the sacrifices you're going to utilize and get them pointed up. Also, I'd make sure you have the roots sorted early on. That may set back the "embiggening" a bit in the short-term, but will be the engine that is driving this project for the rest of its life.

Good soil. Good fertilizer. Good SUN. Good water.
Should I care at all about ramification at this stage? I would like to leave the tree alone as much as possible, but at the same time don't want to develop leggy branches that I'll have a hard time fixing later.
At the point where sacrifices have worked and are no longer needed, their removal will drive lots of energy back into the lower branches. As long as those branches have been maintained and had adequate sun exposure, they won't be very leggy at all. The sacrifice removal will likely drive the tree to backbud lower down in usable real estate as well.

Right now I wouldn't worry about it, but there will come a time when you'll need to decandle the parts of the tree that will remain while letting the sacrifices continue to run.

I wouldn't pinch anything. This tree can be developed with growth, pruning, and decandling.
 
Messages
22
Reaction score
9
Location
Hessen, Germany
USDA Zone
8a
Its definitely a long-term project. Not a bad start. Not a particularly good one either, ...but its a start. My biggest concern would be the root situation. At next repot, get them pointed horizontally.

If your goal is a large tree (see below, it is), I wouldn't remove it now. At some point when one of them is clearly stronger than the others it'll make sense to remove the others, but right now you're building trunk (& roots), so I'd leave as much up top as possible. (Shading below can be mitigated somewhat with judicious plucking.)

Wire your sacrificed so that they're not shading the sacrificed-for tree beneath. You may have to wire out before you can wire up.

You need to identify the sacrifices you're going to utilize and get them pointed up. Also, I'd make sure you have the roots sorted early on. That may set back the "embiggening" a bit in the short-term, but will be the engine that is driving this project for the rest of its life.

Good soil. Good fertilizer. Good SUN. Good water.

At the point where sacrifices have worked and are no longer needed, their removal will drive lots of energy back into the lower branches. As long as those branches have been maintained and had adequate sun exposure, they won't be very leggy at all. The sacrifice removal will likely drive the tree to backbud lower down in usable real estate as well.

Right now I wouldn't worry about it, but there will come a time when you'll need to decandle the parts of the tree that will remain while letting the sacrifices continue to run.

I wouldn't pinch anything. This tree can be developed with growth, pruning, and decandling.
Thanks for the elaborate answer! JBP are not that easy to find in Germany, so this is the material I could get my hands on.
I'll try to lay the roots in a more radial pattern next time I repot, which will probably be next spring. I've read Black Pines do not react well to bare rooting. Can I get away with it for arranging the roots or should I do it some other way? I've also read about bare rooting half of the root mass one year and working on it and then the other.
At which point would you start with the summer decandling? should I wait untill the trunk already has the desired thickness?
 

Tieball

Masterpiece
Messages
2,291
Reaction score
2,152
Location
Michigan. 6a
USDA Zone
6a
Thanks for your answer! Do you pinch every candle, even the ones on sacrifial branches? And at what point in the candle development do you pinch them?
Here’s my approach that has worked for me. I wait until the candle is firm and what I think is full candle lengthening. The needles just begin to poke out of the elongated bud. Then I simply twist it counterclockwise...like I’m unscrewing it....where I want it to break away. I do this on all the candles as they reach this point.
 

bwaynef

Omono
Messages
1,195
Reaction score
1,208
Location
Clemson SC
USDA Zone
8a
I've read Black Pines do not react well to bare rooting. Can I get away with it for arranging the roots or should I do it some other way? I've also read about bare rooting half of the root mass one year and working on it and then the other.
When they're this young they're much more forgiving with barerooting than later. It'll be easier to sort it soon.

At which point would you start with the summer decandling? should I wait untill the trunk already has the desired thickness?
That's tricky to answer, but once you've got the trunk to the thickness you want, and the branches are the thickness you want, you can begin decandling. Up until that point you're either growing or pruning wood. Again, you may find that the lower part of the trunk is thick enough and the lower branches are thick/developed enough that that area warrants decandling while the rest (or at least "other" areas) remain to grow further.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom