Scots pine and japanese black pine help

Bonsaipadawan

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Hello all. I have two pines. One it's a Scots pine I have started from seed and I am thinking I still just need to leave it alone and let it keep growing.

The other is a japanese black pine that I recently bought and it's now growing its candles. My thoughts are what really should I do at this stage with this particular tree. Should I allow the candles to grow or should I pinch them? Should I pinch the candles on the top portion of the tree but leave the lower ones in order to put more energy towards the base?
 

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Bonsaipadawan

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You can wait.
It's a bendy pine.
But you won't hurt it if you want to give it a little direction now.
Good to know for sure I might use some light Guage wire if I do. Any advice on the JBP?
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Looks like the JBP is still in the growth stage. The most I would do is pinch to get equal candle length throughout the tree… equalizing energy across the tree,

Not strictly needed at this stage……. Here’s a good article by Jonas D at Bonsai Tonight on candle pinching. btw Jonas has a number of really good articles on candle pinching and decandling on his site.

Have Fun!
DSD sends
 

Shibui

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I think the JBP is way too young to start pinching. Anything you take off will retard growth, thickening and development.
There's a big difference in technique for growing pines as distinct to maintaining well developed pines. Unfortunately most writers focus just on the maintenance of older bonsai because decandling is seen as cool.
Try finding some pots from @River's Edge as he appears to have plenty of experience developing JBP from seedlings through the earlier stages.
Some basic concepts are:
Pines can grow new burs from any healthy needles and also from recently bare sections when they are pruned hard.
Needles last about 3 years before getting old and dropping off so that means we can usually allow our young JBP to grow with minimal or no pruning for 2-4 years then cut back to stimulate new shoots lower on trunks and branches.
Sacrifice branches/trunks are used extensively to promote more rapid trunk thickening but try to keep some shorter branches low on the trunk which will be used after the sacrifice branches have achieved what you want and removed. The new apex and branches will be grown from those smaller, lower branches.

That apex candle now elongating is very unlikely to be a part of the final bonsai design in a tree like the one shown so it can be allowed full growth to add as much bulk as possible. It would usually become the sacrifice trunk and so will eventually be chopped off at some stage.
Pines stay reasonably flexible but thinner trunks can always be bent better. Thinner trunks also set much quicker so I'm all in favour of wire and bend as early as possible. If you just want smooth flowing bends you can wait but if you'd like to try for something a bit more dynamic I'd be wiring and bending soon.
 

Paradox

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Both of then need to grow before you can really do anything with them. Wiring them and putting some shape in the trunks would be a good idea.

Shibui gives good advice.
Look for posts about growing out pines as suggested. There is some good discussions here on the topic.
Also Jonas at Bonsai Tonight has some good information on his blog
 

rollwithak

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Good to know for sure I might use some light Guage wire if I do. Any advice on the JBP?
You can for sure add some movement into that JBP right now if you wanted to as well. I guess it depends what your goal is with the tree, how big do you want it to be in the long run?
 

River's Edge

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The journey is just beginning and a couple of key concepts will help along the way.
1. Bonsai takes time, even decades to develop good starter material before applying refinement techniques such as pinching or decandling.
2. The Scots pine is a single flush pine and the JBP is a double flush pine so separate techniques when entering refinement and seeking to increase density of foliage in the interior.
3. Begin by gaining a firm grasp of the stages of development and the goals each subsequent step of the way from seedling to sapling to tree under development to tree in refinement and on to tree in maintenance.
4. For the first five years you will want to focus on developing proper root structure with more frequent repotting every year or two years, as well as wiring to introduce movement to the lower trunk portion as desired.
5. Only after the base trunk portion has reached 2/3 of the desired thickness in diameter will you consider chopping back to a new leader to create taper and a change of direction in the next portion. This will also be the beginning of selecting which shoots to keep , which one to use as sacrifice leaders or branches and which ones to manage the growth. From years ten to 15 you will work on developing primary branches and the upper portions of the trunk for taper and direction. multiple wiring for branches to form downward direction and movement in the design.

The key to understanding working with pines is to understand how they respond to various bonsai techniques and what is the best time to apply the techniques.
The best way to screw it up is to focus on just growing the tree out without appropriate root work and or focussing on over working the tree to early before developing the nebari and trunk.
Always choose a balanced approach, it will seem to take longer but you will finish faster with a superior tree.
For a clear and detailed written approach I have yet to find a better resource than the posts written by Jonas Dupuich. They are archived on his website for Bonsai Tonight and available to all. There are a lot of detailed posts within this forum that can be studied as well. The opinions will vary as the approaches have changed over the past twenty years. basically the traditional method was to grow the trunk in the ground and deal with nebari and branching afterwards. The newer approach is to manage the development throughout the process to ensure a proper root ball structure as the tree develops and also to ensure adequate lower branching for future design. This does not stop one from combining the approaches and benefiting from faster growth in ground after fundamental design goals have been achieved and before entering the refinement stage.

The difficulty with providing advice in the forum setting is that the process takes decades, the blessing is that this gives a lot of time to gain the necessary understanding and skills.
 

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