Scots Pine - Bass Ackwards

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Could not resist this 50 pct off Scots pine at HD.

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In looking for nebari, I untangled some of the finer roots which did not make it. So I repotted it. I hope enough survived. I added about 35 pct turface to the existing soil it was in thinking that it will help to keep all the microzoa in place and happy. I covered the surface with sphagnum moss and then a layer of screening to keep birds out. I'll keep it sheltered for the next few weeks and keep it out of the wind for the rest of the winter.

I know it's the wrong time to repot but I can really see the potential in the tree now. Fingers crossed. Any helpful thoughts on over winter care would be appreciated.
 

penumbra

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Don't know man, wish you luck. I am tempted every day to re-pot something but I feel it is several weeks too early still.
 
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Yeah, I should have styled it and left the roots alone. But I couldn't see the tree within unless I cleared away some of the soil. I'm always doing this bass awards!
 

penumbra

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Well heal it in a good place in the shade, hopefully next to your house and best of luck You are a bit warmer than I am here, though it has been mild thus far this winter. Our low so far was about 16 F. I have seen -16 F here a few times.
 
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I think our low was 19 so far. We got up to 68 today. Nature doesn't know if it's coming or going.
 

sorce

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looks like it made it through the winter
Good, but don't let that excitement get your hands busy.....

You can still make it so it DIDN'T make it through winter.

Don't!

Seems fall can stand possible gentle trim and wire.

Sorce
 

Adair M

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You might want to be thinking about which branches are too heavy for the size of your trunk. Cutting them off, (or leaving stubs to make Jin) would open up the canopy and allow sunlight in to keep the smaller branches, which are in better scale, alive.
 
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I kept my hands busy with repotting a bunch of Acer rubrums, some Acer palmatums, a juniper and an azalea today. Thanks for the words of caution and support everyone. @sorce and @Adair M I'll do my best to keep my hands off. I'm going to let this tree acclimate to a new spot on the bench and start feeding with the others. Some of the smaller inner branches did not make it through the winter so I will look to clean them out and start to plan the structure. I've got a lot of reading, studying, drawing, and thinking to do!
 

Adair M

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I kept my hands busy with repotting a bunch of Acer rubrums, some Acer palmatums, a juniper and an azalea today. Thanks for the words of caution and support everyone. @sorce and @Adair M I'll do my best to keep my hands off. I'm going to let this tree acclimate to a new spot on the bench and start feeding with the others. Some of the smaller inner branches did not make it through the winter so I will look to clean them out and start to plan the structure. I've got a lot of reading, studying, drawing, and thinking to do!
The reason those “smaller, inner branches”died has nothing to do with “winter”. It’s because they were shaded out by the strong, heavy branches that are too big for the scale of your tree as a bonsai. Removing those heavy branches will allow light into the interior of the canopy, which will feed those smaller, inner branches, and keep them healthy.

With pines, the goal is to keep foliage that’s close to the trunk alive. If you don’t, the tree becomes “leggy”, and the foliage is just around the outside of the Silohette. But hollow inside.
 

Eckhoffw

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Nice tree. I see a pretty nice trunk line in there.
excited to see it after you’ve reduced it a bit.
good luck 👍
 
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You might want to be thinking about which branches are too heavy for the size of your trunk. Cutting them off, (or leaving stubs to make Jin) would open up the canopy and allow sunlight in to keep the smaller branches, which are in better scale, alive.
Should I be cutting any branches now? My thoughts were to let the tree grow freely over the summer and plan out the direction. Then in the fall possibly some lite pruning if it's healthy or hold off all together until it's dormant for some heavier pruning.

Could I wire some branches now to allow more light in?
 

Adair M

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Right now is not a good time to wire because new shoots are growing, and they are easily damaged. Wait until they’ve hardened off to wire.

you could remove a few branches you know you won’t need. Leave a stub to make Jin. Don’t take all of them out at once, remove about 1/3 of them. A key to working with pines is to go slow, and let the tree adapt.
 
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I've been looking at how to eventually style this tree. The bottom third had nice taper, lots of branches and interesting curves.

Then there is about an 8 inch section that is totally straight with no branches or movement.

What methods, decision trees, process, etc., do you use to help you decide where to chop?
 

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Leo in N E Illinois

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That 8 inch straight section for most designs would be the section to get rid of.

That is if you can "see" or imagine a tree from the branches you have below that 8 inch section.

The tree is too "bushy" for me to propose a design from a few photos. I seldom offer design advice. Others are more willing to design from photos.

But look at the lowest section, below the 8 inch straight zone. One of those branches could become your next segment of trunk. Think about choosing to bend one up as trunk, and the others out arranged as branches.

If you can not see a smaller tree in there, you can see if you see one using the 8 inch straight segment.
 
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These would be the two obvious places to cut if it were mine to let in some light. If you are concerned with taking off too much while in recovery, realize what branches will go eventually, but only take off the inner branchlets outside your final design. I.e past my red marks but you could treat as a sacrifice and leave some terminal growth on the sections destined to be cut. That would let some light in but preserve foliar momentum.
 

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