Scots pine reduction ?s

Speedy

Yamadori
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I have two Scots pines in the yard that I would like to reduce and start training.
What is the best way to go about this undertaking? Just chop and pray?
When is the best time of year to start? I'm assuming late winter?

I can get some pictures tomorrow if it helps, its a little dark out now.

Thanks in advance.
 

edprocoat

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I would love to see the pictures of the trees although I am not the one to ask about Scots Pines .

ed
 

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Ed, I'll get a picture tomorrow. There isn't much there right now but I have plans for 1 of them, the other I haven't looked at since around February its hidden in the fairly overgrown backyard.
 

Speedy

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My idiot light came on as soon as I went to take the picture. The 8ft (ish) tree was actually a Jack Pine (P. banksiana) but I would still like to reduce and collect it.

This snapshot is the tree I was talking about last night. It is only about 5ft tall. The first branch is about 3ft up. There are a couple little sprouts down low, might be visible in the picture. Unless someone has a better plan, I'm going to chop it just above that first branch and hope for the best. The soil where it is is horrible and the tree doesn't get much direct sun because of the large trees around it. Would digging it chopping it be too much for it at one time or preferable? I can't get to the other tree right now.

On a separate note, how does P. Banksiana respond to bonsai? Worth the effort or not?
 

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Speedy

Yamadori
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Forgot to mention I plan on carving the dead nub on the left.
 

Vance Wood

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My idiot light came on as soon as I went to take the picture. The 8ft (ish) tree was actually a Jack Pine (P. banksiana) but I would still like to reduce and collect it.

This snapshot is the tree I was talking about last night. It is only about 5ft tall. The first branch is about 3ft up. There are a couple little sprouts down low, might be visible in the picture. Unless someone has a better plan, I'm going to chop it just above that first branch and hope for the best. The soil where it is is horrible and the tree doesn't get much direct sun because of the large trees around it. Would digging it chopping it be too much for it at one time or preferable? I can't get to the other tree right now.

On a separate note, how does P. Banksiana respond to bonsai? Worth the effort or not?

Jack Pine are very difficult to transplant/harvest. I know of no one who has been able to get a good one out of the field. Seedlings and those less than ten years old are possible but-----
 

Dav4

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My idiot light came on as soon as I went to take the picture. The 8ft (ish) tree was actually a Jack Pine (P. banksiana) but I would still like to reduce and collect it.

This snapshot is the tree I was talking about last night. It is only about 5ft tall. The first branch is about 3ft up. There are a couple little sprouts down low, might be visible in the picture. Unless someone has a better plan, I'm going to chop it just above that first branch and hope for the best. The soil where it is is horrible and the tree doesn't get much direct sun because of the large trees around it. Would digging it chopping it be too much for it at one time or preferable? I can't get to the other tree right now.

On a separate note, how does P. Banksiana respond to bonsai? Worth the effort or not?

Jack pine can make descent bonsai, or so I've been told. Having said that, unless there is more character in the trunk above the section shown in the picture, this tree may not be worth the effort to collect. Trees worth the effort to collect should have a trunk with movement or taper, and preferably both. Descent roots would be nice, but aren't a dealbreaker. It has nice bark, but little else based on that image.
 

Bill S

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So you are saying that from the carved nub, you have a vision for a 3' straight trunk???

I am assuming your first branch isn't the little sprouts down below, but a straight trunk for 3' leaves little interest, not sure if the will throw buds below after chopping, but considering what Vance has to say about collecting them, I would use it as an experiment at best.
 

Speedy

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So you are saying that from the carved nub, you have a vision for a 3' straight trunk???

I am assuming your first branch isn't the little sprouts down below, but a straight trunk for 3' leaves little interest, not sure if the will throw buds below after chopping, but considering what Vance has to say about collecting them, I would use it as an experiment at best.

Yes and no. Straight trunk but not 3' tall. I would like to about 16" finished height years down the road. I am aiming for a formal upright, so no real movement.

To clarify, this is Scots pine not Jack. Jack was the other taller tree. How about collecting Scots?
 

Vance Wood

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Yes and no. Straight trunk but not 3' tall. I would like to about 16" finished height years down the road. I am aiming for a formal upright, so no real movement.

To clarify, this is Scots pine not Jack. Jack was the other taller tree. How about collecting Scots?

Your replies make it unclear if the tree we are looking at is Scots or Jack Pine?

In my experience I have come to find that Scots Pines do best when their roots are played with in the middle of the summer; just like Mugo Pines. I have never had a problem root pruning and assorted other bonsai techniques from wiring to pruning all done together in the summer. You can take that for what its worth, experience or literature, you chose, but don't do it now. I know a lot of what I do flies in the face of accepted practice. However; when dealing with Scots Pines most of the accepted practice/literature says to do this in the spring---gently, because Scots Pines do not like their roots disturbed too much. I do it in the middle of the summer, often brutally, and have no problems.
 

Speedy

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Thanks Vance, I realized later I wasn't being very clear sorry about that.

I wasn't planning on doing the work now I was aiming for spring, now I will wait till summer.

I'm assuming the lack of low growth is from not enough sun, do you think I would be better of taking the whole tree letting it recover a bit and then full sun to try to get some buds to pop down low before chopping of the top? Or do it all in one shot?
 

Vance Wood

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Thanks Vance, I realized later I wasn't being very clear sorry about that.

I wasn't planning on doing the work now I was aiming for spring, now I will wait till summer.

I'm assuming the lack of low growth is from not enough sun, do you think I would be better of taking the whole tree letting it recover a bit and then full sun to try to get some buds to pop down low before chopping of the top? Or do it all in one shot?

Cut the most active growth on the top down 50% and fertilize as much as you dare. Do this in the middle of July. Forget about things like needle reduction and ramification. These are things to worry about when you get needed branching. With luck you might start seeing some back budding down lower but there are no promises. Leave the very low growth alone and let it develop strongly, this too might help to stimulate some back budding. In a case like this you have to grow the pine down slowly. If you remove too much all at once the odds are you will kill the tree. You may never get things where you want them but the experience will give you valuable experience. Eventually you may be able to graft some lower branches where you want them by bending down some of the upper branches and use in what is called an approach graft.
 

Speedy

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Thanks for the help Vance. I'm in no hurry with this guy. Most of my trees (all in beginning phases) are deciduous except for 2ea Shimpaku and Tsuga canadensis so I'm wanting to add to the conifers. The good thing (especially with a limited budget) is that I didn't pay anything for this tree and will have not much more than sweat and time invested. And believe me I have plenty of both.

Back to the Jack Pine, seeing as have the time would it be worth the effort to start one from seed or just invest in one of the more traditional pine varieties?
 

Vance Wood

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Thanks for the help Vance. I'm in no hurry with this guy. Most of my trees (all in beginning phases) are deciduous except for 2ea Shimpaku and Tsuga canadensis so I'm wanting to add to the conifers. The good thing (especially with a limited budget) is that I didn't pay anything for this tree and will have not much more than sweat and time invested. And believe me I have plenty of both.

Back to the Jack Pine, seeing as have the time would it be worth the effort to start one from seed or just invest in one of the more traditional pine varieties?

You may learn a lot from starting from seed. You already said you had the time and sweat I would say go for it but don't rule out other more traditional trees. Stay away from Japanese White and Black for now, they tend to be expensive. Go for Scots and Mugo. Both make good bonsai and both are affordable and available.
 

Fangorn

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Your replies make it unclear if the tree we are looking at is Scots or Jack Pine?

In my experience I have come to find that Scots Pines do best when their roots are played with in the middle of the summer; just like Mugo Pines. I have never had a problem root pruning and assorted other bonsai techniques from wiring to pruning all done together in the summer. You can take that for what its worth, experience or literature, you chose, but don't do it now. I know a lot of what I do flies in the face of accepted practice. However; when dealing with Scots Pines most of the accepted practice/literature says to do this in the spring---gently, because Scots Pines do not like their roots disturbed too much. I do it in the middle of the summer, often brutally, and have no problems.

That's very interesting Vance, and your right, it does fly in the face of everything I've been told about Scots pines. I will definitely tuck this little nugget away for future use
Thanks!
 
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Hi There.

I noticed no one had attached a photo of a Jack Pine so here is one. Started as a collected seedling about 10 years old. The owner has collected a few seedlings successfully

. Jack Pine compressed.jpg
 
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Here is a Jack Pine, called Uncle Fogy. I intend to make some major cuts this comingCIMG2504.jpgCIMG2505.jpg spring.
 

Gene Deci

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My idiot light came on as soon as I went to take the picture. The 8ft (ish) tree was actually a Jack Pine (P. banksiana) but I would still like to reduce and collect it.

On a separate note, how does P. Banksiana respond to bonsai? Worth the effort or not?

Are you sure it is Jack Pine? I am from northern Michigan and Jack Pine are not found much south of where I live. A couple of guys around here have some nice Jack Pine bonsai but I understand (like most pines) they are not easy.
 
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