(Semi?) Cascading Ponderosa repot

darrellw

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I purchased this ponderosa last summer from Jason @ oregonbonsai. It was a birthday present to myself, along with another one that I will post soon. The tree was collected in May/June of '06, and I purchased it in July '06. I did nothing to it last year except light feeding and water. This year I wanted to repot it, so that I could start removing the native soil and to try to get it more centered in the pot. I suspected that all the roots were on one side, based on the location in the training pot.

Here is one side of the tree in the nursery pot, and a shot of the root ball. As I suspected, all of the roots are on one side. Luckily, all of the new root growth was on the top section of the root ball, so I was able to remove virtually all of the native soil without disturbing any of the new root growth.
 

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darrellw

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Here is the new pot I prepared. Because of the existing rootball, I wasn't going to get it much away from the side this time. I screwed a piece of 1x3 wood across one corner to tie the trunk to. This is just a squarish plastic planter, but a little more character than the nursery pot.

You can see how I tied it in (the root ball is also tied into the bottom in the traditional manner, and a shot of the otherside of the tree in its new pot. Because I was able to remove so much of the native soil, probably won't repot for a couple of years. By then, hopefully some roots will fill in under the canopy so that it can be moved more to center. This tree has had no styling yet (other than Ma Nature).
 

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Dwight

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With this tree mother nature did a great first styling. It's hard to imagine a meer mortal , artist or not , improving it much. Jason did you real well on this tree. BTW , are you sure of those dates. Those guys usually neep trees for a complete growing season.
 

rlist

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BTW , are you sure of those dates. Those guys usually neep trees for a complete growing season.
Yeah, those dates seem right - I think I either potted the tree or assisted The Ginth in the potting of it. Regardless, it looks familiar. You are right that OB.com tries to keep trees for a complete growing season. However, when local yokels that are proficient in the art of keeping new trees alive, judgement decisions are made to sell the trees early. In such cases, the yokels are experienced and knowledgable about how to proceed, and also know that they are taking a chance with reduced/limited guarantee in taking the trees before they are established. Darrell knows how to handle the trees and knows the risks...

As for the styling, I agree it is a mighty nice tree - though I am not sure I would call it a semi cascade...
 

darrellw

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As for the styling, I agree it is a mighty nice tree - though I am not sure I would call it a semi cascade...
Hi Rich,

You are right, at least in the new pot it is looking less "cascady" than in the old pot. I really didn't think about it a whole lot when I repotted, was more concerned with how the roots were fitting. Ultimately, it could go either way. Whatever happens, I need to find a way to bring out the trunk that winds back on itself like a snake. I have not taken the time to measure it out, but I would not be surprised to find if the trunk was over 6 feet if straightened out....

-Darrell

PS for Dwight, the dates are correct. Another factor is being local, the guys at Oregon Bonsai know what climate it is going into, and that it won't suffer the trauma of shipping.
 

darrellw

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Here are some updated pictures of this tree, I guess I could call it "Cascade No More"! I really have not done anything with the canopy, and the position in the pot was as much to best accommodate the root ball as anything else (aside from getting it more upright). Two good fronts on this one, the first picture is the one I'm favoring right now.
 

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Dav4

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Hey Darrell, nice tree. I sure would love to have access to the back yards of those guys you hang out with in Oregon;) . I'm not sure about the new orientation of the trunk. I honestly thought the position of the tree in its original pot was pretty good and would have made a great semi cascade. Hopefully, you've got some plans for the branches and foliage that will make me reconsider my position. Good luck,

Dave
 

darrellw

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Hopefully, you've got some plans for the branches and foliage that will make me reconsider my position.
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the comments. I think this position, once the canopy is put under control, will highlight the twisting, contorted trunk line much better. At least, that's my plan!

-Darrell
 

JasonG

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Nice job.... Milke is teaching you well!!

Based on a picture I like the 3rd picture best..... and I see exactly where you guys are going with the foliage in the next or first styling.... it will be nice.

How many of these pots did you buy??? haha

Jason
 

Vance Wood

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Here are some updated pictures of this tree, I guess I could call it "Cascade No More"! I really have not done anything with the canopy, and the position in the pot was as much to best accommodate the root ball as anything else (aside from getting it more upright). Two good fronts on this one, the first picture is the one I'm favoring right now.
At one point in this tree's life it had a large branch or small trunk land on top of it causing a flat distortion in the trunk. I had a Douglas Fir with this element back in the 60's. In this case this anomaly has given the tree an inverse taper that, in my opinion, needs to be dealt with. You have to find some way to minimize this element either by changing the planted angle or choosing a front where it is an asset not an impediment. An excellent tree but for this one flaw.
 

darrellw

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Hi Vance,

Thanks for the comments. I assume you mean the reverse taper right at the base. I believe that was caused by the tree growing out of a crack in the rocks, the first few inches were underground. I'm hoping that now that the base is exposed, it will bark up a bit and help, but it still may need to be dealt with beyond that.

-Darrell
 

Graydon

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Darrell,

I apologize in advance if I come across crass or uneducated in this post. I sincerely do not mean my comments to be taken wrong but I gotta say this:

What the heck? Why the new planting angle? When I first saw the thread I was salivating over the tree (first photo below). Great movement starting from the soil line slowly moving up and to the left with a great dip and twist of the trunk. The photo in the plastic pot (second photo below) seems to minimize the natural movement a bit but still shows me a graceful tree with an accentuated horizontal movement. The most recent incarnation (last photo below) seems to counter what the tree has going for it - a great moving trunk. It seems a bit unnatural to my eye. Specificaly how the trunk now seems to go (more or less) nearly straight up quite a bit before beginning the extreme movement and undulation that is a high point of this pine.

I noted above that this is an uneducated post on my part. Can you explain in detail why you chose to do such a severe orientation move with this material? I am sure you have a great plan in place but I would love to hear more about how you will work on this tree in the future and what you believe the final look will be once complete.

No matter the outcome I have to say that is one hell of a pine. Thanks for sharing it with us.
 

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darrellw

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Hi Graydon,

No need to apologize!

The basic problem I had with the tree as a cascade was that the foliage would alway be hiding the twisting trunk. I guess I could have extended it (to the left in the first picture) to expose more of it, but that would elongate the tree even more. I couldn't see any way to cascade it down anymore, either, and the branches were too old and thick to move around to expose the trunk.

In the new position, my plan is to remove (or move) most of the upward growing branches, so that the remaining foliage cascades down, framing the upper trunk where it doubles back on itself. As long as the tree responds OK to this repotting, I may be able to wire it this year. Maybe it will be more clear then (or maybe not!).

-Darrell
 

Graydon

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Gotcha Darrell, thanks for explaining it more. I certainly hope the repotting works out as it's going to be a great tree. I'm jealous of all the great yamadori available to ya'll on the left coast.
 

darrellw

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Gotcha Darrell, thanks for explaining it more. I certainly hope the repotting works out as it's going to be a great tree.
Me too :).

We both agree that the crazyness at the (new) top is the main feature of this tree. Time will tell if putting that at the top is the best way to show it off. Of course, I may lean it a bit over time, the extreme upright position was also to help balance the tree until it gets a better root ball. But I don't see it changing by a lot (right now).

-Darrell
 

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