Some trees I'm working on...

coh

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I kind of like @bonhe's blog-type thread where he talks about various trees and projects, so I've decided to start my own. I'll periodically post updates as I work on and photograph various trees I'm working on. Feel free to make any suggestions you may have.

Japanese black pine. This is the tree that @Adair M beat up on in a wine-induced rage a couple of years ago ( :), see https://bonsainut.com/threads/cohs-jbp.20345/). This spring I finally got around to digging into the structure. I removed some definitely unnecessary branches and cut others back hard to try to encourage growth closer to the trunk. I removed lots of needles and cut others shorter to allow light inside. Finally, I wired every (or almost every) branch. Still had to use a few guy wires to get the heavier branches where I wanted them.

This is the result, as the tree looked in April. The color cast is way off on this photo using my old camera. Probably Adair will tell me I didn't go far enough or remove enough, but I'm feeling my way through the process...and there is no rush.

jbp_apr2017_black2.jpg


Here is how the tree looked after decandling in June. New camera, better color. I didn't remove every shoot, as there were some in key areas (mainly interior/closer to trunk) that were weaker that I may want to cut back to in the future. So I left those. The fertilizer bags were removed after the photo was taken.

jbp_jun2017_black2.jpg

I've been debating how to develop this tree. I kind of like the way the structure and silhouette look now, i.e. I don't know if reducing the width from this point would improve the appearance (I've done some virts and don't like the look). I think adding ramification and shortening needles, along with additional thinning, is the plan going forward. Am happy to consider any thoughts or suggestions.

For comparison, this is the photo from 2015 that Adair was working from.

jbp_2015.jpg
 

LanceMac10

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A photo from today? New growth come in at any de-candling site? Conventional methods would put you roughly two months from de-candling......

I like it and it seems to be responding to your care. Very nice!:cool:
 

coh

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A photo from today? New growth come in at any de-candling site? Conventional methods would put you roughly two months from de-candling......

I like it and it seems to be responding to your care. Very nice!:cool:
It was decandled on June 23rd. New candles are still small, you wouldn't even really notice them except on a close-up.
 

coh

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I think some detail wire this fall will really show off the pad development you've got there. Looking good, Chris.

... and I thought you couldn't grow JBP in the Great White North:rolleyes:.
Several folks around here lost a lot of their JBPs (that they'd had for a long time) during that really cold winter 2 or 3 years ago. From talking to people, it sounds like they mostly were wintering them in unheated garages and I suspect it got too cold for too long. I keep my JBP in a shelter with a heater to keep temps at or above about 25 F and so far, that seems to do the trick. Fingers crossed! I'd like to get another one or two to work on.
 

sorce

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It looks really well balanced.

If to full...too healthy?

No prob!

Looks great!

Powerful upright stance!

Are you decandling Everything...
And balancing with needle pulling?

Sorce
 

coh

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Are you decandling Everything...
And balancing with needle pulling?
Sorce
Yes, for now I'm using the "all at once" decandling method. I cut off all the candles, leaving stubs that are all the same size, and then remove needles to attempt to balance the growth. Ryan Neil advocates this method and it makes sense to try it as a starting point. Why make things more complicated than necessary? If it turns out that this method doesn't give me the results I want, in future years I can experiment with some of the other more complicated multi-step approaches.
 

Adair M

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#13
Yes, for now I'm using the "all at once" decandling method. I cut off all the candles, leaving stubs that are all the same size, and then remove needles to attempt to balance the growth. Ryan Neil advocates this method and it makes sense to try it as a starting point. Why make things more complicated than necessary? If it turns out that this method doesn't give me the results I want, in future years I can experiment with some of the other more complicated multi-step approaches.
It's looking good, coh! In your climate, I would think that June 23rd is kinda late to decandle, but we'll see how it goes. You'll get short needles, for sure! Hopefully, you won't have to cut needles in the future.

When you decandled, how long of a stub did you leave?

@sorce, JBP should get nice and full. Yes, they can get too full, but that tree is a long way from that!
 

coh

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It's looking good, coh! In your climate, I would think that June 23rd is kinda late to decandle, but we'll see how it goes. You'll get short needles, for sure! Hopefully, you won't have to cut needles in the future.

When you decandled, how long of a stub did you leave?

@sorce, JBP should get nice and full. Yes, they can get too full, but that tree is a long way from that!
I cut them really short...maybe 1 mm left behind? I'll take a look when I water later today.

The decandling date was arrived at after consulting with others who grow JPB around here. I've done it the same date the past 3 years. The resulting needles were still too long, but in previous years I was still fertilizing after decandling. This year I cut off the fertilizer, so we'll see what we get in terms of needle length and adjust accordingly. I think they're going to need to be pretty small for this tree to look good.

Yes, I don't want to be cutting needles in the future but for now, I think it's useful to help get light into the interior and balance the strength. The cut ends are not attractive, however!
 

Adair M

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I cut them really short...maybe 1 mm left behind? I'll take a look when I water later today.

The decandling date was arrived at after consulting with others who grow JPB around here. I've done it the same date the past 3 years. The resulting needles were still too long, but in previous years I was still fertilizing after decandling. This year I cut off the fertilizer, so we'll see what we get in terms of needle length and adjust accordingly. I think they're going to need to be pretty small for this tree to look good.

Yes, I don't want to be cutting needles in the future but for now, I think it's useful to help get light into the interior and balance the strength. The cut ends are not attractive, however!
Once you get it ramified, that will help produce shorter needles.
 
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#17
This is a beautiful tree which is going to get better and better.
I kind of like @bonhe's blog-type thread where he talks about various trees and projects, so I've decided to start my own
... ...Yes, you are right if I may say.
This kind of threads where one is compiling some of one's projects as a whole, are very interesting and convenient in my opinion.
 

Adair M

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#20
@Adair M , here is a photo of one of the cut sites and new candles emerging. Hard to tell how much was left of the first candle, maybe between 1-2 mm on average?

View attachment 156405
Cool.

The procedure I use is to leave more stem up in the stronger portions of the tree, and shorter stems in the weaker sections. The theory is the remaining auxin in the longer stems continue to suppress the stronger section for a while. Thereby giving the weaker sections a head start.