Stone pine age/advice

Devo12

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Hey guys! I’m sure this is a Stone pine ? I am From South Africa. And was wondering anyone know age of the tree? Hasn’t got crazy bark . Not sure why but it seems like it’s quite old due to branches etc.?
Thanks
 

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Paradox

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It's difficult to guess the age of a tree like this because growth can vary greatly depending on where and how it was grown.

It's not a very old tree because the bark isn't barking up yet (for lack of a better term).

It's probably less than 15 to 20 years old
 

Devo12

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@Paradox thanks man! Yeah was guessing 10-15 years . Definitely needs a repot . Which I think is effecting it . But yeah also needs a proper clean up . Don’t think it has been wired for years .
 

Potawatomi13

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Personally would guess 20-25 years. With tree this young much can be determined by where tree stopped/started growth each year written on bark of trunk and branch.
 

Forsoothe!

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I think the bark doesn't start doing it's thing until after the tree (foliage) has shifted into mature Stone Pine form. Bark splitting is always a function of growth pushing out on old bark, too, so more growth, more broken bark. Hurry up all you want, but it's really a waiting game. You have a nice form, so just wait it out.
 

Devo12

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Awesome . Thanks guys :) yeah pretty cool how it’s kinda formed it’s own shape too. But definitely think another wire is needed ?
Would love to hear thoughts. Im definitely gonna repot so the wiring will have to wait though :)
 

Forsoothe!

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Do you want to grow it in its traditional form as tall, bare trunk, thin umbrella crown?
 

Devo12

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Do you want to grow it in its traditional form as tall, bare trunk, thin umbrella crown?
I’m actually not too sure hey.. haven’t decided :/ not really though. It has a few lower branches that can be used I think. What do you think? By looking at the photos
 

Forsoothe!

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You can go either way, but you need to decide fairly soon because it's marginally leggy now and you have to drive the foliage inward if you want it to be more compact. I don't know but suspect that once it evolves to mature foliage it won't back-bud as much or as easily as now, and I don't know much about that, either.

Calling all Stone Piners: speak to the above.
 

Potawatomi13

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Would suggest picking a sacrifice branch/apex letting grow to enlarge trunk a lot while beginning work on lower trunk and branches. Also one straight area of trunk just below where many branches begin needs bending added. Also personally would do same with lowest section of trunk.
 

Devo12

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Yeaaah I agree with you guys. It’s really leggy.. as the owner kinda just let it do it’s own thing .. bottom branches are dying because or the strength at the top and also light I think .
so not sure if I should pinch the the candles at the top too for now ? But yeah definitely need work on the bottom trunk
 

Arnold

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They are pretty dificult to train in bonsai, as you can see a lot of juvenile foliage (short and bluish) mixed with long adult needles, in south europe usually people work them only with the short juvenile rowth removing all the adult needles and pinching the candles, they can be trained with adult foliage but it quite tricky if you dont have a big tree with a thick trunk. For sure a very free draining soil and full sun for the species
 

Forsoothe!

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Ya know how I hate to be picky, but again and again people want a cat and buy a dog. Then they get advice on how to manage the inverse dog. Baloney! Take it as it is and make it the best that it can be, -not at some nebulous future date after you try to preform un-dog surgery, but starting right now to make the best it can be. We need to discard the errant concept that there are some number of boxes with names handed down by the Emperor and all bonsai must fit into one of the boxes regardless of how much chopping, growing, chopping, growing, ad infinitum is required, or else. Baloney! You have an individual, it has some interesting features, work with them to make it look like a tree. If you must have a plant that looks like a bonsai, then go out and buy such a cat.

Take a drive through your city. How many trees & shrubs do you see that don't quite fit into the city tree, or suburban shrub, or park woody resident box? How many fit nicely into the Emperor's box? Do we rip out those that do not fit nicely into a named box or are these dogs just part of the scenery? Are some of them ~special~ because they don't fit into the box? This tree won't be a literati, or an informal upright, but it can be a tree of merit, in-between. It has some drama and can be made to look more dramatic. Right now the branches are helter-skelter and unappealing. Branches can be selected to keep or discard and some can be re-arranged into a distinct pattern. The branches should be either arranged/chosen to accent the lines of the trunk as in an informal upright, or to be as unalike and inconsistent with the trunk as in a literati. That alone would make the tree into something that draws the eye. That is do-able. You can design it to be the short needled immature foliaged tree or for long needles when they come, but either way you make a choice and proceed to make it ready for that eventuality.

Need time to figure out what to do? Fine, but right now you can clean out the twiggy dead wood, pinch leader buds and see what kind of back-budding you get in spring when you can take the next steps and by five years time you will have something interesting. Or you can try to change this dog into a cat all the while knowing that you can go to big box tomorrow and buy a cat for peanuts.

(I'm not a Pine person so I can't really advise on the technical end, but someone will step in here and offer advice on that end of the process.)
 

Devo12

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@Forsoothe! Sooooo well said! I agree with alll of that. I’ve been told in such structured ways in what to do with pines (JBP ) and even with other trees that they will never be “successful”. Like I know it’s not pretty or what not now . I’m from South Africa and we have plenty pines around and some are so weird and different .
So I know exactly what you mean. I guess a lot of people are just very set in their ways and only follow..
Sometimes you gotta step back and look around . But yeah hopefully one day she comes together and works out to be quite dramatic and interesting:)
 

Wulfskaar

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Hey guys! I’m sure this is a Stone pine ? I am From South Africa. And was wondering anyone know age of the tree? Hasn’t got crazy bark . Not sure why but it seems like it’s quite old due to branches etc.?
Thanks
Mine has slightly thicker trunk and it's going on 5 years old. Your bark is darker, so not sure what that means.
 

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