Which Dwarf Pine is best at back budding?

Nishant

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Hello All,

I just thought of checking with experienced and knowledable people here on this forum.

I am planning to buy a pine sapling to make a Bonsai. I want to do this with ease just like say with Pyracantha. I only have to have a design in mind and patience.

I know a few speices of Dwarf Scot pine: Watereri, Nana, etc, but not sure which is the best one to start from. So any advise will be appreciated.

Thanks
 

Adair M

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I want to do this with ease just like say with Pyracantha.
Unfortunately, you have unrealistic expectations.

Pines aren’t “easy”. They’re challenging. Not to say you can’t learn how to do them, but to go in and expect them to back bud and be easy to develop is simply unrealistic.

But, just like most things that are difficult to master, the rewards are wonderful!
 

meushi

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Slightly out of your original scope, but... pinus thunbergii 'senjumaru' (a mutation of kotobuki, coming from the same tree as kotobuki yatsubusa) and pinus densiflora 'senjuhime' do back bud nicely. They also have naturally short needles. However, they're hard to find outside of Japan. This year, I bought two senjumaru young grafts that will receive their first styling next spring. They're supposedly easier than stock thunbergii, but still not 'deciduous easy'.

1605631713881.png

I did also buy a Pinus sylvestris 'watereri' at The Trophy this year, but I can't say much about it yet. The tree was already a decent pre-bonsai and was only marginally more expensive than a young watereri in a garden center.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Watereri has the issue that branches are pencil thick within a year. Even if you don't feed them.
Whereas regular scots pine starts with 2-2.5mm thick shoots that thicken slower.

The best intermediate between the two seems to be the Norsk typ or Norwegian type. They backbud as good as watereri, they're not grafted and watereri is always grafted, and the branches of the norsk typ develop similar to regular scots. So the scale is better.

Watereri has a nice shade of blue, but they're best suited for larger bonsai if you'd ask me. Norwegian type seems to be suited for both small and large.
Both reduce needles very well, but the watereri still produces super fat shoots/branches.

If it's just scots pine that you want, consider ordering seeds from Italy. The population in Italy has smaller needles and an overall 'smaller' build.

I don't know about sylvestris var Nana.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Watereri has the issue that branches are pencil thick within a year. Even if you don't feed them.
Whereas regular scots pine starts with 2-2.5mm thick shoots that thicken slower.

The best intermediate between the two seems to be the Norsk typ or Norwegian type. They backbud as good as watereri, they're not grafted and watereri is always grafted, and the branches of the norsk typ develop similar to regular scots. So the scale is better.

Watereri has a nice shade of blue, but they're best suited for larger bonsai if you'd ask me. Norwegian type seems to be suited for both small and large.
Both reduce needles very well, but the watereri still produces super fat shoots/branches.

If it's just scots pine that you want, consider ordering seeds from Italy. The population in Italy has smaller needles and an overall 'smaller' build.

I don't know about sylvestris var Nana.
IMG_20201117_190131.jpg
Regular scots, no feeding last spring. Large tree.

IMG_20201117_190054.jpg
Watereri, no feeding this spring, small tree.

IMG_20201117_190332.jpg
Norwegian/Norsk type, heavy feeding this spring but a small tree.
 

Nishant

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Watereri has the issue that branches are pencil thick within a year. Even if you don't feed them.
Whereas regular scots pine starts with 2-2.5mm thick shoots that thicken slower.
Isnt this a good thing for the branches thicken up quickly?
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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The thickening is amazing. But it ruins the scale of the tree. The pictured one is 18 cm / 7 inches, but the woody branches you see are just 1-2 years old and already as thick as my pinky finger.
In regular scots pines, that takes roughly 4-7 years to happen, depending on how you treat them. I have 5 year old scots saplings with skinnier trunks than the two year old branches of the watereri.

It makes refinement very difficult.
 

Nishant

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Fine I get the flip side of watereri. But my original question remains: Can watereri bud on older branches?
 

parhamr

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Mugo Pine! Any dwarf variety works well. Given any airy soil they tend to do well for me. Here and there I have fungal and pest issues but it’s not too much.
 

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Wires_Guy_wires

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Fine I get the flip side of watereri. But my original question remains: Can watereri bud on older branches?
Depends on what you call 'old'.
Both watereri and norsk typ backbud as good as JBP, if not better. As in: regular backbudding on 1-3 year old wood as a result of pruning.
I get a couple buds on all of my scots pines pretty regularly, the oldest wood is roughly 6 years old. But it's more random than directed in those cases.
Both the aforementioned cultivars do it better than regular scots pines in the sense that they produce 4-10x more buds after applying techniques compared to wild types.

But without a doubt, pinus rigida is the best back budding pine in the world, it can produce new shoots on 40 year old wood.
 

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