White Pines

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Yamadori
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I have a white pine


(Someone has to teach me how to do thumbnails!) I don't know what sort of white pine it is, I was sold it as a grafted white pine. I have just been told that white pines will back bud on old wood, I always thought that they are extreamly reluctant to do this. but I'm told now that they'll do it quite readily. Whats the truth? (This is an old shot, and I think I messed up bigtime recently:eek: when I tryed to trim it, but this person told me that the tree will back bud. (Will it?:eek: )
 

Bonsai Nut

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A pine can bud back, it just depends on a few variables:

1) The health of the tree.

2) The age of the wood you want it to bud back to (the older it is the harder it is to get buds to pop).

3) Forcing the energy of the tree to the area you want it to bud back to (i.e restraining growth in other areas / maintaining a strong sap flow, etc).

I have also heard that white pine bud back easier than black pine but I think everything is relative. Certainly you have to maintain growth on the branch you want buds on - i.e. don't treat it like a deciduous tree and cut it back hard expecting buds to pop everywhere.
 

paddles

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I thought that if there were no needles on the branch then that was it? it wouldn't bud on that wood again?
 

bonsai barry

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I thought that if there were no needles on the branch then that was it? it wouldn't bud on that wood again?

I think that is a rule of thuumb. I have a black pine that has budded back fairly well on older wood with no needles. (The branches are still pretty thin.) The tree in your photo looks to have lots of needles. How much did you prune?
 

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I thought that if there were no needles on the branch then that was it? it wouldn't bud on that wood again?
If you just stripped the needles (right now in the cold season) and it was last year's growth, it will bud all over the place. If the growth was two or even three years old, you should get some buds, but they will be weak so you need to really be careful with them. Any older than 3 year wood an your odds are low - it is probably better to think of grafting.

The key to getting back budding is to let the branch grow strongly for one season, then strip ALL the old needles off the branch and cut back hard to only a few needle bundles from this year's growth (depending upon the position on the tree - more needle bundles (like 7-9) on a lower branch, fewer needle bundles (like 2-3) on an upper branch. You can prune the rest of the tree at the same time, or better yet, wait a couple of weeks and THEN prune the rest of the tree (which will really turbo-charge bud development in your first branch). Depends if you are trying to develop a single branch, or if you just need general ramification throughout the tree.

Note - this is what I do for black pines. White pines should be easier and may bud back on older wood. I don't really know because I only have a couple of them and they are all grafted on black pine understock (because I live in Southern Cal).
 

paddles

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This ones grafted too, It's summer here, and I cut the top off, But I either didn't do enough, or whatever, it's a young tree, I think that I'll ignor it till winter, Hubbys arranging for me to do a course in March
 
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Paddles...

It looks like you have an eastern white pine. I have one myself. The management of candles and growth on a white pine is actually DIFFERENT than a black pine. It is a lot about timing and how you manage your candles. I hestitate to tell you exactly how, as I am still figuring it out myself. But I was given the "how" on what needs to be done to pull it off. It will back bud as was described... more readily the newer the wood. Yours looks fairly young, so you should be in luck.

People who have raised pines for a while get the feel for the rythm of the tree based on the area where they live. Often times there is a generally accepted schedule that people will have figured out. So you would be best served to find someone in your area who grows them and see what their schedule is.

Trees like pines, and pretty much all conifers, are apically weak. Which seems odd because we see them as always trying to grow upwards. But in terms of horticulture, apical dominance is actually found in trees which grow strong crowns all over, like deciduous trees. So your candle management will be more severe on the top 1/3 of the tree in order to force more energy into the lower branch structure. You'll also manage the ends of your banches differently than you will the inner branches because you want more density in the center of the tree, which is contrary to it's growth habit. It will also allow more light into the center.

Unlike a black pine where the strongest candle is almost completely removed, and then the next strongest, etc etc... over a course of weeks... causing the tree to backbud further on the branch, white pines are actually backwards. You remove progressively stronger candles over the course of weeks until you remove the strongest one last.

Also depending on how big you want the tree to grow, and it's structure, you can let a leader grow tall and free in order to gain trunk size. Then when you have achieved it, removed that leader entirely.

I have had back budding on white pines. My Japanese White pine and my Eastern White Pine both. My JWP backbudded insanely this last year. But that is a whole different story, it had an odd year. (smile) I am hoping to achieve more significant back budding on my EWP this next year. I potted it this last spring, so I didn't mess with the candles much, it was to busy trying to recover from that. I did some hard pruning this last fall, which goes against conventional wisdom. However I did no harm to the tree as it is quite large, and my mentor Dan Robinson assured me it would be fine.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours most kindly,

Victrinia
 

Tachigi

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Ewp

Ms. Vic, How do you deal with needle reduction on your EWP. I no of no one that as truely pulled it off well. I was hoping you might share your wisdom since you seem quite verse in EWP.:D
 

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There is a varigated eastern white pine that I recently passed up because I was concerned about being able to reduce internodes and needle length. So help us westerners out with some care secrets :)
 

paddles

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I've made the dicision that I'm gonna leave the main maintenince to the experts on this tree, the theory is, each year the bonsai expert will go over the tree, tell me what has to be done, and I shall do it under his expert eye, theory is I'll learn, swithout ruining the tree, it's very young, so at the moment no harm no foul, (Hopefully) I cheerfully admit that this tree is beyond my current abilities, however consultation and hands on teaching with tutor should improve my knowledge.
 

Graydon

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Trees like pines, and pretty much all conifers, are apically weak. Which seems odd because we see them as always trying to grow upwards. But in terms of horticulture, apical dominance is actually found in trees which grow strong crowns all over, like deciduous trees.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours most kindly,

Victrinia
What are you talking about? Apically dominance is just that - dominance at the apex. Remove the apex and the tree will find a new apex and that one will become dominant. Hence a trunk chop on a pine (or cedar or cypress or redwood) all result in shoots racing to become the apex (somewhat) quickly. This is more so and very pronounced in most, if not all conifers. Pines continue to have this dominance most of their life. Look hard enough and you can see the transition. I see southern pines and bald cypress transitions to the 'flat top' look as they are on the end of the life span.

In fact all young plants are apically dominant. As they age that dominance slows but seems to spread over the entire crown - sort of like your strong crown example (think big strong oak). That tree is still apically dominant however that dominance is spread over the entire crown not a single apex.

An example of a non apically dominant tree is an azalea. Try to get an azalea to grow tall with a single leader - not going to happen. They are shrubs and revert to growing like shrubs. They will send out shoots from the base but an apex means nothing to them.

Now I'm no professional grower, not a farmer or a horticulturist so I could be way off. My opinion above is from hands on work as well as observations of plants all my life.

Sorry to threadjack and go off subject.
 

Graydon

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I've made the decision that I'm gonna leave the main maintenance to the experts on this tree, the theory is, each year the bonsai expert will go over the tree, tell me what has to be done, and I shall do it under his expert eye, theory is I'll learn, swithout ruining the tree, it's very young, so at the moment no harm no foul, (Hopefully) I cheerfully admit that this tree is beyond my current abilities, however consultation and hands on teaching with tutor should improve my knowledge.
Next time why don't you give us the latin name paddles? White pine as in pinus strobus or pinus parvifolia? Big difference.

There is something to be said for expert advice in person. You certainly didn't pick a basic starter tree with either white pine. Don't discount advice you get here - there are some really good people here and everyone has the best intention with their advice. Sometimes the response is "put that tree in the ground or a larger pot and let it grow out". That would have been my advice on this tree. You want it to grow so there is nothing to prune now.
 

paddles

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Next time why don't you give us the latin name paddles? White pine as in pinus strobus or pinus parvifolia? Big difference.
i don't know what it's latin name is, it was just sold as a grafted white pine, that's it. daft to buy it I know, but white pines are really really rare around here, you get them when you see them, the person bought this tree from had picked up 10 grafted white pines, he sold them at markets (Along with other plants) his gardening/bonsai knowledge was/is limited to what he needs to know to make his living, that's it. Whilst the advice that I recieve here is exellent, ultimately I sometimes think that it gets necessary to have practical hands on lessons, I would ask you to remember that bonsai is not common in australia, and advice and help is not easy to come by.
 

Graydon

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i don't know what it's latin name is, it was just sold as a grafted white pine, that's it. daft to buy it I know, but white pines are really really rare around here, you get them when you see them, the person bought this tree from had picked up 10 grafted white pines, he sold them at markets (Along with other plants) his gardening/bonsai knowledge was/is limited to what he needs to know to make his living, that's it. Whilst the advice that I recieve here is exellent, ultimately I sometimes think that it gets necessary to have practical hands on lessons, I would ask you to remember that bonsai is not common in australia, and advice and help is not easy to come by.
Australia? Sorry, I had no idea. By all means get what you can with plants. There are people on this board that have intimate knowledge with JWP - I am not one. I envy those people and plants as I truly would like one but they can't survive in my area. I am trying a pinus strobus (eastern white pine) and so far so good (it's not dead yet...).

Are you aware of Lindsay Farr's video series - he's a fellow Ausie and does a great service for the bonsai community with his informational videos? Check him out at www.bonsaifarm.tv as there is much good info on bonsai there. I don't know where you are in Australia but if you are ever in his area it should be a must stop and visit place.

I hope you have/had a Merry Christmas down under!
 
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What are you talking about? Apically dominance is just that - dominance at the apex. Remove the apex and the tree will find a new apex and that one will become dominant. Hence a trunk chop on a pine (or cedar or cypress or redwood) all result in shoots racing to become the apex (somewhat) quickly. This is more so and very pronounced in most, if not all conifers. Pines continue to have this dominance most of their life. Look hard enough and you can see the transition. I see southern pines and bald cypress transitions to the 'flat top' look as they are on the end of the life span.

In fact all young plants are apically dominant. As they age that dominance slows but seems to spread over the entire crown - sort of like your strong crown example (think big strong oak). That tree is still apically dominant however that dominance is spread over the entire crown not a single apex.

An example of a non apically dominant tree is an azalea. Try to get an azalea to grow tall with a single leader - not going to happen. They are shrubs and revert to growing like shrubs. They will send out shoots from the base but an apex means nothing to them.

Now I'm no professional grower, not a farmer or a horticulturist so I could be way off. My opinion above is from hands on work as well as observations of plants all my life.

Sorry to threadjack and go off subject.

No harm in a fair question Graydon, so I wouldn't call it threadjacking... (smile)

My point in talking about the lack of apical dominance in a pine is that the energy of the tree has to be purposefully directed, because the tree will put most of it's energy into growing the top 1/3 of the tree. The horticultural definition of apical dominance was taught to me by David DeGroot. So I can't give you original source for the information. But he was very specific about it, as he was teaching on pine management at the time.

And in his discussion he showed examples of trees which are and are not apically dominent, based on growth habits, as I discussed previously. As I said... I can't give original source for his information, I have simply taken the master's word for it.

Yours most kindly,

Victrinia
 
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Ms. Vic, How do you deal with needle reduction on your EWP. I no of no one that as truely pulled it off well. I was hoping you might share your wisdom since you seem quite verse in EWP.:D
Tom... I wouldn't say I have truly pulled it off as yet. I can't say how next year's growth will respond, but this is will be it's first full year in a bonsai pot. The needles that grew in this year were shorter than older growth, but of course that could of been some residual stress from being potted this last spring when winter's back was broken. So if I pull it off... I'll be sure to let you know. However I believe I would have no business trying to teach you a thing my friend... :eek:


Yours as ever,

Victrinia
 

Tachigi

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Ms. Vic, I am an eternal student. I would very much like to here of your progress with EWP. So keep me (us) informed.
 

John Hill

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Unlike a black pine where the strongest candle is almost completely removed, and then the next strongest, etc etc... over a course of weeks... causing the tree to backbud further on the branch, white pines are actually backwards. You remove progressively stronger candles over the course of weeks until you remove the strongest one last.
I hope this is helpful.

Yours most kindly,

Victrinia
Hi VIctrina,
I think you mean the black pine candles are from weak to strong. I remove the weak first to give the weak areas a head start on the new budding. So if you start with the weak and a week later cut the medium and then a week later the strong. By then the weak candles that were cut first start to bud and this give them a head start on the medium and strong.

Now the white pine (five needle) is the opposite but you do no remove the candles completely as a JBP(two needle) in my little experience the (pinus strobus) EWP is the least satisfying pines for bonsai. Needles do not reduce, it does not like to be pruned at all, and it retains a smooth junvenile appearance to the bark. They back bud less easily, tolerate candle removal poorly, and do not reduce their needle size as readily.
So if I was going to use a white pine I would go with (pinus parvflora) JWP. Now with five needle pines you would pinch the strongest candles 1/2 to 1/3 of their initial length just before they new needles open. This is done over a two or three week period from stong (upper) candles and ending with the weak (lowest and inside) candles.

So with two and three needle pines you start from the weakest to strongest
and five needle pines the opposite stongest to the weakest.
Hope this helps somewhat.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

Nigel Black

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Apical dominance - Graydon is correct. When the apex has to grow beyond a certain point before the
balance of hormones changes and allows the buds below to break is apical dominance, as with pines
amongst others. Using the Azalea to illustrate what apically dominant isn't, is an excellent example.

Nigel
 

paddles

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for those interested, I had the pine worked on this last week.





As you can see, Maybe,It was decided that this tree needs more time as raw material, before being put into a bonsai pot, he removed the top, gave it a new apex, thus giving the trunk some movement and taper. He cut away a lot that I would not have been game to cut away, gave me instructions on maintence and care of the tree, (Told me stuff about white pines that I didn't know (Not that I know that much?)) and suggested that I bring the tree back in 12mths.:) I'm happy with that. Whilst I enjoy the general care of bonsai, the watering feeding etc, I must admit I get very stressed at having to trim the trees, (Frightened of making a mistake) With such things as maples, this can be covered up, but with pines?:confused:
 

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