Yardadori Black Pine of Some Sort

grouper52

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This season I am harvesting from our yard four trees that my wife orginally denied me in favor of making them landscape trees. As has often happened, after a few years she didn't like them anymore, and told me I could make them into bonsai. There is a Rosemary, a Korean Birdsnest fir, and a Monutian helmock that I may post later, but I'll start with this guy first.

I'm not sure what kind of pine he is. He was billed at the nursery as a Japanese Black pine, but Dan Robinson says the 6" needles make that doubtful, and he suspects an Austrian Black pine. The needles, though are very stiff and sharp like a JBP, and not like the Austrian Blacks I've known. It also has grown much more robustly than any JBP I've ever had in the ground, but then there does seem to be at least some very rapid-growing stock that the tree is grafted onto, so who knows what's going on. Maybe some of you Black pine experts can shed some light here.

He actually started his harvesting two seasons ago. He was a 3" tree at his base when we got him and threw him in the ground about six years ago. He grew very quickly in a very robust fashion to a girth of about 6.5-7" by the time my wife turned him over to me two years ago. Some tenuous little branches at the first whorl died early on, but otherwise it's been very hardy.

So two years ago when I came into possession of him, I dug him up and threw him in this too small pot, but then I decided to throw him back in the same hole again, in the pot, hoping he would put new roots out through the drainage holes and thicken his base even more. I did this after removing a huge horizontal wrap-around root, the scars from which removal can still be seen a few inches up from the base in several shots below. I was hoping the new growth at the base might start to heal the scar there, but it's only done so to a small extent so far. But, no new roots, it turns out, ever grew down into the soil - which I discovered only when I lifted it out again yesterday. Despite that, the base continued to grow surprisingly thicker, now about 8". Also, ever since we got him I've been doing some preliminary pruning, and he has responded well.

I plan to put him in a much larger grow pot or a grow box, work on the rootage, and start to work on the branches and foliage over the next few years. I also anticipate some fairly extensive deadwood features. I'll post further as he progresses.
 

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Si Nguyen

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I like it! I think there are at least 2 good options for this tree, but only as bunjin. I like the first pic as the new front, but with this, you would have to lean it to the left and backward quite a bit. I hope you don't mind, but here's a thumbnail sketch of how I see it. When you lean it back, you could gain some separation of the big branch on the right and the leader branch. And by leaning it to the left, you could bury that ugly scar from the old circling root in the base.
Good luck!
Si
 

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grouper52

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Great eye, Si! I like it. I'll certainly give some thought to that possibility. It gets rid of the huge scar if I can get roots to grow from its top edge, which I think I may be able to. This thing puts out roots quite easily from any dirt-covered area that's still viable, and the roots thicken quickly. If there's viable cambium just above that scar it may do well, especially if I put it back in the ground for a few years to do so. Thanks.
 

Si Nguyen

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Forgot to mention one thing, that is a pretty nice pot there Grouper. Is it square? I like it! It might even be perfect for the final finished tree, maybe placed at a diagonal. But it's a good idea to pot it into some thing bigger for now. As a certain branch grows out, you may have another good option.
Good luck with it again.
Si
 
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grouper52

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Yeah, Si, it's square, and a handsome, sturdy thing. I forget where I got it, or where it's from.
 

grouper52

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Well, I wrote a long entry for this update photo, and then it got erased. :(

FI. Here's the photo.
 

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edprocoat

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That is a great looking pine! Now I would like to see the Monutian Helmock, or at least get a share of the beer that made you spell like that. :p

ed
 

Umeboshi

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Well, I wrote a long entry for this update photo, and then it got erased. :(

FI. Here's the photo.
Yikes, what happened there? Too much force when you were applying that guy wire or did a brick fall from the sky and land directly on the crotch of that branch?
 

grouper52

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Yikes, what happened there? Too much force when you were applying that guy wire or did a brick fall from the sky and land directly on the crotch of that branch?
Not at all. As my lengthy, but deleted post would have explained in detail, that was by design.

This sort of rending/ripping of a branch at it base happens in nature with some frequency, and Ponderosas growing in rough areas sport such effects all the time. I've done it on other select trees a few times when the design was hopeless without it - as I reckoned it was with this tree and it's long stove pipe - and the branch has always survived. This sort of break is very clean, and leaves intact the cambium and sapwood flowing directly into the branch from below, so nothing really changes unless the bend is too severe that it kinks that flow off in a weaker tree. The wound hardly even bleeds. This tree is of some sort of very, very robust variety, and I figured the branch would survive (and solve in an interesting way my styling dilemma) - I did the deed once the sap was flowing again after dormancy in JBPs here - February - and the branch never missed a beat. I gradually bent the branch down to it's desired location in stages, wired it there for stability, and now it is set there, the tree having already re-built some structural reinforcement in just a few months. New growth on that branch's foliage, as can be seen, is as robust as anywhere else on the tree.
 

TheSteve

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I'm thinking that once healing begins everything above that branch goes away? Looks good. I've got a Bosnian pine that grows like yours from the sounds of things
 

Umeboshi

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Not at all. As my lengthy, but deleted post would have explained in detail, that was by design.
:)
I figured the branch would survive (and solve in an interesting way my styling dilemma)
It certainly provides a point of interest. At first I felt that this would become a distraction in the final design but the more I thought about it, it really will add a degree of naturalness to the tree. Hopefully we can see more photos in a few years.
 
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