Young Pine Development

pwk5017

Shohin
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This is a continuation of a conversation between biglou and myself in another thread. I figured it had gotten off topic enough for me to start a new thread. Basically, biglou asked for some pics of my developing stock. While re-sizing the photos, I noticed I was not as careful about composition/shooting angle when I took the pics as I should have been(a viscous storm was moving in as I was snapping pics and is currently raging right now). Some of the pines' leaders blend into other pine foilage in the background, but I think they are good enough to get the message across. I am somewhat new to growing pine bonsai, so if anyone has some ideas or suggestions, feel free to give them.

Pine 1 is 3-4 years old and was not grown as a cutting. A little luck and some root pruning through the years have begun the beginnings of a nice base/nebari on this young pine. This pine was not repotted this spring, so I couldnt scratch away anymore soil than that to reveal more of the roots. Basically, everything with the white/reflective flakes on it is solid roots. I am aiming for a 8-10" final tree for this one. I think it is 20"+ right now.

Pine 2 is the same age as pine one. The nebari isnt excellent on this one, but its not poor either. A couple more seasons of root pruning should yield excellent results. I am fortunate enough to have a series of weak buds about 1/2" away from the nebari. I hope to encourage some vigor into those buds in the next several years so I can use them as sacrifice branches to achieve an excellent base. Aiming for a finished tree of 10" on this one as well. If you look 2-3" above the small buds at the base, you can see the first whorl of needles. I have several young buds in that mess that will become the new leader/trunk. I am hopeful that this tree will have some powerful movement and taper in another 5-8 years.

Pine 3 is one year younger I believe. I dont know why I didnt take a front view of this tree, but perhaps the topview is more telling. Nebari is developing decently on this one, but is far from perfect. I plan to use the weaker bud on the right as the new trunk line. I might use the other weak bud as a branch, but this tree is offering some buds lower that might be in better positions to be final branches. The base shot is sort of interesting, because you can see how I have 7 buds coming off the trunk where no living needles exist. You can see the dead 1st year needles still hanging off the trunk. I am not sure what caused these buds to appear as the tree has never been pruned, but I am attributing it to repotting this spring and vigorous feeding. Doesnt hurt to be a little lucky in this hobby either.

Pine 4 is the same age as 1 & 2. You can see the final remnants of trunk scarring from wiring in year 2. I let the wire bite in deep on this particular seedling and it has the thickest trunk out of all my seedlings. This was one of the first pine seedlings I wired, so I bent and twisted it severely. I wasnt sure it was going to make it, because the cambium had been cracked in many places along the trunk. However, I was curious in learning the extremes of wiring without raffia, so even if it died, it would have been worth the education. Like pine 3, it has produced needle buds where no living needles exist or have existed for a year. With the current trunk movement, I am hoping for a bud to occur in the first whorl of needles, so I can have a new leader/trunk section. This tree will most likely be in the 6-8" range and be a squashed and twisted shohin.

Pine 5 is in its second year. This pine was not a seedling cutting. I did about half and half last year using the seedling cutting process. This seedling wasnt showing me much potential, so I experimented with topping/decandling it this spring. It had a 6" strong candle and a 2" weaker candle originating from the same whorl. I was curious to see how the seedling would respond. I have to say, it didnt give me the results I had hoped for. I was hoping for buds to appear all along the trunk-- base to top. It only produced buds from the weak shoots up to the point where it was cut. I havent counted the buds, but I can estimate somewhere around 20 have appeared. The advantageous buds at the base of the candles number somewhere in the 10+ neighborhood. The topview photo shows the candle stub leftover and out of focus in a sea of buds. You can form your own conclusion on if its a good idea to lose almost a year's worth of thickening to receive an unlimited choice of branch/future leader choices. Brent does stress the importance of lower buds for branch and sacrifice branches, so decandling/topping certainly can be an effective method of achieving that. I want to see the results of fall pruning before I approve of spring pruning.

Finally, I thought I would include some photos of this year's crop. I have about 300 rooted seedling cuttings. I cut the roots the first week of June. Growing from seed this spring has been slow and full of failure due to the very cool and rainy spring. Anyways, you can see the results of the procedure a month later. I randomly plucked this one up for a photo and you can see how effective the technique is. I have 5-6 roots issuing from exactly the same point on the trunk. If only I had consistently performed this task over the last 4 years...life would be so much easier.
 

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pwk5017

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Seems I ran into a slight issue with the 5 picture limit.
 

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pwk5017

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I really couldnt approve of this technique enough. It sucks to sit down and dig up 700-1000 seedlings, cull half of them and then sit down for 3 hours cutting and dipping stems, but the results are gold.
 

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biglou13

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never had nematode issues, (don't jinx me) but occasionally get this larva in tips i just prune off tips when i see browning,

re wiring young: while many do wire young, i think for the most part, is a waist of time, unless making bankan (sp) coiled snake style, or cascade, at best the wiring will get you subtle movement at 1st or 2nd trunk bend. i saw some at nursey that were wired, with scaring, but no taper for 24inches, selling price $95.(totally not worth it, made mt trees look like $300 stock) in my book early wiring will get you subtle movement at best, im growing 1st trunk segments!!!


re: new seedlings
have you seen bret's blog post on growing from seedlings. superb info for next few years for the little guys. which pretty much guarantees, good bases and low branches. then the few that dont follow rules become bunjin. there is always some use for the uglies. if any thing practicing finishing techniques or trading with friends. id contine bends on pine 4 for than snake style

looks like great start on collection!!!!!

come early spring we' ll have to trade notes on root pruning /work.

most of my 2yo bare roots escaped and rooted out of 1 gal pots first year. i wondering if you should do this with your kids.

i saw this done at a respectable nursery, he let them escape through weed cloth!!!

im not sure why but first 2-3 years the growth is slow then 4-5 year i get an exponential amount of growth, (on trees that had root or top pruning) 3 to 4 feet of growth.

all except one of my trees don't have that dark green needle color like yours in spite of regular doses iron. result of hot florida direct sun and a few periods of neglect.

your soil choice, looks like a finished tree mix, i'm wondering if more organic will be better (and cheaper) in the growing stage.
 
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pwk5017

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The soil is something I have been thinking about this year. As you can see, some are in 100% turface. Some are in a 50:50 turface and perlite, but I repotted some this spring with more organic components. I have some pines in 20% organic with equal parts turface and perlite. I think I am going to begin incorporating 10-20% organic into my mixes from now on. One thing I can say is I do not really like 100% turface. The stuff can be funky when watering and it compacts alot easier. It gets especially bad if you use organic fertilizer. I got pretty pumped about the "magic effects" of cake recipes for growing pine last year. The cakes break down and essentially become portland cement. The turface acts as the gravel/aggregate, and you are left with good ol' fashion concrete in a pot. So far I really like the large particle size perlite I have been using for 2 years. However, I just tracked down a source of dristall(small particle pumice) and I am looking forward to using this as well. The hardest part of any soil mix is availability and affordability.

I think I have read all of brent's articles and blog posts several times over, but I will double check and read it again. I cant tell you how excited I am about growing the seedling cuttings. I have high expectations I will have 10-20 great trees from that lot of 300-400. I just moved them into full sun yesterday, so I am anxious to see how they respond with more sun and fertilizer.
 

reg-i

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I wish I could view brent's blog for knowledge but I dont know where to locate it. biglou where in ne florida are you located im down in Stuart, se florida I started about 250 bp seedlings this year I have another 250 seeds I just wanted to get my feet wet with them first. I want to put a picture up tomorrow and let you guys tell me if I waited to long to cut and root them
 

plant_dr

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www.evergreengardenworks.com Brents website, you can get to his blog from there.
 

biglou13

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pkw . sure some seedling loss /fortuitous loss, but once the seedings take, 3-5 % return i was thinking much higher.

here is that post i spoke about,
http://bonsainurseryman.typepad.com/bonsainurseryman/2006/04/pines_where_it_.html

we emailed a few times about this technique. as always there is a little more involved than whats there... but good idea where to start.

reg-i, ive never started them from seeds, ther is info about stem being purple as proper time to cut.did u dip in rooting hormone, nonetheless living in florida gives us a growing season into november prolly longer where you live. i'd try brents technique and skip the seedling root prune, prolly increase your success rate with similar results.
 

pwk5017

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reg-i,
This thread should have all the info you need. I have some macro shots on page 3 or 4 I think that show the stem color.
 

reg-i

Sapling
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Heres the pictures of the seedlings I talked about and the very long grown out tree was given to me any advice of what work can be preformed this time of year would be appreciated, specially the long one should I cut the top off





 
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I think that the long tall wired one has can now become only a literati, so I'd give him more dramatic movement. Literati are cool in a way because a cylindrical trunk is not a problem so you don't have to worry with sacrifice branches.

I post pics of one that didn't go too bad as an example.

The tree in 2003


Now :


The tree is not quite there, but as some potential. I think it woud have been better with more movement like the black line on the figure below, but to get it is better to add "wrinkles" to give "complexity" to the lines, hence the brown line.



Some very knowledgeable people here prefer obtain taper with only leader replacement .
I think that your last pic is well adapted to this method.

Let first grow 2 unrestricted, while restraining 1, then cut 2 and use 1 as new leader. 3 could have been use as a lateral branch but needles are somewhat already to far. Try a mekiri in September to get new buds.

For my part, I like also multiple slim sacrifice branches to get taper (lot of little scars that can heal rapidly), to get this I cut back the leader once in September.

but personnally, I like also multiple small sacrifice branches
 

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biglou13

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feeding the young (jbp's)

how are you guys feeding?

i have osmocote in pots plus miracle grow/mir acid once a week. i just switched to full strength. and the kids are very happy. i've heard that some even go double strength.

can you overfeed? burn a jpb?

again i have 30 ish in airpots/rootmakers. few in ground. before feeding they get a good soaking. plus the summer rains here in fla...... like washing your car it seems to deluge after feeding.
 

pwk5017

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Walter has an article on feeding, but I believe you would be hardpressed to overfeed your pines if they are in 100% inorganic and you have an intensive watering program. I have a healthy layer of osmocote on my pines and I feed double strength miracle gro once a week. As long as you are watering as you should be with an inorganic soil, you mitigate the chances of "burning" your pines. However, you would most certainly be better off feeding regular strength miracle gro 3 times a week over quadrupling the dosage once a week.
 
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I feed also with osmocote at the highest level recommended which is 5/g per liter of substrate for 5-6 month osmocote and 6 g/L for 8-9 month osmocote (these values may need to be lessen if you have hard water).
In my pine growth substrate (75-80 % lava rock, 20-25% neutralized peat moss), water E.C. is about 1.5-2.5 U. at the warmest time of the year while the maximum safe value is about 3. This thus quite close to the optimum value.

There is no need to add fertilizer onto another and so on and then dilute it by wateringa lot. This is wasting both fertilizer and water. The goal is to have a high concentration of mineral nutrients without ever trespassing the level where root function is impaired.

What I have noticed is that, all other things equal, pines in my growth substrate do grow appreciably faster than those grown in pure lava rock, but this substrate is makes watering a little difficult in spring and autumn and I lost a few trees to root rot.
 

biglou13

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I water E.C. is about 1.5-2.5 U. at the warmest time of the year while the maximum safe value is about 3. This thus quite close to the optimum value.

There is no need to add fertilizer onto another and so on and then dilute it by wateringa lot. This is wasting both fertilizer and water. The goal is to have a high concentration of mineral nutrients without ever trespassing the level where root function is impaired.

E.C. ? explain please. what is water alot vs. not watering alot? what about pH?
 

biglou13

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spider mites an needle cast.....oh my!!!

do any of you spray prophylacticly. what do you use? during what seasons? and what does mite infestation and needle cast look like.

also what other blights might i look for?

i have access to some land and am toying with idea of few hundred field grown....

ps. alain nice progression i'd be very happy with that one.
 

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