Author Topic: a Question for the experts :)  (Read 5169 times)

Herman

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a Question for the experts :)
« on: June 03, 2014, 08:09 AM »
Hi guys,

I have read a lot lately about the heat intolerance of japanese white pines and something truely twists my noodle... nor America's nor Australia's nor Africa's sub-tropical regions has had any success in growing these for any longer than say 3 to 4 years, then they kick the bucket. We always attribute this to heat intolerance or lack of winter dormancy due to the winter not being cold enough, yes?

well,

the region in Japan respinsible for most of the pine bonsai in japan; Shikoku island, has long, very hot, humid summers and very mild short winters. they very rarely get frost at all...and the weather is described as sub-tropical. with summer highs reaching up to an avg of 32 celcuis in the hottest month and the coldest in winter going down to an avg of 2 celcius in the coldest month

can anyone speculate or answer why we struggle? is it our watering regime or our "soil" composition?

on Jonas' blog I read that shikoku bonsai nurseries does not use akadama at all...they use 100% washed river sand. May this be the answer?


Kind regards
Herman
« Last Edit: June 03, 2014, 08:15 AM by Herman »
 

Owen Reich

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 10:58 AM »
Could be micronutrient deficiency like Boron.  Overwatering can also be an issue.  They don't like to get blasted by the sun in containers. Damage from last year often shows up later. Shade in summer keeps the needles a nice color.  Could also be high ambient humidity without wind to pull the moisture away in cycles.  Last but not least, people seem to rush styling by pulling / cutting off needles.  They are not fast growers (anyone who's grown them from seed understands). 

This year, many of the grafted white pines I worked on at Rendezvous last year were repotted "on time" which was technically 3 weeks early by their physiological cues. 
 

Herman

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 02:40 AM »
Hi Owen,

Thanks for replying  ;D

Before I get into the heat tolerance issue, I may add that maybe under watering may also be an issue because of the fact that most if not all literature on the net about white pine states that they like it dry...most people that do not know white pine(myself included) will have a hard time distinguishing between "dry" enough to water and dry as in too dry...if the root ball dries out completely the root hairs will die, won't they? Maybe people in the north give advice to people in the south about watering and the guys in the south then follow this advice and ends up watering too little for fear of over watering. I can see how this will weaken any plant over the course of 5 years.

When water turns into vapor heat energy is used which will in turn cool down the pot, water loss will be at a faster rate and it will then be in people's interests , who live in warm climates to water more frequently and use a medium that holds more water, but also has the air spaces and porosity to bring oxygen to the roots, and keep the roots from standing in water to ensure a healthy plant. This is a hypothesis of course, not even a theory yet, as I may have left out a couple of factors that I haven't learnt yet

I've seen that some of my chinese elms do not like to stand in full sun as well, they seem to like their roots on the cool side... maybe I should experiment with one of my chinese elms until I am able to keep them happy in full sun.


Kind regards
Herman
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 08:00 AM »
I'm no expert on this subject, but I think the primary growing areas are on the north side of the island and higher elevations.  JWP are high elevation trees.
 

Herman

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 09:12 AM »
Hello Don :)

You meant to say Northern Shikoku or Northern Japan?

here is a link to what place I am talking about:

http://bonsai.shikoku-np.co.jp/en/nyumon/2013/11/kuromatsu.html

because Northern Shikoku is still in Southern Japan, weather for Shikoku is clasified as sub-tropical. Kinashi Bonsai district is close to the northern coast of Shikoku island, there are some hills to the West and it looks like a range of foot hills to the south of all the bonsai gardens if I look at it using google earth, but no white capped mountains. Did an avg weather search for kinashi and also came up with sub-tropical weather. they had a total of 14 days of snow from 1971 until 2000, thats 14 days of snow in 29 years. So it very rarely snows there...the humidity never dropped below an avg of 60% in this period and winter is 3 months long... the avg lows also never dropped below 0 celcius for this period. and the avg highs get really high in summer 38 celcius being the highest in July

the only big difference Between here where I am and kinashi is the humidity...the humidity drops to 36% here in winter and goes up to above 60% in our rain season in summer

I also could not find any photo of pines in kinashi bonsai village with any shade nets, quite generally in full sun on monkey pole stands or benches in the sun...goyo matsu, kuro matsu and aka matsu...and a whole lot of them

kind regards
Herman



« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 09:48 AM by Herman »
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 11:41 AM »
white pine will want full sun, so you shouldn't find many under shade cloth. I meant the northern side of shikoku.  That is where Takamatsu (your link) is located.  

I suppose you need to ask someone who is familiar with the area and growing conditions.  Maybe its mountain air, angle of the sun, sea breeze, humidity level or some other factor or combination of factors.  JWP are high elevation trees and many were originally collected in the mountains there.

I have friends in Louisiana and Florida who grow jwp.  The survive but don't thrive.
 

Owen Reich

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 07:41 PM »
Most of Shikoku Island is new volcanic mountains.  Pretty sure the avg elevation on the island is 1500 meters above sea level.  Herman, as you mentioned, it's a combination of factors. 

Some plants just don't grow where you want them without building a 20 million $ greenhouse like in Dubai. 

I appreciate you wanting to know "why?" but it's likely a number of factors.
 

Herman

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2014, 04:17 AM »
I have friends in Louisiana and Florida who grow jwp.  The survive but don't thrive.

Hello Don,

Appreciate the reply :),

May I ask how humid it is in summer and winter in these areas?

Most of Shikoku Island is new volcanic mountains.  Pretty sure the avg elevation on the island is 1500 meters above sea level. 


This is true, but I'm not interested in white pine's natural habitat, because these guys are growing multitudes of white pines in takamatsu as bonsai's on benches in full sun, which is  21m above sea level, with sub-tropical weather.


We can establish that temperature is not the biggest factor because:

the temps of dallas texas.

http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USTX0327

for takamatsu , kagawa Japan

http://weatherspark.com/averages/33231/Takamatsu-Kagawa-Prefecture-Japan

averages from my closest weather station(it may be colder where I stay in winter and hotter in summer):

http://www.worldweatheronline.com/Eldoraigne-weather-averages/Gauteng/ZA.aspx


the only factors I can think of is human error and maybe humidity...either under/over watering, nutrient deficiency, working them too hard too often...

Sorry if I seem hard headed, but the data I've come up with stands completely against the current information out there on the care and hardyness and cultivation of pinus parviflora. If I'm to be successful with my JWP, I have to study the species and where they thrive in bonsai pots. Thus I've found some data, and I'm making it public, because somewhere out there my info will help a poor love sick bonsai enthusiast who wants to have a white pine in his collection , but thinks it is too hot where he lives...

Kind regards
Herman

PS. I appreciate it a lot that you guys are humouring me on this.
 

M. Frary

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2014, 07:08 AM »
  This is interesting. I plan on getting a JWP. I know it will do just fine here because I get proper winter conditions here. Maybe even too wintery maybe. There has to be some of that for these trees right?
 Maybe it's because it's Japan and these are Japanese White pine? With Japanese taking care of them? Who knows.
 
 

Judy

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2014, 07:21 AM »
I do live in an area that has the "right" conditions for JWP.  I have 2 and what I've found is that they like a bit of shade in the hottest part of summer here. (I have hot and humid summers where I am) They get full sun for the morning hours and again later in the day, but at mid day they are shaded.  I've also found that they like to be watered just as I water my deciduous trees.  Which I imagine some would consider to be watering too much.  But I water more for health than needle length....
Just what I know of my trees in my conditions.
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2014, 07:56 AM »
Herman I'm not debating with you, and we have not established anything.

Buy a jwp and try it.  You've done the research, now put it to use.
 

Herman

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2014, 08:42 AM »
haha Don, I'm not thinking that you are debating with me, just making the parameters clear for my research. I have a White pine, this is why I am doing this research :) here is a link to the thread for my white pine

http://bonsaistudygroup.com/white-pine-discussion/white-pine-care/

M. Frary's reply:
  This is interesting. I plan on getting a JWP. I know it will do just fine here because I get proper winter conditions here. Maybe even too wintery maybe. There has to be some of that for these trees right?   

Is exactly why I am doing this research, because according to conventional knowledge, I supposedly have to be MAD to buy a white pine, because it's not supposed to like my weather at all...well until I started researching where JWP is grown as bonsai in Japan and the avg temps of these places. it can be established not has been established(will establish this in the next few years as my tree comes along...or dies)...look at the graphs...I'm colder on avg than Takamatsu and Dallas is on avg only a little hotter. What do you make of this ?

Don't you think it will benefit a whole lot of bonsai people if I find the way to keep JWP happy and vigorous in sub-tropical weather ? It seems the Japanese know how to keep these healthy and vigorous in sub-tropical weather...why can't westerners do the same?

but yes i will rather wait until I have done a case study for a few years on my white pine, before posting about this again

thnks for your input Judy, I find it very interesting that you water so much in such humid weather, this points to my former comment about under watering...something i will have to look at after i've repotted my tree into a very free draining mix

thanks guys :)
kind regards
Herman


 

Owen Reich

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2014, 11:21 PM »
Judy, what mix are you using for your JWP?  And what are your deciduous trees in?

Herman, you'll need a lot more than one tree to conduct research.  This is just plain science.  I do commend you for asking questions and looking for answers.  Yes, the growers are closer to the coast, I think that some growers are in the mountains too or isolated by mountain ranges.  I've never been to Shikoku.  Hiroshima is super hot and humid in summer though.  I'll ask someone who studied there what they think.  May take a while to hear back.
 

Judy

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2014, 08:06 AM »
My large one has been in akadama pumice lava, my small one got switched to that mix last year.  All my D trees got switched to APL this spring.
 

Herman

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Re: a Question for the experts :)
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2014, 04:26 AM »
Herman, you'll need a lot more than one tree to conduct research.  This is just plain science.  I do commend you for asking questions and looking for answers.  Yes, the growers are closer to the coast, I think that some growers are in the mountains too or isolated by mountain ranges.  I've never been to Shikoku.  Hiroshima is super hot and humid in summer though.  I'll ask someone who studied there what they think.  May take a while to hear back.

I thank you for helping me out here on my quest for know how Owen. You are awesome dude :)

A big part of bonsai is about asking questions and searching for answers.

My large one has been in akadama pumice lava, my small one got switched to that mix last year.  All my D trees got switched to APL this spring.

Hello Judy :) May I ask what APL is? I already figured out a lot from your posts here and on the thread of my white pine. Tnx :)

As a side note, the guys growing white pine on shikoku island, all use 100% washed river sand as a medium(because of all the humidity and rain), they must fertilize a lot :)

kind regards
Herman