Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Evergreen Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: GBHunter on September 11, 2014, 06:50 PM

Title: time to get some trees.
Post by: GBHunter on September 11, 2014, 06:50 PM
This is an Austrain black pine. My qyestion is one more in pines for general. When do you chop them and how fr can they be cut back and still recover the following year?

I have my eye on a wonderful white pine that is very bendy a weepy im not sure of the name, a lot of nurseries are elling these off like crazy here, beautiful boxwoods for 15$. :o
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: MatsuBonsai on September 11, 2014, 08:12 PM
Minimum 2 years after roots, assuming it recovers well.  Roots first.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: GBHunter on September 12, 2014, 01:51 PM
Im not sure I understand. I have to wait 2 years before cutting the tree back?
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: Herman on September 15, 2014, 03:29 AM
Hi GB,

He is saying that repotting first will be the best idea, then you should wait two years until it has recovered before cutting it

If I understood matsu correctly?

kind regards
Herman
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: GBHunter on September 15, 2014, 05:31 AM
Ahh thank you. But I would just repot into the same pot. No reduction up top no reduction below?
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on September 16, 2014, 03:27 PM
In general with pines, if you disturb the roots, you must allow a minimum of 12 to 24 months before working the top of the tree. Even a gentle slip potting in and out of the same pot can be disturbance enough to require this amount of recovery time. The way you know if your tree has recovered enough from repotting to work on is if the tree throws a lot of new candles (buds) that develop into large "Fox Tails". When you see this you know the next growing season it is ready to work on. If you work the top of the tree with wiring and pruning, then it needs to recover 12 to 24 months and show vigorous growth again before doing major root work.

If you rush a pine, you run the risk of the tree loosing vigor and going into the "slow decline to death". Once the decline starts, it is difficult to turn it around. Someone with experience and excellent cultural conditions might be able to shorten the time between for recovery, but unless you are experienced you are very likely to send a tree into decline by doing too much too soon.

Why repot back into the same nursery can? That will only delay the development of a good root system for bonsai. IF you are going to repot at all, work the roots, spread the root system out, put it into a shallow bulb pan, plastic bonsai pot or a mica resin bonsai pot and train the roots so that when it is worthy an expensive pot, the roots will be structured correctly. Then leave the tree recover for 12 to 24 months. If you are only going to put it back into the same nursery can, then skip the repotting and do the pruning you wanted to do and in 12 to 24 months do the repotting into a bonsai training pot.

But if you want to cut time short - do the repot to a shallow training tray, bulb pan, plastic pot, or a home built shallow box and work the root system. This is the shortest route to a good looking bonsai.

Do the repot, then go out and buy a few more trees so you have something else to work on while waiting for this one to recover. I have to keep nearly 100 pots of rough stock (sticks in pots) going in order to keep myself from over-working and thus killing stock that needs time to grow.

Note- I say 12 to 24 months to make it clear that working something in autumn, say Sept and then waiting until spring, say March or April to do something else is not waiting a "year" it is only 7 months, which often is not enough time for a tree to recover from work. I put tags in my pots with dates and a one word description of what I did so I know how long it really has been since the last "treatment", be it wire, prune, repot, I even note dates pellet fertilizers were added. Helps me keep track and prevent over doing it.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: GBHunter on September 16, 2014, 07:59 PM
But if I place the roots into a shallow plastic pot or bud pan will that not require me to do a lot of root cutting to get the fit. And if I do reduce the roots then how much do i have to cut from the top? Plus if the tree is in a bonsai training pot when i do make the trunk chop will not the reduced rootmass and shallow pot bring the grouth to a near halt? (Im just asking question so i can understand)
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: John Kirby on September 16, 2014, 08:58 PM
You have to reduce the rootball. Do it in spring, cut rootball in half (find nebari first) with a saw. Bare root the remaining front half. Replace bad soil with good soil. Water over summer, fertilize and start to work the following winter/spring. Good soil, good root, strong tree, can work. If you try and keep it in the nursery mix, the tree will slowly go down hill. Good luck.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: GBHunter on September 16, 2014, 10:29 PM
My question at this point is. Is it true if you reduce roots you have to reduce branches as well or there will not be enough roots to support the rest of the tree?
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: Dirk on September 17, 2014, 03:34 PM
Cut roots, don't cut top growth. Tree will produce new roots first. With small needles and short internodes. You can tell how the roots are doiing: needles large and long internodes then the roots are regrown. Then  you can start working the topgrowth.
Good luck. 'Our' black pine is a great tree.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on September 23, 2014, 12:44 PM
You need as much as possible of the top growth to nourish the new roots. The top growth secretes hormones that signal the roots to start budding back after being cut. The "old general advise" is a "myth" that while true in some cases particularly landscaping and gardening, needs to be ignored when confronted with specific species in a bonsai setting. In general you do not reduce the foliage even after severe root work with pines, and for that matter junipers. If you reduce the top you will eliminate the sources of the the plant hormones that signal the root buds to begin growing. Do not "automatically" remove the top to "balance" to the mass of the roots - that will do much more harm than leaving a lot of foliage to be supported by very few roots.

After care will be important. Pines can absorb some water through the foliage. Wetting the foliage daily after extreme root work helps pines and junipers to recover, without destroying the hormone signal systems the trees use to govern root development. BUT when wetting the foliage, be sure to not water log the potting media. You want the media in the pot to be moist, but not saturated. Keep an eye on it. This is "advanced" horticulture - you pull this off you are no longer a newbie - you will have graduated! Another tip, wetting the foliage - you don't want to routinely keep the foliage wet all day. Wet it by misting or what ever technique works for you - but be sure the foliage dries in an hour or two. Foliage that is always wet will provide access for rots to enter. (don't worry about rain, that is a normal environmental factor)
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: augustine on September 26, 2014, 09:56 AM
GB,

I found pines hard to understand by just reading but not too difficult with instruction from a teacher.

Best,

Augustine

Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: GBHunter on September 26, 2014, 10:45 AM
Unfortunately I do not have any teachers nearby that teach pines. At the moment I use Boons videos and books. I try to stick to one authur as opinions and methods of masters seem to vary greatly.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: mc4mc44 on September 26, 2014, 06:41 PM
Unfortunately I do not have any teachers nearby that teach pines. At the moment I use Boons videos and books. I try to stick to one authur as opinions and methods of masters seem to vary greatly.

That might not be the best idea. Boon is in Cali, your profile says you're in Michigan. Black pines are treated differently that far away... It's not the difference between a maple and a shimpaku, but timing and considerations for soil are different. Also, think of how much more you can do with a longer growing season... that makes the most difference. Black pines will be slightly less forgiving in your climate.

Take information from every "master" you can find, and combine the information until your trees seem happy. I'm not saying don't listen to Boon, his trees speak for themselves, but don't listen to one person exclusively. The climate is different down the road, never-mind 1000 miles away.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: MatsuBonsai on September 26, 2014, 08:11 PM
Actually, most of the techniques for JBP have proven successful all across the states and into Canada (not to mention other parts of the world).

Austrian Black Pine should do quite well for you in Michigan, provided you're patient and keep the tree healthy.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: John Kirby on September 26, 2014, 08:23 PM
Black Pine technique is Black Pine technique. Until you get more experience with your climate and timing, you will need to study the timing of your actions. Like for Trident Maples, you will need to provide good winter and early growing season protection from cold . JBP like summer heat, but Boon gets good growth even in his low humidity, cooler summer location.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: GBHunter on September 27, 2014, 01:03 AM
Holy cow Mr Kirby your avatar is terrifying!
Seriously I have some sort of mental hang up about teeth like that!
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: bwaynef on September 28, 2014, 04:08 PM
Take information from every "master" you can find, and combine the information until your trees seem happy.

That sounds like a recipe for disaster, or at best, indecision.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: GBHunter on September 28, 2014, 05:53 PM
I have a few maples, usualy after the leaves have become colorful and fall off I pull what is left and place the trees in the garage. I am worried about the maple I bought from Brent. This is its first year and although according to the hardiness zones Michigan is well within the temperature range, this tree has never been exposed to a Michigan winter.

On a separate note I did find a nice 2.5 inch trunk boxwood on sale for 20$ at Home Depot! 
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on October 09, 2014, 04:51 PM
About new stock from California - your maples, if you received them before the middle of August, they will have plenty of time to adjust to your climate, time to mature and "harden off" for winter. If you purchased them after August, the trees will not have had time to adjust, they definitely will need extra protection.

Remember, you picked up a Pinus nigra - the European Black pine. It is a single flush of foliage pine for most in zone 5 and colder. It may behave differently in more mild climates, but this far north P. nigra is a single flush pine. This means discussion of the timing of techniques would be similar to what is done for Scotts Pine - P. sylvestris, and Ponderosa Pine - P. pondersosa. P. sylvestris comes from the same parts of Europe as P. nigra.

Japanese Black Pines - JBP - Pinus thunbergiana - is what many bonsai people call "black pine" - this is a different creature entirely from the European Black Pine - P. nigra. It is more of a sub-tropical pine, it regularly and reliably sends out 2 flushes of growth every year, even into zone 5, and the timing of treatments is entirely different than what you should do for P. nigra. Boon's videos are about P. thunbergiana, not P. nigra.

This confusion comes from the habit people have of using common names and not being clear on which species they are actually discussing.

Sorry if this adds more confusion, but it is not too difficult once you get the hang of it. Your tree, P. nigra, should be treated as a single flush of growth, 2 needle pine. Look for information about Scotts Pine, P. sylvestris and European Black Pine, P. nigra for tips on how to grow this. There are a lot of nice bonsai from P. nigra, but mostly on European web groups, because it is not often used in the USA.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: bruce m on October 09, 2014, 05:20 PM
it should be pointed out that where boon lives is in the San Fransisco bay area.on a hot day it may only get into the high 70.s while the rest of us in the rest of California our in the 90-100+.   even in the winter it is very moderate there.
Title: Re: time to get some trees.
Post by: VanceWood on October 19, 2014, 09:01 PM
Actually, most of the techniques for JBP have proven successful all across the states and into Canada (not to mention other parts of the world).

Austrian Black Pine should do quite well for you in Michigan, provided you're patient and keep the tree healthy.

One of the reasons Austrian Black Pine is available in Michigan is because Japanese Black Pine is marginal.  Does not like the extreme occurrences of winter like last winter.  Back in the day I worked for Franks Nursery and they stop handling JBP just for that reason.