Author Topic: black pine with a cluster of branches  (Read 13886 times)

John Kirby

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2012, 12:30 PM »
Herman, I have already suggested that you do what you think you should do . I certainly won't waste your time with any further comments, you appear to have selected a path. Good luck!
 

Adair M

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2012, 02:19 PM »
Herman,

Perhaps you misunderstand the inorganic bonsai mix. It's open, let's a lot of air into the rootball, and doesn't absorb water. It allows you to water often without fear of rotting roots.

So, instead of watering twice a week in the hottest weather, you could water twice a day!

The open nature (relatively large particle size) promotes fibrous roots, and makes repotting easier.

Look for "Boon mix" on this website for recipes.
 

Herman

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2012, 03:45 AM »
Like this?

(1/4 akadama, 1/4 pumice, 1/4 lava and 1/4 of general purpose bonsai soil mix)

This was the only usable reference found... Just minus the organic part...

I can't get lava and can't get akadama...that leaves me with a hell of a gamble. Should I use pumice only? Hydroton? LECA? Laterite? Zeolite? Attapulgite? Expanded vermiculite?

I'm not going to experiment on such an expensive tree...you guys pay $600 for an already developed tree...I pay 600 for really raw material...

Mr Kirby...where did you contribute anyway? You only ever commented that I should do what I want aka you don't care, and that I should switch to inorganic because you don't agree with any organics in soil, and something about phoenix, what or where is that? Why should I listen to you if that's the way you contribute?? I'm not going to listen to anyone that isn't really interested in helping and do not care...Sir...
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 04:07 AM by Herman »
 

Herman

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2012, 04:27 AM »
This is the local mix used for pines

3parts decomposed granite
3parts washed silica sand
1part coarse loam
1part pine needle compost
Bit of bonemeal and super phosphate

This is the mix I was looking at

3parts porous agregate
3parts another porous agregate
1.5part sieved composted pine bark(4mm-6mm)
0.5part pine needle compost
Bit of bonemeal and super phosphate

Agregates: Decomposed granite, ash clinkers, crushed clay bricks, pumice, leca laterite and hydroton

One can accomplish a soil that's aerated and loose with organics present in the soil too...
With the lack of ingredients I will do the best I can, too go completely inorganic now would result in a cock up, I can't water twice a day....only once, in the late afternoon when I get home
 

John Kirby

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2012, 08:03 AM »
Herman, you are on a predominately US site, so the responses will be predominately US-centric. You have a young pine in commercial growing mix, as you begin to move it to bonsai culture you will need tp change it to a soil mix that actually supports bonsai culture, that is aix that will give you reliable and predictable results. I have had this same conversations with folks from the semiarid regions of Southern Australia, who also have mot wanted to pay for imported Japanese soil components. The reason that you don't want organics in bonsai soil is that your soil composition changes dramatically pver time, in hot climates, bery rapidly. What you use as inorganic is up to what is available in your area, this what you have available is unknown to me andas long as it aerates, I don't really care what it is- you can plant in marbles (little glass balls) if you so choose. The key is to work andretsin moisture in the soil column. If you don't have access to a clay product, then the next best thing is to cover the surface of the soil with something like spaghnum or straw or anything that decreases the loss due to evaporation.

All of this has been covered many times here and elsewhere. For Phoenix http://www.rssweather.com/climate/Arizona/Phoenix/
For principles of soil try http://peterteabonsai.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/repotting-a-beast/ . Good luck, I wish you the very best.
 

Herman

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2012, 03:08 PM »
Let me get this right :? You take the organic parts out because it retains too much moisture and then pile it on top as mulch for water retention? What's to prevent the spaghnum or straw from breaking up and washing in amongst the soil? When the spaghnum has completely breaked down do you add some more?

Seems like a contradiction to me...

Mr Kirby

You use a completely inorganic mix, fantastic. I respect that if it works for you. I also feel that all these porous substrates have a place in making bonsai soil mixes. I've always used half potting soil half chicken grit, this was before I learnt about water retention, and oxygen and air pockets in the soil, this was about 8years ago. I now use 20 to 30 % coarse organic material in my mixes plus any porous agregate I can find at the time plus washed river sand, my trees are healthy, they can make an extremely hot day of 42 45 celcius with only watering once. The organic part in my soil mix is my safety net. I will not change to a inorganic mix soon...can you respect that??


 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2012, 03:32 PM »
You asked for advice and were given advice. What you do with the advice is completely up to you.  I'm not sure why you are choosing to belabor the point.
 

John Kirby

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2012, 06:31 PM »
Herman, I, absolutely, completely, and  really don't care what you do with your soil mix, for your tree, in your environment. You asked, you got a response. I would suggest that you get with some of the South African Bonsai Artists, the trees shown in Bonsai Focus show that there are some fantastic trees in South Africa, and see what they do.

The material on the surface is different than organic in the mix in that it doesn't decompose (aka Rot) within the pot, using up both Nitrogen and Oxygen. On the surface it just reduces evaporation.

Repeat, please use whatever you like, in any form you like and however you like. It will be a few years until this tree is ready for refinement and then you can ask others about how to get it ready for refinement. Best of luck.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 06:34 PM by John Kirby »
 

scottroxburgh

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2012, 07:23 PM »
Firstly, I use Boon mix in Australia, it works better for me than anything else. I guess your temps would be much like mine.

If you can't get Akadama, or Lava use Pumice or Perlite.

If you have to use organics, don't use pine bark or needles - roots don't like them. Look at pines in nature, the needles cover the ground under them and stop anything from growing there.

Use potting soil if you want organics, just note that the trees will probably develop slower than trees in an inorganic mix.

Scott.

BTW most people in Australia use potting soil mixed with an aggregate, their trees develop slowly.
 

Herman

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2012, 07:53 PM »
@matsu, I asked him to stop by asking him te respect my soil choice...

@Mr Kirby, if you don't care don't comment?

@Scott, I've seen a lot of things grow underneath pines, they just have to tolerate acidic soil...pine needles and pine bark does that, except for that the dried needles on the ground can act like a mulch in some cases, and the dense foliage can block out the sun...your statement doesn't make sense in that a pine recycles its needles into energy as the shed needles break down and is washed into the soil. If pines did not like that they wouldn't be able to exist. No I say pine humus is good for pines...

Let's move on from the soil upwards...
 

scottroxburgh

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2012, 08:55 PM »
[facepalm]

It seems like you have a good grasp on growing pines, I'm not sure why you are asking for advice?
 

John Kirby

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2012, 10:18 PM »
Back to the tree, what do you consider the good elements to be, and what are the bad elements?
 

Herman

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2012, 07:22 AM »
The good points are,

-the growth is somewhat compact,
-it has a branch really low on the trunk that can be used as a sacrifice branch
- out of the cluster of branches there seems to be one thicker than the rest that can be used as the leader, its young but really thick.
- the tree seems to be healthy now, when I got it some terminal buds where dead and dry...I cut back to the previous nodes and it's budding out nicely now
- lastly the cluster consists of 5 or more branches, in spite of that there is very little to no reverse taper at all

Bad points
- I will have to find a way to get branches in certain places on that main leader. Grafting? If its still young would decandling for backbudding maybe help? I have never grafted
- the cluster leaves me with a problem will the tree make it if I go in and cut them to stubs this fall and then in spring carve out the whole cluster:?
- the trunk seems a bit straight, I will have to plant it at an angle when I repot


Besides this I'm rather new to planning the design so far ahead on a tree, I think when those layers come off and when the cluster is carved I will have a better idea as to what direction the tree will go in, in terms of style.

I have a question though, if I'm to remove so many branches this coming autumn will it be safe to repot the tree in spring 4months later? Or should I remove branches and repot in autumn?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 07:32 AM by Herman »
 

John Kirby

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2012, 08:04 AM »
My understanding is that the tree is now in a dormant period? That is it grew rapidly, then shut down with high temperatures?

If so you can do a good deal of pruning now. Have you had the chance to look down in to the soil and see where the "surface" roots are, those that will become the nebari, sometimes they are found in the layer of roots just below the first few sparse upper roots. to do this, lift the tree out of the plastic pot, or if you think that the root mass may not be solid (aka a bit rootbound) then you can cut the pot down to the soil line. Then, using a chopstick or a hook or a root fork, remove the surface soil and set it aside for possible reuse. Rake from the trunk out, so when you get to roots, you are combing them out radially from the trunk. I would expect a nice root base with some flare.

once you have this, look at the base and the trunk to leader line, the potential leaders will be the cluster of branches growing up. Once you find a nice line, tilt the tree in the direction that gives it the best "flow". If you aren't comfortable with a final line, or even if you are, post some pictures.

Once the line is selected, then reduce all but the main leader to one or two whorls of needles, cut the branches by 1/2-2/3 in length. You could even remove a couple of branches completely, back to the junction of the main trunk, whatever you feel comfortable with. I would seal it, in this case primarily to prevent the tree from drying out and dying back in the dry heat. I would expect that you will see a tremendous amount of back-budding on the leader and the main trunk.

Your tree will take less water when a large number of needles are removed, if you are uncomfortable with the thought of the roots drying out to much, then place the old soil back on top of the surface roots and mark your front with a piece of wire or paint a line on the pot at front.

You will be able to repot in late winter and get it ready for next summers work.

When I say I don't care what kind of aggregate that you use, I am just saying that unless there is some leaching of mineral or other chemicals from the material or odd properties that affect its aggregation, if it is inert it really doesn't matter. The reason I posted Peter Tea's article was just that, you can pot in to just about anything as long as you know what it is, it is inert and you understand how the mix affects watering. It does not mean that I don't care about the tree or how you develop it over the coming years. Good luck.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 08:19 AM by John Kirby »
 

Herman

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Re: black pine with a cluster of branches
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2012, 11:06 AM »
Thank you mr Kirby

I already selected the main leader from that cluster, then proceeded to airlayer those that I didn't need, read many articles of people taking airlayers from blackpine on young wood in 6 months, we will see...since black pine is so expensive here I thought why not? If it works I have 5 to 6 more blackpines.

Will check out the nebari

Should I cut back to first or second whorls on primary branches on the leader? Or are you refering to the cluster branches that have to be reduced? Won't it affect my airlayers if I cut back on them?