Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Japanese Black Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: cray13 on March 26, 2010, 03:20 PM

Title: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on March 26, 2010, 03:20 PM
During a BSG chat session yesterday, growing Japanese Black Pine from seed was discussed.  Other
participants in the discussion had followed the same methods I was using and they encouraged
me to post some pictures and information on my results for comparison.  I am basically
following the process as described in Bonsai Today Masters' Series: Growing & Styling Japanese
Black and White Pines.  So, for most of you this process is nothing new.

I will attempt to provide as much detail on the process I use as it exists today.
I'm entering my fourth growing season utilizing this method.  

As always, climate will have a huge impact on the process.  I live in central North Carolina
in USDA Plant Hardiness zone 7B.  Please keep this in consideration as you read.


Obtain the seed


Find a reliable source to purchase your seed. I've found an online source that has proven to
be very reliable and affordable.  I usually order Mikawa JBP for it's bonsai friendly properies.
I read somewhere the Mikawa is one of the few varieties that passes on its genetic traits via
seed.  So, no grafting or rooting cuttings is necessary to propagate this variety.

I order my seed at the end of February and try to sow by the second or third week of March.


Sowing the seeds

I purchase seed starter trays that have a humidity dome and 72 individual cells per tray.  
I use standard seed starter soil from Home Depot or Lowes.  One year I mixed my own starter soil
and saw no difference in the result.

Soak seed in water for 48-72 hours.  

NOTE:
Viable(good) seed will eventually soak up enough water to
sink to the bottom.  After at least two full days most of the seed should have sunk to the bottom.
At this point I take out the floating non-viable seeds.  These seeds float because they're basically
hollow inside.  To verify I attempt to crush them with my fingernail.


Prepare your seed tray by filling each cell with the seed starter soil and then thoroughly soak the soil
with water.  Be sure your tray has drainage holes. Some trays do not.

Now plant one or two seeds per cell.  I place a seed on the soil surface and then use a chopstick
to push it about 1/4 inch under the soil.  After pushing the seed under the soil use your finger
to move the soil around to cover the hole made by the chopstick.

Place the humidity domes on your seed trays.

I actually place the seed trays under my deck where they will only get direct sunlight for no more
than two hours a day.  I check the soil everyday to make sure it stays damp.  With the humidity domes
I find that I only have to water about twice a week at the most.  Just make sure the soil does not
dry out.

Hopefully, after about 14 days you should see some seedlings breaking through the soil surface.  
Even after they emerge I still keep the trays covered and only allow about two hours of direct sun
a day.


Apply Fungicide

After the seedlings have shed their seed shells and the needles have opened I apply a fungicide
branded as Daconil.  I soak each seedling with this spray once every two weeks to prevent damping
off.  Damping off is caused by a fungus (i think) that basically attacks the stem of the seedling
where it meets the soil surface.  The first year I lost 10% or so of my seedlings because I didn't
apply fungicide.  The past few years with the use of fungicide I've seen no damping off at all.


Images

Here's an image of seedlings growing in a seed starter tray... minus the humidity dome/cover.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=4989;image)
TWO MORE POSTS COMING... please don't reply yet!!!!
Title: Root pruning and transplanting the seedlings
Post by: cray13 on March 26, 2010, 03:49 PM
When the stems of the seedlings have turned a violet/purple color it is time to remove them from
the seed trays, cut off the new roots completely and transplant the seedlings into individual four inch
nursery pots.  I believe this usually takes four to six weeks from the time they emerge from the soil.
However, I usually don't pay attention to how long its been because I just watch the stems color.  Once
all of the stems have turned violet/purple its time to root prune and transplant.

New soil-
Here is the soil mix I use to transplant the seedlings from the starter
tray to individual four inch pots.  As usual, the basic requirement is that it must be very well draining.

80% inorganic - consists of equal parts of three different sized components. (see image below)
- Well gravel (filter sand) #2 small size
- Well gravel (filter sand) #3 medium size
- Crushed granite (Chicken Grit) large size

20% organic -
- 1/4 inch Screened Canadian Sphagnum peat moss ( use the fines from screening, removing the larger particles )

I used to just use 10% organic, but the summers here in NC can be very hot so I've increased the organic
component to 20% to help with moisture retention.

In the images below you can see where I screen the peat moss and the inorganic material.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=4991;image) (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=4993;image)

Prepare 4 inch pot-
Put a 1/2 inch layer of the largest particle inorganic soil component as a drainage layer.  Now fill
the rest of the pot with your new soil mix to about 1/4 inch from the top.  I then run water through
the pot to settle the soil.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=4995;image)

Gently pull a seedling from the seed tray. (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=4997;image)

Wipe your blade clean with a paper towel and alcohol before each cut to reduce the chance of spreading
bacteria from one seedling to the next.

Completely cut the roots off with an exacto knife leaving the stem about a 1 to 1.5 inches in length.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=4999;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5001;image)

Be sure to cut with your blade perpendicular to the stem to make a straight cut.  This will promote a
nice radial pattern of new roots at the exact same height on the trunk.

I use a wine cork to create a hole in the soil for the seedling about an inch deep.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5003;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5005;image)


Fill the hole you made with the wine cork with the smallest inorganic soil component
The smaller particle soil size helps hold the root pruned seedling in place and promotes a finer new
root structure.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5007;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5009;image)

Dip the seedlings newly cut stem into rooting hormone.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5011;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5013;image)



Using a chopstick in one hand and a seedling in the other guide the seedling into the soil leaving
enough stem above the soil line to hold the needles above the soil.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5015;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5017;image)

Gently water being careful not to disturb the seedling.

Place the newly planted seedlings in a shaded area for approximately two weeks.  After two weeks start
introducing them to some morning sun.  I water as needed, but with this soil mix its pretty much everyday
throughout the summer.  In the past I've probably been over cautious with regards to sunlight, but
these seedlings can get roasted very quick in direct summer sun.  Choosing to err on the side of
caution has served me well so far.

About four weeks after root pruning and transplanting I start to fertilize with fish emulsion
once a week through June.  I stop fertilizing for the month of July (too hot, no growth) and continue again from August
through October.

You'll find that the newly root pruned and transplanted seedlings grow very little the first summer.
There will be a little extension during the fall and winter.  However, the next spring you should see
real signs of strength and the formation of the little pines first candle.  By the end of the second
summer your seedlings will almost triple in size... from 2 inches to 6... not much, but it's a start :)

I believe the Bonsai Today Masters' Series: Growing & Styling Japanese Black and White Pines book describes
possible doing a second root pruning to completely remove the roots again.  I have not tried a second complete
root removal.  I think just one provides excellent results.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on March 26, 2010, 04:21 PM
Up to this point I've followed the Bonsai Today Masters' Series: Growing & Styling Japanese
Black and White Pines instructions very closely.  However, my oldest trees grown from seed with this
method are now entering their fourth year and I can't claim to have anywhere near the results of
our Japanese friends.  For me I've chosen to leave the seedlings in their 4 inch pots for three complete
growing seasons and then re-potting them into a 1 gallon air-pot in the spring of the 4th growing season.
I also wire the trunk for shape in early fall (i.e. the end) of the second growing season.


General time-line:
1st growing season -
Mid-March -> sow seed
Mid-May -> transplant root prune

2nd growing season -
fertilize, water and plenty of full sun
October -> wire trunk for shape

3rd growing season
-fertilize, water and plenty of full sun
-if the tree is strong enough prune the top in late March or wait til Mid June.

4th growing season
-When the candles begin to show movement repot into a 1 gallon air-pot
-I also pot some in 6 inch mum pots as well (these are a much cheaper than air-pots)


The results.  The images below show two trees entering their fourth year.  This root spread is typical of all
of the seedlings grown via this process.  

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5019;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5021;image)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5023;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5025;image)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5027;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5019;image)


Now I just have to find a way of speeding things up.  I'm also just now beginning to understand how to
prune a pine in it's growth/development stage.  I've made many mistakes in the first two years and am
just now figuring out how best to balance a tree's energy.

More images of air-pots and trees in various stages of development.  Most of the pines are under four years old and
grown using the process described here.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5029;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5031;image)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5033;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5035;image)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5037;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5039;image)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5041;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5043;image)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5045;image)  (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5047;image)

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/growing-mikawa-japanese-black-pine-from-seed/?action=dlattach;attach=5049;image)

Complete online album of the above images so you can view them in a larger format:
Album 1 (http://www.ckris.net/bonsai/Albums/2006_10_31/album/)
Album 2 (http://www.ckris.net/bonsai/Albums/2010-03-26/album/)

Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Steven on March 26, 2010, 04:48 PM
Thanks cray13! I've read that book(borrowed from a friend) and also have the BT mags with this information. I'll admit it was confusing to me how the info was laid out. Your post just explained it in very simple detail. Too bad I'm not doing pines this year :)
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: mcpesq817 on March 27, 2010, 12:11 AM
Really cool, thanks so much for sharing.  Looks like you're getting pretty good growth on them.

Do you like the Air Pots?  I always wondered how well they worked.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Jerry Norbury on March 27, 2010, 02:58 AM
Great description; thanks for sharing.

I had no idea you cut the roots off entirely - I'm going to try this now with collected Scots pines to see what happens. I'll let you know.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on March 29, 2010, 06:15 AM
Really cool, thanks so much for sharing.  Looks like you're getting pretty good growth on them.

Do you like the Air Pots?  I always wondered how well they worked.

The jury is still out on the air-pots.  I'm not sure yet whether the extra cost for the air-pots is justifiable.  This week I will be concluding a three year long experiment to compare regular nursery pots, air-pots and pond baskets to see which one gave the best results with regards to root growth.  I have been growing JBP seedlings in these containers with the exact same soil, watering schedule and sunlight.  I'll post the results sometime next week.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on March 29, 2010, 06:18 AM
Great description; thanks for sharing.

I had no idea you cut the roots off entirely - I'm going to try this now with collected Scots pines to see what happens. I'll let you know.

I'm assuming you mean seed you've collected from Scots pine.  I wouldn't cut all the roots off of a collected tree.

I actually have sown some Scots pine seed this spring and will be attempting this same process on Scots pine, Japanese White Pine and Mugo pine.  We'll see how well the other species respond.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: bwaynef on April 02, 2010, 10:09 AM
Thanks for taking the time to start such a detailed post. 

My biggest question involves the timing of the cutting of the seedlings. You say "Once
all of the stems have turned violet/purple its time to root prune and transplant."  Do you have any pics of the stems that are that color. 

I've just planted some pine seeds and at sprouting the stems are already violet - pink.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: BSG Moderator on April 02, 2010, 11:00 AM
Welcome to the Bonsai Study Group.  Please take a moment to read the Welcome thread (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/general-discussion/welcome-to-the-bonsai-study-group-18/).

If you have images to share with your post we ask that you upload them here. Ideally we want users to upload their photos here for discussion, as often external links and embedded photos become broken as images and other files are removed or URLs change.  Additionally, images posted here are hidden from guests, encouraging visitors to register for the site and contribute to the community.  You can still embed uploaded images within your post using Bulletin Board Code and the uploaded image URL.  If you need a reference please visit the help section of this site. If you need further assistance please feel free to post your question to the forum feedback section.

You are allowed to edit a post for up to 45 minutes.  If that time passes and you wouldn't mind uploading your photos in a separate post a forum moderator will be happy to edit and place the images for you.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: BSG Moderator on April 02, 2010, 11:12 AM
More images
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: BSG Moderator on April 02, 2010, 11:14 AM
More images
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on April 03, 2010, 07:40 AM
Welcome to the Bonsai Study Group.  Please take a moment to read the Welcome thread (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/general-discussion/welcome-to-the-bonsai-study-group-18/).

If you have images to share with your post we ask that you upload them here. Ideally we want users to upload their photos here for discussion, as often external links and embedded photos become broken as images and other files are removed or URLs change.  Additionally, images posted here are hidden from guests, encouraging visitors to register for the site and contribute to the community.  You can still embed uploaded images within your post using Bulletin Board Code and the uploaded image URL.  If you need a reference please visit the help section of this site. If you need further assistance please feel free to post your question to the forum feedback section.

You are allowed to edit a post for up to 45 minutes.  If that time passes and you wouldn't mind uploading your photos in a separate post a forum moderator will be happy to edit and place the images for you.

I  apologize for all the trouble.  Thanks so much for attaching the images for me.  I'll be sure to read the welcome thread and post images properly moving forward.

Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on April 03, 2010, 07:43 AM
Thanks for taking the time to start such a detailed post. 

My biggest question involves the timing of the cutting of the seedlings. You say "Once
all of the stems have turned violet/purple its time to root prune and transplant."  Do you have any pics of the stems that are that color. 

I've just planted some pine seeds and at sprouting the stems are already violet - pink.

I'll check back through my images and see if I can find a good one that captures the color I was describing.  When they first sprout they'll be green with a tinge of pink/ light pink at the soil line.  It's usually 4-6 weeks before they turn a deep purple/violet color.  So, wait at least 4 weeks from the time they emerged from the soil and then inspect the color... it should be obvious. 

Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: bretts on April 04, 2010, 07:07 AM
Hi Cray
I was lucky enough to help out a guy doing a demonstration on the seedling cuttings. He followed the technique in Bonsai Today No#12 which also chops the top of the pine in the second or third year and sacrifice branches are grown around the base to fatten the trunk faster.
For helping him out in the demo he gave me a 1 1/2 year old seedling cutting. After a little settling in it went gang busters this year and I guess has another 5 -7 years trunk growth then the process is another 20 years development refinement to hopefully a masterpiece  ;D
I have also started my own seedling cuttings. Some have suggested to me that the sacrifice branches never heal but I think that is debatable and pictures in the magazine of the result of this technique look dam fine to me.
I am thinking of seeing how this adapts to shohin size so I can enjoy them before I hit the retirement home :-\

Oh and I have one seedling in an akadama mix and it is easy double the size of others.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: bretts on April 04, 2010, 07:48 PM
This is the 8 year old tree I worked on in the demo.

Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: bwaynef on June 03, 2010, 06:32 PM
The jury is still out on the air-pots.  I'm not sure yet whether the extra cost for the air-pots is justifiable.  This week I will be concluding a three year long experiment to compare regular nursery pots, air-pots and pond baskets to see which one gave the best results with regards to root growth.  I have been growing JBP seedlings in these containers with the exact same soil, watering schedule and sunlight.  I'll post the results sometime next week.

How about that update?

(Excellent thread by the way.  I enjoyed re-reading it.)
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on June 04, 2010, 05:50 AM
Unfortunately I was so busy repotting this spring I ran out of time and never repotted my experimental trees.  I'll probably have to wait until Fall to repot them.  I'll try and at least post some pictures of the top growth tonight.  Based on what I see above the soil line after three years I'm beginning to think the air-pots offer no real advantages... we'll have to wait until I can get to the roots before I can come to any firm conclusion.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: BONSAI_OUTLAW on March 09, 2011, 01:10 AM
Any updates on this great thread cray?
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on March 09, 2011, 05:45 AM
This weekend I'll be sowing this year's batch of JBP.  I'm also finally going to repot the "experimental" trees from my air-pot, pond basket and nursery container comparison.  I'll post images of the root systems from each.  I'll probably create a new thread for the results of the expirement. 
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: BONSAI_OUTLAW on March 21, 2011, 09:59 PM
Can't wait to see your findings Cray.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: BONSAI_OUTLAW on March 22, 2011, 09:05 PM
You have inspired me.

I sowed about 35 JBP 'Mikawa' and 35 JBP 'Sanshu' and I plan on trying this root cutting technique to see if I can get the same results.  I am really looking forward to the JBP 'Sanshu.' 

So is anyone else going to try this this year?
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on March 23, 2011, 08:41 AM
Awesome Outlaw!  Because of the warm weather we've been having I had to repot a lot of my deciduous pre-bonsai so I haven't had a chance to repot my "air-pot" experiment JBP yet.  I'm hoping to do that this weekend... I will post the results to a new thread. 

I'm patiently waiting for my mikawa to emerge... should be between 7-14 days after sowing.  I'm on day 10... and getting impatient.   ;D
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: specialkayme on March 23, 2011, 09:28 AM
This thread has also inspired me. I ordered some JBP, JRP, and JWP seeds to start off.

The package suggests to cold stratify all three, but this thread appears to show direct sowing. Is that right?

What I'm most nervous about is the "chopping off of roots" from the seedlings . . . I'm really afraid I'm going to screw that up.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on March 23, 2011, 09:40 AM
I'm not sure about JRP and I tried JWP last year with ZERO results... I think a stratification period may be more important with JWP. 

However, you should have good luck with JBP with just sowing them without cold stratification.  Just be sure to soak them in water for at least 24 hours before you plant them.

Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: BONSAI_OUTLAW on March 23, 2011, 01:00 PM
I agree on JWP needs cold stratification and that JBP does not.  I also agree that I have no idea about JRP. 
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: specialkayme on March 23, 2011, 05:27 PM
Awesome! Thanks everyone!

I already soaked all the seeds for 48 hours.

The JWP I put in some sterile damp peat moss, covered it in saran wrap, and put it on my shelf. The package recommends that you warm stratify for 60 days, then cold stratify for 90 days.

The JRP I divided into two groups. One group I sowed directly, and the other I put in saran wrap with sterile peat moss and put it in the fridge for 60 days. The group that I sowed directly, I placed in seed starter soil, in a small container, and put that container in a zip lock bag with a few air holes in it and placed it outside.

The JBP I divided into two groups, just like the JRP, but after reading your comments I guess I can go ahead and pull those out of the fridge :)

Thanks again everyone!
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: pwk5017 on June 04, 2011, 01:03 AM
I have only sown JRP twice, but I have treated them exactly as I treat JBP.  I soak in warm water for 2 days and sow in mid March(Pittsburgh).  I have had great % both times using these methods.  I will note that both years I grew JRP, I had alot more fungal issues with the JRP compared to the JBP.  Not sure what to make of that.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on June 22, 2011, 04:30 PM
Thanks for taking the time to start such a detailed post. 

My biggest question involves the timing of the cutting of the seedlings. You say "Once
all of the stems have turned violet/purple its time to root prune and transplant."  Do you have any pics of the stems that are that color. 

I've just planted some pine seeds and at sprouting the stems are already violet - pink.
I'll check back through my images and see if I can find a good one that captures the color I was describing.  When they first sprout they'll be green with a tinge of pink/ light pink at the soil line.  It's usually 4-6 weeks before they turn a deep purple/violet color.  So, wait at least 4 weeks from the time they emerged from the soil and then inspect the color... it should be obvious. 


A little late, but pwk5017 posted an image of exactly what you're looking for with regards to when the seedlings are ready for their first root pruning. 

I've attached the image:




Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on June 26, 2011, 08:23 AM
The jury is still out on the air-pots.  I'm not sure yet whether the extra cost for the air-pots is justifiable.  This week I will be concluding a three year long experiment to compare regular nursery pots, air-pots and pond baskets to see which one gave the best results with regards to root growth.  I have been growing JBP seedlings in these containers with the exact same soil, watering schedule and sunlight.  I'll post the results sometime next week.

How about that update?

(Excellent thread by the way.  I enjoyed re-reading it.)

OK... I've posted the results of my Air Pot experiment.  Although any conclusions drawn should be taken with a grain of salt.

Check it out HERE (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/general-discussion/results-of-an-unscientific-air-pot-observation/)
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Buffrider on June 27, 2011, 12:38 PM
are these ready to be root cut or should i wait or is it to late?


[edit = inline images removed]
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Buffrider on June 27, 2011, 12:41 PM
sorry if i did the photos wrong. I dont have the pics on my computer just my iphone and imageshack.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on June 27, 2011, 02:13 PM
are these ready to be root cut or should i wait or is it to late?

I don't see any benefit in waiting any longer.  I'd go for it.  The stem color is a good "rule of thumb", but given the number of needles that have emergerd I'd say they're strong enough.  Since we're almost into July you'll have to make sure you protect them from direct sunlight, wind and heavy rains that could wash them out of their new pots.

I see some of them have suffered from "damping off" (http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/pp/notes/oldnotes/od14.htm)... which normally happens and is somewhat hard to avoid.

Good luck.

I've attached the photos to this post as requested by the Forum Administrators.  Don't worry, I did the same thing when I first posted.  They prefer the images are attached.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Buffrider on June 28, 2011, 11:55 AM
awesome. Ill be doing them sometime this week. I just got to find the proper stuff to mix the soil. All i got on me is haydite which is what ill use for the bigger part (drainage).
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Buffrider on July 01, 2011, 06:58 PM
What else could u use as a mix for the cuttings?
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: bwaynef on July 01, 2011, 07:57 PM
Lava, akadama, & pumice in roughly equal proportions are recommended.  Check for dry-stall (pumice) from an agricultural supply place.  Its a horse bedding product.

Alternatives:
A small sharp gravel, brick chips, perma-til, chicken/turkey grit (not the calcium based stuff).  I've heard that a new turface product, Primera One, has larger particles than their MVP product so that might work (though I can't confirm or deny anything about it).

Basically you want something with excellent aeration while still holding onto some moisture.

Anyone else have any ideas?
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Buffrider on July 01, 2011, 08:00 PM
What about perlite
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Owen Reich on July 02, 2011, 07:45 AM
Primera one may be just I tiny bit bigger in size than turface but it definitely has less fine powder to remove straight out of the bag.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Chrisl on July 03, 2011, 12:10 PM
Lava, akadama, & pumice in roughly equal proportions are recommended.  Check for dry-stall (pumice) from an agricultural supply place.  Its a horse bedding product.

Alternatives:
A small sharp gravel, brick chips, perma-til, chicken/turkey grit (not the calcium based stuff).  I've heard that a new turface product, Primera One, has larger particles than their MVP product so that might work (though I can't confirm or deny anything about it).

Basically you want something with excellent aeration while still holding onto some moisture.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Where do you guys get lava, akadama and pumice (can i get all of them from an Agrig. Supply Co.??)

Thanks
Chris
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 03, 2011, 02:27 PM
Where do you guys get lava, akadama and pumice (can i get all of them from an Agrig. Supply Co.??)

The Louisville club has had success having lava shipped in from Colorado. Our most recent purchase was 4 full pallets of RQ – red 1/4 clean from Colorado Lava (http://www.coloradolava.com/ (http://www.coloradolava.com/)). I sift to 2 sizes, medium and small using the 2 smaller screens in the 3 screen set. A few dollars per back added onto the cost + shipping has yielded a small profit, and benefited the club members with available soil components for a good price.

Pumice I get from Southern States, a horse bedding product named Drystall (http://www.drystall.com/ (http://www.drystall.com/)).  It's a little small, but works.

Akadama I pick up anywhere I can, as long as it's the good quality stuff.  Ryan Neil brought in a pallet when he brought in his workshop trees, so I bought quite a few bags.  I've also purchased Double Line brand from Bonsai Monk (http://www.bonsaimonk.com/) in the past.

Once my stash runs out I think I'll switch to premixed Aoki or Clay King to save time and space.  Cass Bonsai Gardens (http://www.cassbonsaigardens.com/) carries one or both, and Meco (http://www.mecobonsai.com/) does as well, I think.  It sounds like Owen will be bringing some in as well, so that should help.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Chrisl on July 03, 2011, 09:10 PM
Thank You John!  I appreciate the links.  I'll see what our club meetings offer and if a no go, I'll def. track something down, maybe one of the premixed soil just for ease of use.  But if I grow my bonsai collection it maybe more cost efficient to make my own.  Again,  Thanks John.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: John Romano on July 04, 2011, 06:11 AM
Hi ChrisL,
Our premium bonsai soil at New England Bonsai Gardens is this mix (1/3 red lava, 1/3 2-line akadama, 1/3 punice).  I also make a shohin blend of the same that is screened down.  I know that shipping soil can be expensive but if you can't find anything else where you are or where John recommended, this is another option.  www.nebonsai.com (http://www.nebonsai.com)
John
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Chrisl on July 04, 2011, 05:06 PM
I checked out Akadama, which says it's pumice.  Yet pumice is another additive...are the two different somehow?

Where do you guys get lava, akadama and pumice (can i get all of them from an Agrig. Supply Co.??)

The Louisville club has had success having lava shipped in from Colorado. Our most recent purchase was 4 full pallets of RQ – red 1/4 clean from Colorado Lava (http://www.coloradolava.com/ (http://www.coloradolava.com/)). I sift to 2 sizes, medium and small using the 2 smaller screens in the 3 screen set. A few dollars per back added onto the cost + shipping has yielded a small profit, and benefited the club members with available soil components for a good price.

Pumice I get from Southern States, a horse bedding product named Drystall (http://www.drystall.com/ (http://www.drystall.com/)).  It's a little small, but works.

Akadama I pick up anywhere I can, as long as it's the good quality stuff.  Ryan Neil brought in a pallet when he brought in his workshop trees, so I bought quite a few bags.  I've also purchased Double Line brand from Bonsai Monk (http://www.bonsaimonk.com/) in the past.

Once my stash runs out I think I'll switch to premixed Aoki or Clay King to save time and space.  Cass Bonsai Gardens (http://www.cassbonsaigardens.com/) carries one or both, and Meco (http://www.mecobonsai.com/) does as well, I think.  It sounds like Owen will be bringing some in as well, so that should help.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 04, 2011, 05:11 PM
Technically all 3 are pumice, or volcanic materials. They are slightly different in pH, water retention, etc.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Chrisl on July 04, 2011, 05:35 PM
Ah!  I didn't know pumice came also from volcanic rock.  Thanks John for the explanation!
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Buffrider on July 04, 2011, 06:26 PM
well i made my cutting seedlings up today. I went everywhere and couldnt find any of these for the mix. I have haydite on call so i got some of that mixed with a soil mix that my bonsai club uses and put the wholes for the small sand and put them in with root hormone. Now to wait...... they are in mostly shade except for evening sun, cant get full shade where im at. ill post pictures up later of them.

Where else can i get pumice? The Dry-stall isnt sold anywhere in oklahoma so cant get that. 
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: pwk5017 on July 12, 2011, 02:17 AM
Hey everyone,

I hope I am not clogging the thread by making a large post, but I thought I would share my results from performing the seedling cutting procedure and get some feedback on my own pines from seed.  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.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: pwk5017 on July 12, 2011, 02:18 AM
4 more photos
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: pwk5017 on July 12, 2011, 02:21 AM
Final batch. 
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Kajukid on September 30, 2011, 10:51 AM
When is the best time to grown pines from seeds? Like what month?
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: bwaynef on September 30, 2011, 11:10 AM
Generally, they're stratified such that they're sprouting in time for you to be able to provide them with a frost-free environment outside in the spring.

...so as early in the year as you can get them out without risking a freeze.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on September 30, 2011, 11:16 AM
When is the best time to grown pines from seeds? Like what month?

Of course it depends on your climate.

In North Carolina... zone 7a/7b

I order my seed at the end of February and try to sow by the second or third week of March.  This means they emerge around the first week of April...

Just like bwaynef said... "as early as you can get them out without risking a freeze"

Here in NC by Mid-April our chance of a frost are nil.  If a frost is forecast, I just bring my seed trays in my garage for the night to protect them.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Kajukid on September 30, 2011, 11:23 AM
Okay thanks. Oh and what's a good website to get seeds from. I found a couple but I don't want to get some seeds and they all float when I soak them in water. You know what I mean?
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: bwaynef on September 30, 2011, 01:18 PM
I've dealt with Misho Bonsai, Sheffields, and ebay.  I have had some problems maneuvering Misho's site the last time I tried.  Other than that, I wouldn't have a problem recommending any of them.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on September 30, 2011, 02:02 PM
I've dealt with Misho Bonsai, Sheffields, and ebay.  I have had some problems maneuvering Misho's site the last time I tried.  Other than that, I wouldn't have a problem recommending any of them.

I've been using Misho for the last four years with great results, but last year I had trouble with their website as well and couldn't get my order through.  I believe Misho just changed owners and the website it back up and running well now.  The new owner stated the seed source would remain the same, so I plan to use Misho again this spring.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Kajukid on September 30, 2011, 06:25 PM
Do u know if JWP can be done the same(growing from seed) or different? Has anyone tryed to grown red pine from seed too?
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: tmmason10 on May 17, 2012, 11:58 PM
I've gotten som seeds to pop by following these instructions. Thanks for the great original post!
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: pwk5017 on May 18, 2012, 10:47 PM
I have grown JRP the same exact way you grow JBP.  They respond well to the cutting technique.  However, I will note that I have had greater trouble with damping off with the JRP.  You def want to use a fungicide with them, or expect a 30% die off.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on May 23, 2012, 01:54 PM
Along with last year's batch of Japanese Black Pine I performed this same technique on Mugo Pine.  The little Mugo's seemed to have taken longer to recover from the initial root pruning and I wasn't sure they were going to survive the winter. 

However, this spring they've really taken off and are doing quite well.

So, from previous posts it seems like we've had success using this technique now with JBP, Japanese Red Pine and Mugo.

Great Stuff.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: pwk5017 on May 23, 2012, 09:57 PM
I know I have seen several people online do it to scots pine, so you can add that to the list. 

Where do you get your seeds for mugos?  I have never considered growing that species from seed, but I have two shohin mugos that I am refining the branching on now, and it is an attractive pine.  The more and more I work on them, the more I am attracted to their foliage.  They are the poor man's white pine.  I wonder how long it would take to produce a decent tree. My JBPs are producing 12+" candles.  Both of my mugos have 1-2" candles.  Might be best to keep an eye out for decent nursery stock.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: cray13 on May 24, 2012, 06:50 AM
Mugo seeds were purchased from mishobonsai.com

Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: tmmason10 on May 24, 2012, 08:18 AM
So, you said you kept your humidity dome on after they sprouted. My question is for how long? Up until you make the cuttings?
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Intriguedbybonsai on May 31, 2012, 02:30 AM
I tried the root trimming with an exacto knife as described in the photos, and now all of my pine seedlings are drooping as if they're wilting. Is this something to be worried about, or should I give them time to recover? :-\
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: bonsaitodd on May 31, 2012, 04:08 PM
I don't think they should be drooping.  If they are, then they likely didn't make it.  When I perform this process on my seedlings, the one that were drooping in a week or so didn't make it.
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: gtuthill on May 31, 2012, 05:07 PM
I wonder if an exacto is not sharp enough.  I have done this with a razor blade, and none wilted or failed. 

Have done this a week ago on red pine and pinus contorta and they look as well hydrated as the ones that have not been cut.

prehaps re-cut them with a new razor and see if they perk up? 
Title: Re: Growing Mikawa Japanese Black Pine from Seed
Post by: Intriguedbybonsai on May 31, 2012, 11:29 PM
 One of my seedlings, a pinyon, has perked up from it's droopiness ;). As with the others, I'll try re-cutting them with another new exacto knife.