Author Topic: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started  (Read 3701 times)

Adair M

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Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« on: October 13, 2011, 11:24 PM »
By way of introduction, my name is Adair, and I live in the N GA foothills.  I used to live in Atlanta some time ago and was very active with Bonsai 25 years ago.  Alas, life happens, and priorities changed.  But recently I've been able to get a few plants to put in a couple of the pots I still have.  I happened upon a JBP on ebay, that said it was grown by Frank Kroeker, and so, when I googled him, google brought me here.  And I must say I'm glad to have found this forum.  Reading all the threads on JBP brought me back to to speed on the current techniques.  Back in the day, we had just learned of candle pruning...

So, just a little more about me, before I upload some photos.  (I know that's what you REALLY want - not me rambling on...)  Back in the day, I was very active in the Atlanta Bonsai Society.  Both John Naka and Bill Valavanis stayed at my house when they came to town to do demonstrations.  In those days, I was considered to be a "pine expert".  Whoa!  I realize now that I knew very little.  And, I know even less now! 

So now I begin my re-education in Bonsai!  I hope it will be as much fun the second time around!

I'll post some pic in my next post once I figure out how it's done!


 

Adair M

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2011, 12:04 AM »
Ok, this little pine, I got from George Muranaka.  When I got it, it had recently been dug from the field, and wasn't particularly strong.  I stuck it in the pot so my wife wouldn't complain about the plastic pot.  I basicly left it alone for a year, this summer around July 14, I decandled it.  Apparantly, too early... the new needles are still quite long.  (A pine tip moth selected a few of the new candles to help "thin" the new growth.  Hmm... gotta get some systemic!)  I hadn't done any pruning or wiring, so there are a lot of weak twigs that will have to go. 

A pic before I pulled needles:
 

Adair M

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 12:05 AM »
And after needle pulling and a little wiring.  I still have a lot of wiring to do!
 

nathanbs

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 12:15 AM »
welcome! You have your old pal John Naka smiling from heaven using his books as a prop/wedge. :)
 

Adair M

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2011, 12:31 AM »
I was wondering if anyone would notice! 

I have a story about Naka.  We all saved our "big Material" for when he came to town.  As a surprize, my (then) wife had bought a big bald cypress for John to carve for the workshop.  Only, it was winter, and she didn't want me to know about it, so she bought it and took it to her office and they had an outside balcony where she kept it for a month.  So, it was outside, on an elevated concrete balcony, and it froze.  Of course, it was dormant, so it didn't LOOK any different, but it was dead as a doornail.

So, I pick Naka up from the airport, take him to the house, while I'm gone, she brings in the bald cypress.  Naka and I come in and ooh and aah over the cypress.  The next day is the workshop, John and I are carving out the trunk, and there's no live bark.  We looked at each other, but neither of us said anything. 

John did the drawing anyway!

 

Chrisl

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2011, 10:11 AM »
Nice story Adair, Thanks for sharing! ;)

You can also pull all the needles hanging down, that should open it up a bit more for easier wiring too.  I learned a lot of the current pine techniques off a video series I bought from Boon M.  http://www.bonsaiboon.com/index.html  Not too expensive and worth every dime imo. 

That's a great looking JBP too.  I've had my eye on one of George's JBP's just like yours.  Great trunk movement.  I'll get one this winter or early spring.  I haven't found too many field grown JBP's around here. 
Good Luck, so far, looks great.  I like the current front, but agree, that branch has to go if it were mine.
Chris
 

Adair M

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2011, 11:12 AM »
I'm thinking about sticking it back in the ground, training the rest of the tree, and letting that first branch grow to create taper.
 

Chrisl

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2012, 09:48 AM »
Adair,  I thought the way you create taper on branches is to cut the branch back to the first or second bud on that branch, and then let grow?  Cut back and let grow again.  I figured putting it back in the ground will help the crown develop better taper.  I'm still learning too so I could be wrong. 
 

Adair M

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2012, 12:20 PM »
Well,  to get really vigorous growth, enough growth to bulk up the trunk, you need root growth. That's where growing in the ground comes in. Roots constrained by a pot just will not pump up the nutrients required to build wood.

The way I've allways heard it is, "As soon as you put it in a bonsai pot, the trunk thickening will stop".  Now, admittedly, that's an overstatement,  but it has a lot of merit.
 

Chrisl

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2012, 07:09 PM »
I believe it Adair.  I found the thread where T-Town showed me some trees he experimented on.  Very interesting:
http://bonsaistudygroup.com/shimpaku-juniper-discussion/jim-gremel's-shimpaku/msg13453/#msg13453
 

Adair M

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2012, 09:09 PM »
Exactly.  The tree(s) I have are similiar to the one on the left side of his photos.  Did you notice the long low branches with no side branches?  That's what I've got.  Some are in the right place, just no internodes.  So, I'm going to feed well, put out in full sun and hope for back buds.  If I don't get any this year, then I have no choice:  Gotta learn how to graft.

But the trunks and nebari are great.

I took my dremmel after some of the rough cuts where sacrifice branches had been to make them more concave for healing.

I can see why Grahm Potter uses angle grinders for this!  My dremmel really didn't have the power to cut out some of that hard wood!  I didn't do any damage to myself or my tree, so it's all good.  (Like I say after I get off my horse:  If we both return to the barn alive, and neither of us got hurt, it's been a successful ride!)

Going back a couple of posts... Have you tried your "Gentle hammer" technique on pines?  Was it successful?  Back in the day, I had purchased some Japanese concoction that was supposed to be applied to the trunk to "fatten it".  Well, when I got it home and read the directions, it was some kind of powder that you make into a paste.  So far, so good.  But, wait!  There's more!  You're supposed to poke holes in the trunk and rub the paste into the holes!  THAT I was not prepared for!  I didn't want to scar it up!  I just wanted it fatter!  So, I never tried it.  (I was skeptical that the paste even did anything.  Poking the holes would create scar tissue that would fatten, or that's what I thought.)  I think I still have the stuff, 20 years later.  Still in it's pouch.  So, I'm wondering if your "Gentle hammer" creates just enough damage to stimulate scarring without poking holes?

Well, I see that my neighbor to the south has repotted his azalea.  We might have freezing weather here in the N GA mountains next week, and after that passes, I'll do mine.

Cheers!

Adair M
 

John Kirby

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2012, 08:50 AM »
Guys, the pounding of trunks, the drilling of a bunch of little holes, he wrapping of wire to allow it to bite in to induce swelling. They all induce scarring- which is giving you the swelling and they will work. But as with many things they can take some time. The nice thing about the JBP, JRP, Ponderosa, etc., is that they all have the potential for great thick bark- they will hide the insults over time.

There is a nice Lindsay Farr video on field growing JWP that have been wrapped with steel wire and field grow, I ca remember if they were grafts or seedlings. It works.

John
 

Chrisl

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2012, 10:21 AM »
Adair, I do see what you mean, it's got great trunk movement and bark and nebari.  Three things it's hard to fix if not impossible.  Getting new branches, ala back budding or grafting is a much 'easier' thing to do than say change the trunks movement.  I wish mine had that great movement, but it wasn't much money, and as John said, it'll be a good tree to practice on...like me too learning how to graft.  I know 'how' if you want to define that as I've seen pictures of the process lol, but I'll take it to my study session in three wks to show me how it's done right.

(John, I've changed my tune a bit about grafts after I saw Michael Hagedorn's blog post of his small P. Pine grafts of JBP.  The smaller needles looked So Much Better not just for the thickness and color of the scions, but the scale.  The tree is much more dynamic now.)

Great to hear that the hammer technique works from you too John.  I was guessing  about the frequency...do you have any better schedule of how often I should do this?
 

Chrisl

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2012, 12:01 PM »
Adair, I have both a Dremel and a Dewalt angle grinder.  Been practicing on pieces of 4x4 lol  But it trains you how to hold and control the grinders.  The Dewalt is more fun to use just because it takes material off so fast, but to really refine my technique, I bought a flex cable for the Dremel and a fine pointed burr.  You're able to hold this like a pen, and get extremely well controlled carvings.  But I'm a woodworker and have a table saw, band saw and every power tool you can think of.  So I'm quite comfortable working with power tools.  If it makes you nervous, stick to the Dremel....imo ;)
 

Adair M

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Re: Introduction, and pics of a JBP I've started
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2012, 05:23 PM »
Chris,

I had purchased the flex cable for the Dremmel, so that's what I was using. 

It wasn't the tree pictured in this thread.  I'll take some photos and post them for discussion.

About trunk thickening...

About all the imported grafted JWPs show heavy scaring where the JBP portion of the lower trunk were wrapped with wire and allowed to cut in.  In fact, it looks like it may just be imbedded.  I hate those.  I don't mind that they're grafted, but they look scarred.  And artificial.  I have a grafted JWP, and yes,  there's a difference in the bark texture, but over time, the JWP will start to flake and look more like the JBP.  Plus, it's a low graft.

Here's the thing about pines... you can't fake it.  As John say, you have to grow them.  And it takes time.  There are no "instant bonsai" with pines.  And, perversely, that's why I love them.  When I look at a great pine bonsai, I know it's been a long time in the making.

What's frustrating is when I see the pictures that Peter Tea and Owen Reich (and others) have on their blogs where they go to shows, and have pictures of the "sales tables".  And there are zillions of JBP for sale that are really nice little trees!  I could only dream that my local bonsai shop could have material like that!  Maybe someday...

Meanwhile, we'll press on!