Species Specific > Japanese Black Pine Bonsai Discussion

Japanese Red Pine possible problem.

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Hi everyone,

I recently (2 months ago) acquired this tree from a very reputable nursery, it was in great shape when I got it, however i think i may have a problem with needle cast? The previous two pines that I have had have died, JBP, but I think I had the same problem with them.

Any help with identification, possible treatment would be great

Scott Roxburgh

I'll let someone else positively identify it as Needlecast (which is a bunch of different things lumped under one name I believe).  It looks like it to me though.  I had Daconil (active ingredient: Chlorothalonil) recommended to me for its treatment.

After a bit of research, I feel pretty confident to say that the tree has Dothistroma.

The treatment, as far as I can see is to use a copper hydroxide based solution such as kocide blue extra, I picked some up this afternoon and applied it, covering the soil surface with newspaper before spraying.

Wish me luck.


John Kirby:
Daconil works well on many of the fungal diseases. What you are showing should not kill a strong tree. What makes the tree strong? Good roots first of all, this winter repot and get the tree into a rapidly draining mix and get the roots growing strong. When we think about bonsai we want to have young and strongly growing roots and foliage (aka "young and vital") on old trunks and main branches. Then once you know the tree is in regards to its roots, then you can start to aggressively fertilize and then manage growth via appropriate technique. I have noticed very few cases of fungal damage when trees are managed appropriately by bud and candle growth control, primarily because the needles are always young and the close attention allows for early treatment.

Good luck,

Thank you John, from what I have been told the product called kocide blue extra (in Australia) is the one to go for so I applied that last night.

After watching Boon's DVDs it is on the top of my list to get all of my trees in a more appropriate mix.

For a 'nursery can' tree, would you suggest repotting 1/3 of the rootball at a time or another approach? I was going to use the 'boon mix' on Chris' blog.

Your advice is always greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.



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