Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Japanese Black Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: bonsaikc on June 16, 2009, 10:39 AM

Title: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on June 16, 2009, 10:39 AM
Some have found fault with Japanese black pine as bonsai material because they typically have needles longer than ideal for smaller trees. Until recently, the technique to shorten needles was to withhold water and fertilizer in spring, until the needles had hardened off. This technique weakened the tree, causing branches to become leggy and thick, and buds did not break back closer to the trunk. Japanese black pine bonsai seemed to be in a steady state of decline from their initial styling, all in pursuit of short needles.

Several decades ago, the preferred technique included grouping the candles into four categories: strong, medium, weak, and very weak. The very weak candles were allowed to grow. The weak candles were cut first, followed by the medium about a week to ten days later. The strong candles were cut last, again about a week to ten days later. This has caused a great deal of confusion among enthusiasts. But things have improved in the last 30 years.

Modern candling technique has come to us partly by happy circumstance, and partly by careful scientific observation and experimentation. Here’s the story I received from Boon Manakitivipart:

“Today’s decandling technique was found accidentally, about 40-50 years ago. One spring day in Aichi Prefecture, Saichi Suzuki noticed that several of his Japanese black pines had been attacked by insects (probably caterpillars).

On one of the trees, all the new spring candles were completely gone. Since the old needles were still there, he continued to water the tree. After a few weeks, he saw new buds starting to come out. There were multiple buds at the base of the eaten candles. As the season progressed, the new candles opened up and the needles were short.

A year after this incident, he started experimenting on smaller trees. He cut the candles at different times – and at different lengths. His records showed that the best time to cut the candles was around the middle of June to mid July. If it was done earlier, the needles became too long. And after mid-August, new buds would form, but would not open up until next spring.

This is how the Master of my Master’s father became the discoverer of the Japanese black pine decandling technique.”

So this was the beginning of what has become a modern, scientific technique to produce needles of whatever size one needs on a Japanese black pine bonsai. However, needle size is only the last in a line of desirable outcomes from candling black pines. The new techniques not only eliminate the long “necks” on new growth, produce short internodes, and increase ramification through forcing a second season’s growth, they also induce back budding at a much accelerated rate. This produces results much more quickly than the older techniques and provides trees with a great deal more foliage to work with, giving more options to the stylist. All this is accomplished without significantly weakening the tree.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on June 16, 2009, 10:44 AM
For energy balancing techniques to work, it should go without saying that the tree must be healthy. The more vigor the tree has, the more predictable your results. Removing candles and needles selectively weakens your tree, so doing these things on a weak or sick tree can be fatally damaging to it.

The plan for making this system work is to feed your JBP strongly in the spring, from the first bud movement until candling. Encourage the candles to grow. If the tree is very unbalanced, and you have a long candle or two, you can break them in half, but you do not need to do so. Better to let the candles grow unhindered, regardless of how long they become. In just a few seasons they will be under control.

Candling is done by watching the calendar, not the tree. Regardless of how long the candles get, and how far the needles open or harden off, wait until the proper time to candle your tree. So what’s the proper timing for candling JBP? In Kansas it’s the third week of June to the first week of July, depending on what you want for the tree. We have a long, late, hot season extending temperatures into the 30’s C or 90’s F through the month of September. If you live in warmer climes, candle later. If your growing season is shorter, candle earlier. The longer the remaining growing season, the longer your next crop of needles will be.

This knowledge allows us to deduce another technique. The shohin below has needles approximately 10 mm long. This tree is the last one candled every year. This technique will allow you to decide (through trial and error) when to cut each tree’s candles to get the needle length you wish. One caveat to this technique is the assumption of no unusual summer weather. A large pine candled in June may develop needles far too short if the summer suddenly turns cool and wet.
(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=38.0;attach=50;image)
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on June 16, 2009, 10:58 AM
Cutting the candles
Your shears must be as sharp as humanly possible so as not to damage delicate tissue. On older, more valuable trees, you may want to clean your blades and hone them more than once while working.

The technique is quite simple but must be followed very carefully. Always cut straight across the neck of the candle. Cutting at an angle allows one side of the neck to be stronger than the other, contributing to a disorganized, unbalanced growth. Take care not to cut other needles, so use your hands to support the shoot and approach the candle with the shears closed; only opening them as you can touch the candle to be cut. Make a single clean cut.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=38.0;attach=52;image)

In recent years, the best practice has been to group the candles into three or four groups, depending on the strength of the candles.  For instance, in the following photo, the areas circled in red are strongest, the yellow are not as strong.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/needle-therapy-by-chris-johnston/?action=dlattach;attach=54;image)

The challenge here was to sort the candles, and then leave the weakest group, cut the second weakest completely off, and follow by removing completely the next stronger and finally the strongest candles. These tasks were to be performed a week to ten days apart, and according to the calendar, not the state of the needles. By spacing them out, the ones that have a longer growing season would be strengthened, and vice versa.


Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on June 16, 2009, 11:12 AM
This all sounds quite complicated, and it is to some extent. Recently, however, it has been simplified tremendously. We are still going to leave alone the smallest, weakest candles. Everything else goes on the same day. This is how it looks:

Figure 1. The new candle starts to grow in spring. This photo shows the candles just opening up.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/needle-therapy-by-chris-johnston/?action=dlattach;attach=56;image)

Figure 2. Wait until the new needles grow and open up. This is not too far developed before cutting the candles.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/needle-therapy-by-chris-johnston/?action=dlattach;attach=58;image)

The circled area, the “neck” of the new candle, is bare. Naturally shorter necks are desirable for bonsai stock, as they tend to grow more compactly. However, these techniques provide a short neck where Mother Nature is deficient. Where there are no needles, there are no buds. Adventitious buds are in the bark itself, and remain dormant if nothing disturbs them. However, each needle pair holds a bud. If the needle cluster has three needles, its bud will be very strong and will grow by itself.

Figure 3. Cut the new candle off completely.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/needle-therapy-by-chris-johnston/?action=dlattach;attach=60;image)

Notice that I am cutting this candle at the base of the needles, rather than at the base of the neck. This candle is quite strong, so leaving as much as 10 mm (for the strongest candles) will tend to hold back this shoot just a bit. For weaker candles, leave a shorter stub. Follow this through for all candles except the weakest, and any you need to allow extension for styling purposes. Stubs can be removed in the autumn during needle plucking or in spring during wiring time.

Figure 4. Cut perpendicular to growth

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/needle-therapy-by-chris-johnston/?action=dlattach;attach=62;image)

Following candling, we are going to make our energy management more intense by plucking needles. Instead of waiting until autumn, we will remove needles from throughout the tree, leaving as few as five pairs of needles in the strongest bits of the tree (where we left long necks) and as many as ten pairs in the weakest bits. Foliage draws energy, which will encourage the new buds to develop. For this reason we leave more foliage with weaker buds, and vice versa. For areas in which more branches are needed, you can leave extra needles. There will be a chance to get new needle-buds to come out.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on June 16, 2009, 11:28 AM
Figure 5. This will tend to make your tree, especially a young tree in training, look a bit like a plucked chicken.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/needle-therapy-by-chris-johnston/?action=dlattach;attach=64;image)

Don’t worry about this, when the new buds form and open into needles, you will be amazed at how quickly the tree has filled out and developed!

Following candling, remove the fertilizer from your tree. Once the new needles have set, replace it. This will keep the new growth from getting too long and the needles from being out of proportion.

Fig. 6 In about ten days, you will see many new buds forming at the base of the necks you cut off. Contrary to previously taught techniques, DO NOT rub any of these off! Leave all buds to extend, open, and set needles. This is another new aspect of this technique. Since the stronger candles will produce more buds, removing competition only strengthens the remaining ones on that strong candle. This is exactly opposite to the result we wish. Let them compete, and in the autumn select the pair you want.

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/needle-therapy-by-chris-johnston/?action=dlattach;attach=66;image)

When autumn has arrived, and you are ready to think about putting the tree in its winter rest, remove all of the remaining needles from this spring (the five to ten pairs you left on the tree at candling). At this time select the shoots to remain. You have created two seasons’ growth in one summer.

Which shoots should I leave? For years we have been taught, “get rid of any upward or downward shoots.” The problem with that teaching, if followed rigidly, is that your branches fan out without any depth to them. Some side to side and upward-downward buds should remain. The lower one will become your branch extension, and the upper will become an upper branch for depth.  This will make your trees far more natural in appearance.

At this time, you will also wish to pluck needles again if the tree is not going to be shown. To bring the tree further into balance, we can once again pull this year’s needles to leave as few as five pairs at the top of the tree and up to ten pairs at the bottom. For a tree that is mature and well balanced, you may adjust these numbers to keep the tree in good balance.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: johng on June 17, 2009, 07:55 PM
Helpful information Chris...thanks for taking the time to share.
John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: BONSAI_OUTLAW on June 22, 2009, 08:12 AM
What a great read.  Thank you Chris for taking the time to post this.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bwaynef on June 22, 2009, 10:00 AM
In your estimation/experience, how much more quickly do these techniques bring raw material into balance vigor-wise.  I've seen guides that detail decandling and  plucking needles that estimate that it would take 3 years to balance the tree.  Is that over-simplifying things?  Would it take less to balance the energy using the techniques mentioned above?
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on June 22, 2009, 01:52 PM
In your estimation/experience, how much more quickly do these techniques bring raw material into balance vigor-wise.  I've seen guides that detail decandling and  plucking needles that estimate that it would take 3 years to balance the tree.  Is that over-simplifying things?  Would it take less to balance the energy using the techniques mentioned above?

Wayne, depending on what the starting point is for the tree, three years would probably be as quick as one could really get a tree balanced, and even then, there's always more work to do.

Chris
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: ksbonsai on June 23, 2009, 08:45 PM
Great article Chris, very informative.  btw great looking guy with the pine.

Tom
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on June 24, 2009, 12:16 AM
Great article Chris, very informative.  btw great looking guy with the pine.

Tom

Tom, of course you would think so! Welcome to the forum!

Chris
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaihunk on June 24, 2009, 08:59 AM
Great article.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Jerry
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: darrellw on June 24, 2009, 10:54 AM

Hi Chris,

Thanks for providing this write-up.  We just finished this work in my study group, and someone asked if it was documented anywhere.  Now it is!

-Darrell
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: ksbonsai on June 24, 2009, 09:21 PM
Of course we must re :D :)member the camera adds 150 lbs doesn't it.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on July 05, 2009, 02:58 PM
Tom and Chris,
I don't know about the "guy with the Pine", but the tree is doing great and all of you cutting, pulling and question asking worked. I decandled on the same weekend this year, and shortened a number of the longer branches because it did bud back well. will wire this winter and see if we can't get it to break back even further. Thanks for the good work!

John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Dave Murphy on July 10, 2009, 08:18 AM
Great read, Chris.  I'm a bit upset though...after years of study, I finally felt like I fully understood the energy balancing process via sequential candling of regions of different strength.  Today, I learn all that effort was unnecessary >:( ;).  Seriously, I'm a big fan of "keeping it simple", and have started experimenting on my own trees (a JRP and JBP) using this technique.  I have 2 questions for you.  I am remaking the apex on the JBP.  Does it make sense to utilize this technique on the lower, more complete areas of the tree to maintain the current shape of these areas while allowing the new apex to grow unchecked.  Also, because this technique is apparently less stressful to the tree, can you expect to use it on a yearly basis, or will doing so likely endanger the tree's long term health.  Thanks again,

Dave
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on July 10, 2009, 09:09 AM
Great read, Chris.  I'm a bit upset though...after years of study, I finally felt like I fully understood the energy balancing process via sequential candling of regions of different strength.  Today, I learn all that effort was unnecessary >:( ;).  Seriously, I'm a big fan of "keeping it simple", and have started experimenting on my own trees (a JRP and JBP) using this technique.  I have 2 questions for you.  I am remaking the apex on the JBP.  Does it make sense to utilize this technique on the lower, more complete areas of the tree to maintain the current shape of these areas while allowing the new apex to grow unchecked.  Also, because this technique is apparently less stressful to the tree, can you expect to use it on a yearly basis, or will doing so likely endanger the tree's long term health.  Thanks again,

Dave

Dave, welcome and thanks for the questions! Don't necessarily discard the ten-day system, it works just fine, but is a bit cumbersome if you have lots of trees. Also, don't think that this system is necessarily less stressful for the tree. Remember that we are cutting the tree back so of course it can only be done on extremely healthy trees.

As to different purposes on different parts of the same tree...in almost every tree not fully developed, you will find some parts that are ahead of the game and some that lag behind, so if you adjust your techniques in those areas, you will find what you need. For example, if you have one branch that is well ramified and close to where you want it, you might move into maintenance candling on that one, i.e., using the fall trimming to thin it a bit if needed. If the branch next to is is less developed and too short for the outline you want for the tree, you might cut half a candle instead of the entire candle to give length extension and therefore get budding along what you have left as well as some back budding.

For your apex, allowing this to grow unchecked changes the dymanic a good bit and you will have to be sure where you are going. In other words, pay close attention to the tree after each technique. We candle trees in development and get very good results.

This technique can be used on Japanese black pine, mikawa, and other two needled pines with the caveat that some species have a bit different growth habits. I was just speaking to Boon yesterday about kotobuki. It's closer in growth habit to yatsubusa, so many times you will be thinning the tree instead of candling. Since kotobuki and yatsubusa have shorter needles and denser growth, this technique every year can make them too thick and dense.

For nishiki, I do this every other year. Candling every year tends to retard the development of bark plating. I'm sure there are other caveats with other species, but I am not really qualified to speak to every one.

Chris
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: ken duncan on July 10, 2009, 10:51 AM
Thank You for posting this Chris, great information.
Ken
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: mcpesq817 on July 10, 2009, 11:32 AM
Yes, thank you very much Chris for the tutorial.  Very helpful.  I think a lot of the confusion out there exists because of the lack of use of consistent terminology, but your tutorial clears that all up.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on July 10, 2009, 05:12 PM
One point, on show trees we still predominately use the ten day interval program. The trees that I have at Boon's that will be shown are handled like this- on Boon's insistence. Off years, or trees in development, or if you are working on someone's tree at a location where a follow up would be necessary.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on July 11, 2009, 02:28 PM
Thanks for that clarification, John. Can you tell me the significance of doing that for show trees? Didn't we candle your red pine at one go that you showed the following January?

Chris
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on July 12, 2009, 09:01 AM
We did cut all of the candles the same day, and I pulled needles a couple of weeks later. there were some "disparitiies" in needle length on the tree (small, but it was a small tree- chuhin). The last couple of years Boon has really emphasized the 10 day technique, I think there is some lack of uniformity in response when you leave the long stubs- we are talking very small differences on the big scale of things. On my tall twin trunk, I worked on that at your place last summer, I combined the two techniques- 14 days of  separation, the shorter tree is much stronger, and the stub and needle removal technique on the individual trunks. We will see. Boon even had me use the 10 day technique on my Shohin Black pine that will be shown again this coming year.

John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Mac In Oak Ridge on August 07, 2009, 10:58 PM
Chris,
Thanks for making this available and for sending me here to look.

Mac McAtee
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Leo de Leon on October 18, 2009, 05:22 AM
Hi Chris,
I am from the Philippines and the climate we have here  is always on the warm side. After reading your very informative article, I have learned, I think,  how to decandle the JBP. The question is, we do not have four seasons over here. When you say spring, in your part of the world it is hot summer over here.  Your summer  starts in June and it is wet weather here until November. By the way we had severe rains and we experienced flooding in Manila and my Bonsai trees including the Japanese Black Pines were totally submerged under water almost 12 hours or more! Luckily, none of them died. In December the weather becomes cooler and nicer until February.

The question is, in what "season" do I work on my pines? When to prune or decandle and wire or repot? Before reading your article today, I worked on all my pines, decandling and wiring them. I cut off all the new growth. Hope I don't kill them by doing this.  They survived the big storm and I hope they survive my ignorance in pine. My pines are about three years old and they have been growing in their pots for such time.

Your advice will be appreciated greatly.

Regards,
Leo
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on October 19, 2009, 02:26 PM
Leo,
My advice is to check with someone in your part of the world. Our trees go into dormancy sometime in November with bitter cold during December through February. We can have warm days and very cold days alternating in March, with the possibility of freeze or snow into April some years. I can't say what is the best process for you.

Chris
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Steven on October 19, 2009, 09:19 PM
Ok, I got a needle therapy question. I have this JBP that has an airlayer on it(second attempt) but it is getting out of hand on needles bunchin up and not allowing any light into the interior. Today I thinned out the needles on the branches that are BELOW the airlayer but NOT any branches ABOVE the airlayer. The above is the most congested. Can I needle pluck these branches or should they be left to keep running wild with no budding on the interior( I know now they won't, season and all).
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Leo de Leon on October 20, 2009, 08:34 PM
Hi Chris,

Thanks for your reply.

There is no one whom I can ask about growing Japanese Black Pines as bonsai over here. Some bonsai artists here have tried and their pine bonsai is already dead. I just have to experiment by myself then. Thinking that I will make the rainy season as "spring time" and dormant season in January to February which is the coolest part of the year  as "dormant time".
 
Best regards,
Leo
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on October 21, 2009, 01:15 PM
Leo,
I would suggest you correspond with folk from Hawaii for help in your area. I don't know that Japanese black pine is especially suited to your climate. They do like a dormant season.

Chris
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Leo de Leon on October 23, 2009, 07:35 AM
Hi Chris,

Thanks once again.

I will follow your Needle Therapy except for the seasonal periods. I will treat the rainy season here as spring and the cool months of December to February as Autumn. I decandled my pines two days ago and  buds are coming out already.

I also don't know how long they are going to stay alive without dormancy, might as well enjoy them while they are with me.

Best regards,
Leo
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: holycow on October 24, 2009, 11:30 PM
hi chris,

i'm aware (i think you said somewhere that is was possible) that you can use the decandling technique on pre-bonsai, however, is plucking only suitable for bonsai in the more advanced stages?  unforunately, don't have a pic to show how old the pre-bonsai is.  it's currently sitting in a double colander and it's only about an inch in diameter at the moment.  it  has nice movement and the original leader's still intact.  when the bonsaitalk forum was still active, i received some advice from vonsgardens about decandling prebonsai; however, given that the site is in hiatus i can't access the information....  so any advice would be greatly appreciated

regards,
ty
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on October 25, 2009, 09:51 AM
Hi Ty,
Good to see you here. If you are trying to make a small tree with a thicker trunk, growing a tall leader with unfettered growth, you can use these techniques to help develop low branches and a new apex while the tree is still thickening. In these case we don't do as much needle pulling, but you do need to reduce new candle numbers to 2 in the winter. I know this is a bit of a simplistic answer, you also need to let some candles/branches run to thicken and lengthen branches to make them "right" for their position on the tree.

Get a chance to post some pics and we can provide more specific advice.

JOhn
(aka vonsgardens)
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Jerry Norbury on October 25, 2009, 07:23 PM
Do you think this works for other two needle pines? - I'm thinking Scots.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: holycow on October 25, 2009, 09:40 PM
hey JK,

thanks for that!

think i made a mistake (perhaps dreadful) with one of my pines -- severed the lion's tail in winter.  should have cut the lion's tail to above its lowest branch to encourage the new leader. it's got a new leader but i suppose i've greatly halted it's growth now.  oh well.  this pine has a small branch, no, shoot, coming out where i want the first branch to be.  but the sacrifice branch is also coming out near it - which is a pain. 

another pineis growing well, the one i referred to in my initial post. it's thickening quite well!  it's got great taper and the nebari looks wonderful!!!  the lower branches have candles on them, but they're only about an inch long at most!

regards,
ty
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on October 25, 2009, 09:41 PM
Jeremy.
Yes, but a little more cautious. On the side, I am thinking about going to he Noeladners Award get together, you know a good hotel nearby?  John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on October 25, 2009, 09:44 PM
Ty,
Patiene and post a picture or two. Is sometimes quite easy to figure out "issues" wit a pic. John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Jerry Norbury on October 26, 2009, 02:10 PM
Jeremy.
Yes, but a little more cautious. On the side, I am thinking about going to he Noeladners Award get together, you know a good hotel nearby?  John
Scots - ok.
Noelanders? Very nice, I'm probably going too. I'm afraid I don't know the area at all around Heusden-Zolder . I would travel down from Amsterdam and not stay anyway - it's 175km/110 miles.

I googled - there's a whole load of smaller hotels and B&Bs down there, but nothing in Heusden. It's in the middle of nowhere...http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=hotel&sll=51.012891,5.331116&sspn=0.57974,1.549072&ie=UTF8&hq=hotel&hnear=&z=10 (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=hotel&sll=51.012891,5.331116&sspn=0.57974,1.549072&ie=UTF8&hq=hotel&hnear=&z=10)


Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: greerhw on November 01, 2009, 08:38 PM
Hi Chris,

Thanks once again.

I will follow your Needle Therapy except for the seasonal periods. I will treat the rainy season here as spring and the cool months of December to February as Autumn. I decandled my pines two days ago and  buds are coming out already.

I also don't know how long they are going to stay alive without dormancy, might as well enjoy them while they are with me.

Best regards,
Leo

I'm afraid you won't have any luck with JBP in your climate any more than we would have with Pemphis here, but I do wish you good luck for trying !!

keep it green,
Harry
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Leo de Leon on November 06, 2009, 10:16 PM
I'm afraid you won't have any luck with JBP in your climate any more than we would have with Pemphis here, but I do wish you good luck for trying !!

keep it green,
Harry

Hi Harry,

Thanks for wishing me luck. I really enjoy the JBPs that I have and it has been 3 years and  they have given me challenges and joy at the same time. They seem to grow fast starting on the 3rd year and don't seem to be bothered by frequent rain and watering.

Best regards,
Leo
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: holycow on November 12, 2009, 04:55 AM
hi jk,

this is the jbp that i heavily cut back

http://www.flickr.com/photos/37477597@N02/sets/72157622663326333/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/37477597@N02/sets/72157622663326333/)
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on November 14, 2009, 10:52 AM
It should be fine, just protect it this winter a little bit. Good  luck. John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: holycow on November 16, 2009, 03:34 AM
that left branch that moves out of screen then branches into 6 other branch -  should i wait until it thickens before choosing one of them as the leader and then cull the other branches?

suppose i may shock the tree to death with even more cuts..?

regards,
ty
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on November 16, 2009, 07:44 AM
I would suggest waiting to see what pops back strongly in the spring, then you can reduce to two strong branchlets,

John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: holycow on November 17, 2009, 07:13 AM
do you mean next spring, coz it's already spring now in the southern hemisphere?
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on November 17, 2009, 07:46 AM
Ah, you caught me when I was napping- I would sit on it until you get full candle extension. That could very well be this "spring" for you, but something that you can look at doing around Christmas. Then, take a coupls of pictures from farther back, so we can see the whole tree and the developing candles.  John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bwaynef on November 17, 2009, 08:43 AM
do you mean next spring, coz it's already spring now in the southern hemisphere?

Ah, you caught me when I was napping

Now's as good a time as any to remind folks to add your location in your profile.

Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: holycow on November 18, 2009, 07:44 AM
changed!

also, about to go through a number of days of 30+ degree temperatures, 87+F, and i won't be able to water the plants throughout the day.  should i just keep them in the shade with a good watering in the morning or am i going to have a number of dead plants at the end of the dead regardless?
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on November 18, 2009, 09:09 AM
Water them very well in the morning, might mulch the tops of the soil- I use spaghnum, you could use just about anything.

John
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: mcpesq817 on November 18, 2009, 10:19 AM
changed!

also, about to go through a number of days of 30+ degree temperatures, 87+F, and i won't be able to water the plants throughout the day.  should i just keep them in the shade with a good watering in the morning or am i going to have a number of dead plants at the end of the dead regardless?

Hi Holycow - I would follow John's advice.  We get 90+F here in the US where I live, and I usually just water really well in the morning, and maybe a second time when I get home from work.  Seems to do the trick.  I haven't mulched my trees, but if I had smaller stock, I would probably consider it.

By the way, I'm jealous you live in the Blue Mountains region of Australia.  What a beautiful part of the world, and especially being close to Sydney, an amazing city!  My wife and I honeymooned in Australia (and NZ) two years ago and really loved it.  I can't wait to travel there again.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: holycow on November 19, 2009, 07:00 PM
more photos

in jpg7, should the left branch be used as a sacrifice branch or can it be used as the first main branch?

actually, there are two branches coming off to the left in jpg7, and they're quite close to each other.  should the larger one be used as a sacrifice branch and the other used as the first main branch?

regards,
ty
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: Keith on November 20, 2009, 07:19 PM
Is it safe to candle a pine following a re-pot? No extensive root work, just a little trim and pot change.

Thank you for your article.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on November 21, 2009, 01:08 AM
If it i growing well, yes, but leave plenty of needles just in case. Also depends on the state of development of the tree.
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: bonsaikc on November 06, 2010, 11:51 PM
Tom and Chris,
I don't know about the "guy with the Pine", but the tree is doing great and all of you cutting, pulling and question asking worked. I decandled on the same weekend this year, and shortened a number of the longer branches because it did bud back well. will wire this winter and see if we can't get it to break back even further. Thanks for the good work!

John

Hey John, I've just been loading this article onto my revamped website and was wondering if you had some photos to share of this tree now that a couple of years have gone by?
Title: Re: Needle Therapy-by Chris Johnston
Post by: John Kirby on November 07, 2010, 09:21 AM
I will try and get some pics when home, the tree was wired this summer, so it is actually starting to get some shape to it. John