Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Japanese Black Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: johnsonrobbins on November 30, 2011, 04:39 PM

Title: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: johnsonrobbins on November 30, 2011, 04:39 PM
I am a complete newbie to bonsai and black pine trees. I started a little black pine from a starter kit my wife bought me. This is what it looks like after a few months. Over the last few weeks some of the needles have started turning brown, and even looks like it could be dying, but then I have no idea. It is potted in miracle-gro cactus/palm soil. I know shame on me, but I really don't know better at this point. Please let me know what you think. I keep the soil relatively damp and keep a grow light full florescent on it daily. Thanks again.
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: Jay on November 30, 2011, 05:36 PM
OK, John..... welcome to Bonsai.

It would be helpful for you to go to the Profile section above and give us some more info on who you are... most importantly WHERE you are. Bonsai is Bonsai but where you live will determine how you treat your tree during the year. As you would guess, growing a Black Pine in Kansas is  a lot different than growing it in Washington State and for sure different than I would here in northern Vermont.

Black Pines, and most other trees want and need to be outside during the growing season. When they are dormant they need protection but not necessarily light. Your mention of grow lights gives me the feeling you may think and want to grow this tree indoors. Black Pines will not be happy.

But.... please fill in the profile section so we can help you. AND again welcome to Bonsai!

my 2 cents
Jay
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: johnsonrobbins on November 30, 2011, 05:54 PM
Thanks for the speedy response. I have updated my profile. I live in Utah zone 5/6. Yes silly me, I did think I could grow the tree indoors. We are coming into our 4 month wintery weather, I just assumed I could trick my little pine like I would like to trick myself that we are sitting on the coast of California. So I shouldn't do that? I guess I need more advice than I thought and probably should not have started my tree in the late fall season. Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: MatsuBonsai on November 30, 2011, 06:22 PM
JBP in too-organic (most prefre 0 organic) soil, staying too wet, growing indoors.  Just about everything wrong.  :)

I found seedlings to be a very challenging place to start and would instead suggest something a bit more mature.  They'll have survived a number of winters already and hopefully give you something to do (wiring, etc.) sooner.

Lots to read here.  Flip through the pages and learn from what's already been posted.  It will give you a leg up come spring.
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: johnsonrobbins on November 30, 2011, 06:36 PM
Thanks, that makes sense, I will take a little more time and familiarize myself with some of the basics next time I attempt to grow a JBP. In the mean time is it too late for my little friend or is there anything I can attempt to do to keep it alive and survive another year? Thanks
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: MatsuBonsai on November 30, 2011, 06:42 PM
The picture posted looks like a perfectly healthy JBP seedling to me.  If it were mine I would move it outside.  Some light frosts  and freezes are fine, but will need some protection from the cold Utah winter.
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: johnsonrobbins on November 30, 2011, 06:58 PM
Thanks for the advise. I will move it outdoors and when the heavy snows start I will move it into my garage by the window. Thanks again!
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: nathanbs on November 30, 2011, 09:11 PM
dont put it by the window as it will be colder there by much more than any other area in your garage.
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: Jay on December 01, 2011, 06:11 AM
Regarding your winter care....When trees are sleeping for the winter their needs are different than when they are in growth. Te need for light is not a big deal, keep the tree in the garage, unheated I hope, and do not water it often. Here in my area my trees go to sleep in October/November and don't wake up till around late March early April. They get minimal light and are watered perhaps 3 or 4 times during that period.

Good luck and keep us posted. You may want to look and see if there are any local Bonsai Clubs near to you. Meeting with people first hand is a wonderful thing.

Enjoy
J
Title: Re: newbie to bonsai and black pine, need help
Post by: Dave Murphy on December 01, 2011, 06:42 AM
If your garage is unheated, place it in an area where it will stay cold consistently...ideal temps would be mid 20's to mid 30's F.  When I lived in MA, I only watered my garaged trees when they were initially placed on the garage floor.  They would generally freeze by late December and stay that way until spring (trees with frozen soil shouldn't be watered).  The only moisture I would provide would be snow that I would place on the soil surface.