Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Japanese Black Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Buffrider on July 20, 2011, 11:41 AM

Title: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 20, 2011, 11:41 AM
So where i live all my club members suggest a spring and then a fall decandling over just a summer decandling. They say they follow John Naka and Ben Oki with this. But when i get online and about 1 or 2 people where i live they are mostly for just the summer decandling. What are the pros and cons of each? and which would yall suggest for my oklahoma area?
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 20, 2011, 11:44 AM
I've heard rumors of those in hot/humid areas like south Florida can "get away with" decandling twice a year, but I've never seen the results personally or online.  I would be curious to see the results of your club members.  Got any pictures?
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 20, 2011, 12:27 PM
well my JBP that i posted on here has been done this way since seed and it is very healthy. We get really hot summers here so thats why i think they do it here. But my other friend says that he does it once. So since im 25 and plan on living here for a while ill just experiment both ways. So i will keep everyone posted on this. I know ill have alot of people on here against me but its all good. There is always gonna be people that think its their way or the highway. I have an open mind to this and everything else. Thats how you get better.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 20, 2011, 01:49 PM
I would definitely be interested to see the results of the technique.  Please, do keep up posted.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: John Kirby on July 20, 2011, 03:26 PM
OK Buff, who is telling you to do twice a year decandling in Oklahoma? I just looked a the "Ben Oki Styled JBP" pictures that you posted, I don't see a particularly strong tree (thin, highly crowded and probably soft needles), and I certainly don't see a tree that looks like it has had its candle growth managed very well. I realize that the owner has been less able to manage their trees and that you are going to be able to do a great deal with the tree as you move forward. To do that, however, you will need to manage the tree differently.

I own the Naka Books and treasure them for a number of reasons, the fact that he was first in making a lot of meaningful information available to Americans (and many others), I also enjoy how he documented his vision and progression of trees from common sources and following collection. However, John Naka didn't have the benefit of time- if he had written his books after the widespread dissemination of JBP bud and needle management by the Japanese, he would have written his books (on that topic at least) differently. The field has dramatically advanced since his day, of which I am sure that he would have been proud and fully engaged in promoting.

I lived in western Arkansas for a long time (10 miles from Oklahoma), you can grow JBP extremely well using the traditional Japanese perfected JBP management techniques, as taught by Boon and many others. I tried all of the other stuff, had mixed results and then learned how to do it right. I always like to snicker when I hear people say "JBP are difficult as bonsai, their needles are too long", I had trees at Dallas for the LSBF convention last year and was asked "What cultivar of JBP is that, the needles are almost too short"- the answer- seedling (mine) and I had decandled it too late the previous year by two weeks. This intense desire to recreate what has already been proven to be effective, safe and time saving always confuses me. Summer decandling works incredibly well (Even in Dallas and really hot places), I would suggest that you get Boon's video, practice and get your timing down, and go and show your club member what a good JBP with managed foliage looks like. Don't believe me? Check the threads here on some of the good trees that have been presented.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 20, 2011, 04:10 PM
Well then what would y'all suggest since he has already decandled once this year? Plus I'd rather not piss this guy off cause he is an old guy and we call him Grouchy.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: John Kirby on July 20, 2011, 05:03 PM
This fall, reduce the number of new candles to two per branch and pull off the old needles- if it has yellow internal needles, pull them as they are probably older than 3 years old and will be senescent this fall. You can make it really strong in a year or two, it should have a lot of fertilizer on it starting in August-September to feed the new buds for next year.

Where are you in OKLahoma (Roughly)?.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 20, 2011, 06:05 PM
Tulsa.

Also I don't know what y'all are talking about this tree not being healthy. The trunk is pretty large and the needles aren't soft at all. A good green color and nothing shows that it's weak at all.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: John Kirby on July 20, 2011, 06:49 PM
Whatever you say. Good luck.

Try http://bonsaitonight.com/ (http://bonsaitonight.com/)

Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 20, 2011, 10:17 PM
After talking to y'all and to a bonsai teacher of mine for about an hour today I've decided to finish this year the same it's been done then next late June early June decandle. It does need a repot but it is a healthy tree it just will be a lil better if I follow this. I'm still learning so I'm always open for new ways. I'll be posting this tree in the future.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 21, 2011, 10:07 AM
If you're serious about Japanese Black Pine I would strongly encourage you to purchase Boon's DVD series.  The complete bundle on Japanese Black Pine is $110 plus shipping, but you could purchase them individually by season if you like.

http://www.bonsaiboon.com/pages/shopping.html (http://www.bonsaiboon.com/pages/shopping.html)

The Naka books are nice, but the information in them is quite old.  New (better) techniques have been developed that are being use world wide with great success.

I find it best before listening the advice of others regarding species, styling, etc., I take a look at their trees to see if they are speaking from experience or just regurgitating information they have read.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Don Blackmond on July 21, 2011, 10:39 AM
Tulsa.

Also I don't know what y'all are talking about this tree not being healthy. The trunk is pretty large and the needles aren't soft at all. A good green color and nothing shows that it's weak at all.

I'm not sure unhealthy is the correct term.  It looks more like it was improperly cared for; needles way too long, little interior growth, not much ramification.  These characteristics suggest needle mismanagement and not enough light/sun.  You heard 60 years old, but he probably said 16 years old.  I don't see anything to suggest this is a 60 year old tree; not even the bark.

Having said all that, you have a nice tree to work with and do not be discouraged by what you read here.  Take the advice you see here.  Most importantly, get the jbp Boon videos to see what these people are telling you; you can disregard Boon's techniques if you choose to, but at least check them out before you make that decision.  I think you can get the needles under control in 2-3 years, and you will like this tree much more once you do that.  Lastly, this is your tree now.  Make Grouchy proud by making his former tree better.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: John Kirby on July 21, 2011, 12:15 PM
Here is an old "Oklahoma" JBP that came from near OKC. I haven't taken any pictures of it the last 1.5 years, needs to be rewired, will do so when it is rewired and it will be ready to show. This tree was developed less than 75 miles from Tulsa.....

The health of the tree mentioned here is associated with the "thin needles" can be caused by many things, including Don's suggestions- as well as by fungus, roots, etc. I think that you can make a very credible tree out of this one (The Oki Styled tree) pretty quickly.

http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/yard-pine-jbp-from-frank-kroeker/ (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/yard-pine-jbp-from-frank-kroeker/)
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 21, 2011, 02:41 PM
Beautiful tree u got there John.
This tree is most def older then what you think cause he had it styled by ben oki back in 1999 so that 12 years plus the trunk is pretty old looking and the base is pretty wide. I do know JBP grow slow so I believe this is at least 60 years old. But it's all good. This will be show worthy some day. I'll keep it posted as I progress it.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: John Kirby on July 21, 2011, 03:26 PM
Um, JBP grow really, really fast. If you fertilize and water freely. I won't speculate as to age, but 60 is a real longshot. How old do you think these trees are? I'll bet at least one of them is older.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 21, 2011, 04:37 PM
Ok whatever you say.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 21, 2011, 04:42 PM
Buff,

The age of the tree isn't what's important.  What's important is the age the tree conveys.  Figure out how best to convey great age in your tree and you'll be much happier for it.  Time will add (more) mature flaky bark.  Proper needle/candle management will reduce the overly large needles and help increase ramification.  Your eye will improve and you begin to see what makes a good tree a good tree.

Continue to seek out advice and digest the wealth of information available these days.  And by all means, keep us posted on your progress.

Good luck.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 21, 2011, 04:54 PM
What ever y'all want to think is kewl. I've been told it was 60 years old and I have seen some that were older that were skinnyier then mine. Y would ben oki say it's age and lie bout it eh?  But it's all good.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 21, 2011, 05:01 PM
You are correct, thickness does not necessarily convey age. 

As has been said, you have a good tree to work with.  Now, you are tasked with improving it.  How do you do that?  Get the needle length in check, increase ramification, and keep the tree healthy.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 21, 2011, 05:02 PM
Also, I'm curious.  What do others in your area that are practicing Spring and Fall candle removal report as the advantages?  What improvements are they seeing in their trees?
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Chrisl on July 21, 2011, 07:25 PM
John, I read somewhere that if one cuts the fall candles in half, you get more buds in the spring.  But I haven't tried it.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: John Kirby on July 21, 2011, 07:35 PM
ARRRGHHHHHHHH
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Chrisl on July 21, 2011, 07:38 PM
Something I said?? hehe

I have Boons videos on the JBP, and I'm just going to follow his technique.  I've watched it now several times and each time I pick up something I missed before.  Great guidance to dunces like me!
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 21, 2011, 07:42 PM
Chris,

I think you miss the point.  There are a number of very experienced members here with JBP spending time and energy in an attempt to help Buff.  He says his club members are using a different technique with great success.  I (and perhaps others) would like to see the results for my(our)self(ves).  As it stands, great results have been presented (and apparently ignored).

Adding "I read somewhere" and "I think I heard someone" adds nothing to an already downhill thread.

Sad.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: John Kirby on July 21, 2011, 08:20 PM
I apologize. It is really very simple to make good JBP if you follow the well established bud and needle management plan, prune and wire appropriately, and repot the tree appropriately and fertilize as recommended. There really isn't anything else to do, new techniques can come along that are quite good, and when presented with timeline pictures, etc, may be adopted and used. My only goal is for folks to have as much enjoyment from their trees as I get from mine, if not more, because they respond well and predictably. I will only say, that instead of trying to create a new or alternate method, why not master what works well and has been validated by many- then step out and build something new. Diatribe over, John
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Buffrider on July 21, 2011, 09:25 PM
Thanks again everyone for your help. This tree means alot to me because of who gave it to me. Ill be treating it the same for the rest of the summer and decandle in the fall like its been treated before then next summer ill decandle. Ill probably be on here asking for more help but im planning on buying the dvds of boons. I already have the decandling from his which started all this confusion for me...  ;D. Ill be posting the progression of this tree as the years progress it.
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Chrisl on July 21, 2011, 10:34 PM
I'm sorry John/MatsuBonsai, you raised a good point.  I'll stop any further here-say.  I too like to see a tree's development over time, and with different techniques, with pics.  One of the great things of the net ;)  And it furthers the hobby in

John K.  Well said.   It does come down to the enjoyment of our trees.  From masterpieces to a beginner's first bonsai.  I know I derive much enjoyment working with my trees, from the ones I know very well, and other trees I'm just getting to know.

Chris
Title: Re: spring and fall compared to just summer decandling....?
Post by: Don Blackmond on July 22, 2011, 10:21 AM
Sounds like you have a good plan Buff.  I think you will find that if you follow the techniques in Boon's videos you will develop shorter needles and branch ramification, both of which will make your tree 'look' better.