Author Topic: Spring maintenance pre-bonsai  (Read 3893 times)


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Spring maintenance pre-bonsai
« on: March 27, 2016, 08:53 PM »
   I bought a six year old more black pine pre-bonsai three years ago and planted in the ground.

    It would actually make a great beautiful bonsai now its barking up like an older tree and has a great taper but im sure im going to be told to wait. Any way it needs some spring maintence. About half way up or down the tree is a cluster that i want to be the top of the tree. Theres a tone of candles there which will make that area thicker than it needs to be.

   Here are some pics of this spring.......




Any tips or advice you can give
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 08:56 PM by Duhjoker »


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Re: Spring maintenance pre-bonsai
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2016, 11:00 AM »
Hi Duhjoker

Good start.  Glad to see you have it in the ground.  I am no expert on JBP but I would leave it to continue to thicken up and only cut back in a few years when you have reached the desired thickness of the trunk.  Use those branches as thickening up branches


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Re: Spring maintenance pre-bonsai
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2016, 04:56 PM »
Oh i planted it 3 years ago. I really like it and it has goid movement though it could be worked on.

   I did end up doing some needle removal of places that needed air and light. No branch removal just a lil spring cleaning.

The trunk just below the top cluster and in between the bottom cluster needs to be thicker but theres no branching there or needles.

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Spring maintenance pre-bonsai
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 04:30 PM »
If it were mine, I'd leave it in the ground until the trunk just below the first branches is at least 3 inches in diameter. Even if the plan were for a shohin tree.

At the first whorl of branches, look at them, the branch with the shortest internodes and the most secondary branches might be your candidate for the entire tree. Select the "best" of the branches at the whorl, mark it so you don't forget. Prune away all but one of the others. The other you leave will be your "sacrifice branch". Prune all secondary branches off the sacrifice, or at least any secondaries close to the trunk, but let the terminal keep growing. This will leave you with only 2 branches at the first whorl. If you want the first whorl to be a branch rather than the new leader after the trunk has thickened enough, choose the shortest of the branches as your keeper. By the time the trunk has thicken, often branches will be too thick unless you start now keeping the short and small. You will candle prune the short branch, but don't candle prune the escape branch.

 Follow the same procedure at the second whorl of branches. Keep one that could be the new apex. remove the rest except one. Let the one escape. Keep the other pruned, candle prune to keep compact and force back budding.

The rest of the tree, remove the branches that are low enough to shade the branches below. Let the leader grow wild. When it is 6 to 10 feet tall your trunk will be thick enough. Watch the trunk thickness. If the section between whorl 1 & 2 gets too thick compared to nebari & 1 - prune the escape branch back to slow the thickening, or prune escape branch 2 off completely.

Basically, now is time, while it is in the ground and growing rapidly to plan out and grow your tree. Once you dig the tree, the trunk diameter will not increase much at all. So get the trunk you want first. Keep a few branches trimmed short for future options, and let the apex run wild.