Species Specific > Ponderosa Pine Bonsai Discussion

bunjin ponderosa

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Ryan did not recommend removing any candles at all - until the point when the branch has enough growth closer in, then you remove the longer growth further out.  It seems very counter intuitive, but that is what he says works best.  I have not had more than half a year to follow his advice, so I can't tell you by any first hand experience how it works.

I have been re-wiring my PPs about twice a year, but have not noticed any significant wire scars, so you could probably leave the wire on longer.  It really depends on how strongly they are growing.

- bob'

John Kirby:
I have left wire on Ponderosas for over two years without "bite". Depends on the tree and how fast they are growing. Larry Jackel, who has been working on Ponderosa Pines for over 30 years suggests that you can cut the terminal buds to stimulate back budding on old trees- once. The management of Needles and structure on Ponderosas is more about controlling  fertilizer and density. Treat them like JWP for fertilizer and the needles will shorten, increase the bud density over time and the needles will shorten.

Ryan is solid, he brings a lot to the table.

Not pinching the strongest candles does seem a bit counterintuitive, but if that what Ryan said, I'll too follow his advice..  Thanks Bob!

Yes, I remember reading that John, something along I believe the Fall Ponderosa Technique.   Good for only one try.  Strange though,  this year, with no fall work done at all other than wiring, I'm having quite a bit of new backbuds.  Either way, it looks like PP's are not ones that you're going to be able to compact the tree much by growing, cutting back to the closest bud site to the trunk, cut, and regrow. 

I'll just keep a close eye on my wiring.  I still have a tendency to wire on too tightly...it cost me a limb about 3 wks ago on a Mugo I wired over the winter.  Took off the wire and I basically made a tourniquet out of wire.  Though I'm much better at laying it down at 45 degrees and not overlapping wires.  It's harder for me at this time getting it on to allow some growth, but not too loose either.


I'm sorry to see that my instinct was correct when I was going to advise that you were likely taking off way too much foliage to feed the tree and its roots. So sorry you lost it but sometimes that's how we learn. :(

It is my understanding that long needles are a result of over watering not heavy fertilization. Although holding back on fert for a month after you finish your candle work in June , if you watch your watering and keep it at a minimum you'll find that your needles are slower to extend.
Qualicum Brian


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