Species Specific > Ponderosa Pine Bonsai Discussion

bunjin ponderosa

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John Kirby:
Hi Bob,
Like the trunk a lot. I will be interested to see if it maintains the nice short foliage that you have attained as well, and still increase in density and remain healthy. Boon has convinced me over the past few years to start treating them like white pines- no fertilizer until late in the season (I start in August or September) and then allowing the branch density to grow to a point that it causes the needles and buds to shorten (short internodes as well). Nice work.

Have you sen Brent recently? Was wondering how he is doing.


--- Quote from: cbobgo on March 18, 2010, 10:34 AM ---The Pot is from Sara Rayner.
--- End quote ---

I thought so, I have many sara pots. Your pot looks great with the tree.



--- Quote from: cbobgo on March 18, 2010, 10:34 AM ---thanks for the compliments.   ;D

The Pot is from Sara Rayner.  http://www.redwing.net/~daalms/  This was one she happened to have in stock, but she will also custom make a pot to fit your tree exactly.  In a few more years, when the top is more "finished" I will probably have her make me a similar pot, but in more of a bowl shape.  The accent pot is one of hers as well.

I think I've mostly been lucky with the needle reduction :-)  First I removed all the needles that were 3 years old or older, starting about 2 years ago.  Then I removed the 1 and 2 year old needles on the tops and bottom of the branches.  Then I removed the terminal buds from the end of each branch.  The current needles are the new bunch that grew after that.  Once each bunch was well established I removed all the rest of the old needles.  That would have been last summer.  I don't know if they will stay that small or not - we'll have to see how they grow through this year.

- bob

--- End quote ---

Very nice ponderosa and pot!  I've got a ponderosa in bunjin form that I picked up from Oregon Bonsai last year that is somewhat similar.  My current needles are very long though, so I'm curious - when did you do the needle removal?  I've got Larry Jackel's book, but it's always good to hear from others as to what they are doing successfully.

Last year I fertilized my ponderosas throughout the growing season to get them strong - results were very long needles, up to 4" or more in many cases.  This year I think I'm going to take John's approach and fertilize them later in the season.

I should probably take better notes, I can't tell you precisely what time of year I did what.  I'll Look through my older pictures, and see if I can get a rough idea and get back to you.

I've been thinking about getting Jackel's ponderosa book - is it good?

- bob

OK, so after a little detective work, i believe that i started removing 2 - 3 year old needles in the summer of 2008.  In July or August I removed the terminal growth at each branch, as well as the top and bottom clusters of the 1-2 year old needles, leaving the side needle clusters.  That winter I moved it from the grow box to the first round pot.  I didn't do much in the way of root pruning.

Then in the spring of 2009, after there was good active growth on new clusters I removed the rest of the old needles.  So all the needles you see now are new since the summer of 2008.

In the summer of 2009 I did the initial wiring of the top, fine tuned that a little in the fall, then wired the rest of the way out to each cluster last week.

- bob


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