Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Ponderosa Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: cbobgo on March 18, 2010, 02:28 AM

Title: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: cbobgo on March 18, 2010, 02:28 AM
Hello all, this is my first post here - been away from the forums for 3 years, but I'm getting back into things now.  Looks like you guys & gals have a nice forum here.

This is my bunjin ponderosa that I will be exhibiting this weekend.  It was collected in the fall of 2006, I purchased it before it had even been potted up, fresh from the collecting trip, from Randy and Jason at Oregon Bonsai.

I started working on it is 2008.  What do you think?  It's still a few years from being "done."  I need to work on the tertiary branching.  But it's well on it's way, I think.

- bob
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Jay Wilson on March 18, 2010, 06:51 AM
Great tree! love the kink in the trunk. Nice pot as well.
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: JRob on March 18, 2010, 07:52 AM
Bob,

Welcome back to the world of bonsai forums. Nice ponderosa. I particularly like the small size of the needles. What technique are you using to keep their small size?

JRob
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: shimsuki on March 18, 2010, 09:48 AM
Very nice, I like the pot/tree combo. Who is the potter?

Shim
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: cbobgo on March 18, 2010, 10:34 AM
thanks for the compliments.   ;D

The Pot is from Sara Rayner.  http://www.redwing.net/~daalms/ (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
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: John Kirby on March 18, 2010, 02:41 PM
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.
John
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: shimsuki on March 18, 2010, 03:44 PM
The Pot is from Sara Rayner.

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


Shim
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: mcpesq817 on March 19, 2010, 11:39 AM
thanks for the compliments.   ;D

The Pot is from Sara Rayner.  http://www.redwing.net/~daalms/ (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


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.

Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: cbobgo on March 19, 2010, 11:53 AM
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
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: cbobgo on March 19, 2010, 04:10 PM
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
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: mcpesq817 on March 20, 2010, 11:12 PM
Thanks for the info Bob, very helpful.

Larry's book is excellent in my opinion.  Along with his care guidelines, he has regional care guides written by folks around the US, and also Walter Pall.  I'd highly recommend it.
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: bonsaikc on March 25, 2010, 09:50 AM
Bob,
This is a fantastic tree to jump back into the world of online bonsai with! I look forward to seeing it develop over the years.

Chris
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Grog on March 25, 2010, 02:55 PM
Wrt the short needles you may have gotten some lucky genes on your side.  Andy Smith has a picture on his website of two ponderosa seedlings growing next to each other, one with the typical long needles and the other with much shorter needles.  He didn't know the reason definitively but speculated genetics. 

Beautiful tree!
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: cbobgo on March 26, 2010, 09:41 AM
Thanks Chris!

Grog, the old needles on this tree were very long, so unless it spontaneously mutated, I don't think it's a genetic thing.
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: John Kirby on March 26, 2010, 11:04 AM
Bob, Larry's book is a nice species compilation with some very good information, if you cut
my short contribution out (jokingly said). Larry put a lot of his hard earned experience and knowledge into it. The additional contributions should give you a good sense of how to adapt his high mountain climate growing information to your locale.

John
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Treebeard55 on April 20, 2011, 12:15 PM
Just now checked this thread, and that is one fantastic piece of material you have. A trunkline like that goes beyond "character" to "soul."  :)

Chalk up another recommendation for Larry Jackel's book. I think it's well worth the money. (Even if it does have ramblings from John Kirby in it. Just kidding!)
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: cbobgo on April 13, 2012, 12:53 AM
Hey gang, been away from the forum for awhile, but just wanted to update this thread.

Unfortunately, this amazing little tree has died.  And it is completely my fault.  I pushed it too hard.  By pruning so aggressively I did get smaller needles, but I also weakened the tree too much, then put it into a bonsai pot before it was ready, weakening it further.  In it's weakened state it got infested with aphids, which I think was the straw that broke the camels back and it gave up.

So, anyone who has found this thread, don't be as aggressive with pruning ponderosas, learn from my mistakes.

- bob
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Chrisl on April 14, 2012, 12:21 PM
Sorry to hear that Bob!  I've got two healthy PPs now that I've left on all the old needles.  It's a fine line between too much work, and not doing enough it seems to me lol  These were collected in '10 I believe.  Got them from Walter Pall who told me to leave them in the nursery pots (primarily pumice) for at least a yr or two before I repot.  So I'm going very slowly.  Just wired one up this winter and the parts that don't have raffia and wire on, I'm having quite a few new buds.  Now I'm left wondering if I would've gotten more buds had I not used the raffia lol

Thanks for sharing your experience Bob!  I hate that yours died, but you've convinced me to be comfortable with my slow approach...knock on wood!  Good Luck finding another one!

Chris
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: cbobgo on April 14, 2012, 12:34 PM
Thanks Chris, I still have 3 more ponderosas from my trip up to Oregon Bonsai.  The others are doing well, as I had not been so aggressive with them.

I've taken 1 of them to 2 workshops with Ryan Neal.  His advice on them is to not try to do ANY decandeling or other techniques to produce back-budding.  Just keep them growing strongly, and they will bud where they want to bud on their own.  When you have enough growth then they can be cut back.  So it is sort of the opposite of JBP.

- bob
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Chrisl on April 14, 2012, 12:48 PM
Thanks for the advice Bob, Ryan really knows his stuff!  Does he at least suggest candle pinching the strongest new candles so all the candles on the tree are the same, or just leave it alone entirely?  And since you have more experience with PP's, how long do you leave the wire on?  I've heard a yr. but would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Thanks Bob!
Chris
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: cbobgo on April 14, 2012, 03:02 PM
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'

Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: John Kirby on April 14, 2012, 07:01 PM
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.
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Chrisl on April 15, 2012, 08:20 AM
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.

Chris
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Potawatomi13 on November 08, 2013, 07:41 AM
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. :(
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Gaffer on November 09, 2013, 12:34 PM
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
Title: Re: bunjin ponderosa
Post by: Potawatomi13 on April 30, 2015, 08:50 AM
I would much rather have my trees short on fertilizer than to die from lack of H2O.  If the soil is loose enough you won't over water.  The old yamadori trees of Randy Knights and Andys collections have short needles because they've been deprived of both but just survived the treatment.  We want our trees to be strong, vital and healthy and they won't be in our little shallow pots if they die of lack of water.