Species Specific > Ponderosa Pine Bonsai Discussion

Ponderosa needing a bend

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Chachie:
sorry was distracted by how nice your surroundings are! great pondy too!

Adair M:
It's raining today, so no picture.

I think I had mentioned that I had found that the tree had been knocked over, and it's roots disturbed last year.  So, I repotted and retied it securely in the pot.  When I did so, I found it only had one live root, it was quite long.   So, I kept all of it, and let it coil around the bottom of the pot.

The good news is the tree is thriving.  The bad news is the new needles are long.  I'll take a healthy tree every time.

It was a choice on my part.  Last year, I withheld fertilizer during the spring needle growing season to get shorter needles.  It worked.  They were only about 2 inches.  This year, however, knowing that I only had that one good root, I didn't want to take any chances, so I kept up the fertilizer.  Lo and behold, 4 inch needles!

So that means it's healthy.  No die back.  Ramification can wait.  (It needs it, but not until it's really strong.)

Now the plan for the year is maybe remove the existing wire late winter, and when Boon comes in the spring we can see if we can bend that branch to the back.  Then back on the "no spring fertilizer" program.

--OR--

Another spring of fertilizing, then do the "Fall candle removal" technique as described in Larry Jackel's book.  It is supposed to promote heavy back budding, which would result in better ramification. 

The "Fall candle removal" can be done "once".  You should only do it on strong trees.  This tree may not yet be strong enough.  We'll wait and see.  Maybe wait another year for that.

John Kirby:
Wait. The Technique is hit and miss. You can shorten the needles by letting them get dense. Leave the old needles until they turn brown, year 4. Ponderosa's grow great roots in good potting medium, the next time you repot it, wound the woody main root and put a little sphagnum on the surface. Really nice tree.

Adair M:
John,

It's in Boon Mix.  As you would expect.  I got all the mountain duff off last time I repotted.  I'll get a pic up tomorrow, if it stops raining.

Chrisl:

--- Quote from: John Kirby on July 19, 2014, 08:34 PM ---Wait. The Technique is hit and miss. You can shorten the needles by letting them get dense. Leave the old needles until they turn brown, year 4. Ponderosa's grow great roots in good potting medium, the next time you repot it, wound the woody main root and put a little sphagnum on the surface. Really nice tree.

--- End quote ---

Ditto John, I've heard the same from a couple pros.  Good news Adair it pulled thru!  So important to have trees wired in well...yesterday, I was cleaning old growth, crotch br, and cleaning the live vein on 'my practice' rmj  (but ugly but great to practice the live vein work and to attempt an air layer on a thick 90 degr. branch)  Anyway, had it at an angle, turned around to say Hi to my dog, and in a sec, over she went.  Thankfully wired well in place in pumice so easy to clean up.  I have it under misters and shade for a few days.  I bring it up as I learnt a lesson the hard way, strap down a tree, or I need to build a box to put the pot in. 

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