Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Ponderosa Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Adair M on May 07, 2014, 07:35 AM

Title: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Adair M on May 07, 2014, 07:35 AM
Here's my Pondy. The long branch to the right needs to be bent back to give it some depth.

I would have done it sooner, but I don't think think its strong enough. So, I'm giving it time to power up. I'm lightly fertilizing now. I could give it some more.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Sorce on May 07, 2014, 12:21 PM
Nice Adair.

  Keeping it ponderosa or grafting?

Love the trunk.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Adair M on May 07, 2014, 03:50 PM
I'm keeping the Pondy foliage, at least for now.  Last summer, the needles that grew were about 1/2 the length of the old ones.  There are still some old needles on it now.  I didn't cut them off as I think the tree is still weak from being collected, and I wanted as much food factory working as possible.

It is back budding some, so that's a benefit.

In Larry Jackel's book, he describes a "Fall Decandling" technique.  Says it produces a lot of backbudding.  But should only be done once in the life of the bonsai.  (OR at least wait several years between doing it.)  I asked Kirby about it, and he recommended only doing it with really healthy trees.

So, I'll hold off for a while.

I will pay more attention to mulching in the pot during the summer to try to keep the roots cool.  Last summer was relatively cool, and the pot was shaded by daylilies.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Sorce on May 08, 2014, 04:12 PM
Nice.

Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on May 08, 2014, 08:57 PM
My buddy in IA pruned his pondy pretty hard in late August while styling it, and it back budded almost to the trunk the next spring.  Yours has good movement.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Adair M on May 31, 2014, 10:12 PM
Here's an updated picture. I cut off the 3 year old needles, and it looks much better. It has last year's and this year's needles now. I just gave it some poo balls, too.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on May 31, 2014, 11:25 PM
Very nice movement and feel, Adair.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Judy on June 01, 2014, 07:39 AM
Even sideways it's really eye catching.  I like this pondy.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: John Kirby on June 01, 2014, 09:26 AM
Very nice Adair, it is working towards being compact, important yet hard to do with these collected trees (without time and wire).
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Chrisl on June 01, 2014, 09:57 AM
Great tree Adair.  Love the movement, along w. great taper.  Now some ramification ;)
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Chachie on July 13, 2014, 05:27 PM
sorry was distracted by how nice your surroundings are! great pondy too!
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Adair M on July 19, 2014, 03:33 PM
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.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: 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.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Adair M on July 19, 2014, 10:48 PM
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.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Chrisl on July 20, 2014, 12:07 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.

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. 
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Adair M on July 20, 2014, 09:02 PM
I had the tree wired into the pot well, but it was one of those situations where you put in a block of wood to help stabilize the tree.  All that was wired in.  But when the gardener knocked it over, and then tried to "fix it" himself, he messed it up.  The only reason I noticed was I turned it around so the other side could get some sun, and the trunk wiggled.  I never let them do that.  So then I found it was loose in the pot.  Which led me to investigate the ground under the tree, and I found  spilt bonsai soil under the freshly spread pine bark nuggets.  Ah HA!  So, I asked the wife, she told me he was spreading pine bark, and knocked it, but it was ok, he "fixed it".  Uh, not so much.  This all happened when I was away at a Boon Intensive, and I didn't find out for a couple weeks!  Oh, well...

Sorry, didn't get a pic today.  I was bushhogging.  Now my butt is sore, and I've got poison ivy!  Maybe tomorrow...
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Chrisl on July 21, 2014, 11:20 AM
Bushhogging??  Ok, I know that's work, but I bet it's pretty fun for the first 30 mins! ;))  A man and his play toys....speaking of myself lol

Well Adair, you were lucky then to have discovered his 'repair' work.  Glad things worked out for you in the end!

Chris
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Adair M on July 21, 2014, 12:43 PM
Chrisl,

The first 15 minutes are pretty hairy.  It's 10.5 acres, sloped.  Rolling a bit.  But on one side, it's reasonably steep, and the edge of the property drops off into a creek.  This is an erosion creek, and the edge is sudden.  The object is to get close to the edge, but not fall in, as it would tip the tractor over.  Problem is, the weeds/brush is so thick, you cant see the edge.  On the other side of the property, there's a smaller one.  Even harder to see, it's only about a foot wide, and about a foot deep.  Drop a wheel in there, you're stuck. Even with 4 wheel drive. 

So the first cut around the property is a "high blood pressure" moment.  After that, you have 8 hours of mindless circling breathing diesel fumes, swatting bugs, ducking under the occasional tree branch, getting dusted by windborne grass and poison ivy shrapnel, and listening to the drone of the diesel engine.  It takes about 15 minutes to circle the property one pass.  Oh the joys of hobby farming!

You learn to keep your mouth closed.  As you pass thru the pasture, you disturb the bugs.  They take their vengeance by flying into your face.  I'm glad I wear glasses.  And, I've learned to keep my mouth shut.  The hard way.  The birds circle you like the seagulls around a fishing boat.  Catching bugs.

I can't sit there and do it in one shot, or even one day.  The ground is rough.  It used to be cow pasture.  But there are lots of pot holes that you can't see covered in grass.  But they beat you up.  This year, I did it in three passes:  2 two hour passes, and yesterday I just decided to "Git'er done", with a 4 hour marathon.

I do it twice a year.  I'm late doing the "spring" cutting.  I'll do it again in the fall so it will look good for the winter.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Adair M on July 21, 2014, 02:29 PM
As promised, an updated photo. As you can see this year's needles are already twice as long as last years. I'm hoping it means its healthy and getting stronger.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Potawatomi13 on May 26, 2015, 05:21 AM
That's a nice looking tree.  Just don't get crazy removing foliage or buds.  I've got some Randy Knight Yamadori Ponderosas and one is an absolute treasure.  I'm fertilizing like crazy to insure it survives.   The buds are growing and needles lengthening but I'm not so sure the needles look as green as I'd like hence foliar feeding at least twice a week if it's not raining.
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Chrisl on May 26, 2015, 10:42 AM
Your getting there Adair!  This yr is an explosion of back buds on two PP's, even one I just gave the initial potting out of pumice this yr.  The only thing I changed was to start using akadama last spring, otherwise I have no idea why they are gang busters this yr.

Here's one, potted last yr, and styled in '12? It's languished really till this yr prob due to over working it in that first styling. (darn, forgot I shot them vertically, sorry)
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Potawatomi13 on May 28, 2015, 04:53 AM
Any chance of some better pics of these trees? Please?
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Chrisl on May 29, 2015, 10:46 AM
Here they are, excuse the mess in the back, I'm staining the cement next week a dark gray.

Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Potawatomi13 on May 31, 2015, 06:55 AM
What mess?  Thank you.  I like your tree.  While at first it looks a little awkward it also looks like you're on your way to changing that.  Most of our Yamadori do look that way. Do you have an estimated age for your tree by any chance?
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Chrisl on May 31, 2015, 10:51 AM
The second one?  I believe it's only 200 yrs, though I'm not sure to be honest. 

The tree's branching is hard to see, the older needles are long as I fed the hell out of it last couple of yrs, this yr is the first I"m holding off on ferts till elongation is complete. 
Title: Re: Ponderosa needing a bend
Post by: Potawatomi13 on June 22, 2015, 05:33 AM
ONLY 200 years?  Realize do you how funny that sounds? ::)