Species Specific > Ponderosa Pine Bonsai Discussion

Ponderosa Pine transformation

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AlexV:
The fact that he was able to bend that branch is incredible.  It looks like its going to be really nice when it recovers. 

I left California right after Akio arrived, some very poor planning on my part.

Alex

mcpesq817:
Hi John, thanks for sharing the before and after pictures - very nice work! 

I have a Ponderosa I picked up from Oregon Bonsai with similar lower trunk movement and branches very similar to yours.  I've been a bit baffled at how to work the tree, but after seeing these pictures, I have a bit of an idea of how to proceed.  Thanks!

John Kirby:
Alex, good luck in grad school. Ann Arbor is a place with tremendous tradition and talent.

When you do a transformation like this, and Akio really stressed this, as does Boon, you have to be patient. It will be three years before we can take the wire and raffia off- at least. Ponderosa's are extremely flexible which allows you to do this big bend in the first place. It also means that if the tree is not fully "set" in position, it will straighten out over time. You also have to be ready for the disappointment of a branch dying or a really necessary bud not taking off. I take these trees and set them well in the back, checking on them from time to time and not really fussing with them. In a couple of years I will start to work on the needles again, then will repot to get the tree more centered and eventually will take the contraption off and then the wire.

John

mcpesq817:

--- Quote from: John Kirby on August 12, 2009, 05:03 PM ---Alex, good luck in grad school. Ann Arbor is a place with tremendous tradition and talent.

When you do a transformation like this, and Akio really stressed this, as does Boon, you have to be patient. It will be three years before we can take the wire and raffia off- at least. Ponderosa's are extremely flexible which allows you to do this big bend in the first place. It also means that if the tree is not fully "set" in position, it will straighten out over time. You also have to be ready for the disappointment of a branch dying or a really necessary bud not taking off. I take these trees and set them well in the back, checking on them from time to time and not really fussing with them. In a couple of years I will start to work on the needles again, then will repot to get the tree more centered and eventually will take the contraption off and then the wire.

John

--- End quote ---

Go Blue!

John - have you noticed significant growth in your collected Ponderosas after repotting them into free draining soil and feeding/watering them (likely more feeding and watering than they received in their natural environment)?  I ask because I saw one nice Ponderosa up at Nature's Way this spring that had pretty significant wire scarring in the apex.  I didn't ask how long the wire had been on, but was wondering if Ponderosas push a lot of growth in the apex or elsewhere once they start living a pampered life of a tree in a pot (as opposed to the harsh mountains). 

I was planning to wire one of my Ponderosas this fall or next spring.  I've only had collected Ponderosas for about a year now and haven't noticed any appreciable growth in branch/trunk thickness, except to the extent that the needles have jumped from 2" on the old needles to about 4-6" on the new needles.  My JBPs of course grow like weeds. 

Three years seems to be a long time to keep wire on (and for me being a bit new to bonsai and Ponderosas, I would get worried about not being able to catch whether the wire is starting to bite in, particularly on portions of the trunk that are wrapped with raffia, etc.).  Is there some technique to noticing if the wire is biting in through the raffia? 

Thanks for your thoughts!

bonsaikc:
John,
Thanks for sharing this with us. I was so disappointed not to be able to come. It's fantastic work. Did Akio do anything else to prepare the trunk for bending, anything to ease the bend?

Chris

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