Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Ponderosa Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: John Kirby on August 11, 2009, 08:55 PM

Title: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on August 11, 2009, 08:55 PM
Hi, is  to  fun to have a guest who has developed a number of Kokufu award winning trees. Akio Kondo was visiting and was game tp take on a project or two. I had purchased this tree from Andy Smith 3 or 4 years ago, and had repotted it in 2007. The tree had a very nice base, great bark, and a very straight 3 inch trunk/branch sticking straight up from the nice base- a real project. This tree took a full day of work, a couple of engineering workarounds and here is the start and the final outcome. There are two possible fronts, the first is as it is presented now and the second may be better if the apex grows strongly. Anyway, the tee went from about 4' tall to about 34" tall.

John
(Matsubonsai is off to the right in the first picture- sorry John)
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: andrew on August 11, 2009, 09:10 PM
He did some serious bending on that tree.  That's incredible.

                                               andy
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: boon on August 11, 2009, 10:08 PM
very nice,
ah,  it is a two shirts tree. 
Boon
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on August 11, 2009, 10:21 PM
Yes, two shirts and 3 packs of Kents.

Also, it is August and not the optimal time to do this kind of extreme work. The tree was placed under 30% shade, out of the wind and gets misted a couple of times a day. Also, the tree is not fertilized, it will not be fertilized until mid September or October.
John
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: MatsuBonsai on August 12, 2009, 08:08 AM
John,

I'm sorry I missed seeing the final outcome of this tree, but as I'm sure you know sometimes work gets in the way.  Oh well, at least I can see the pictures here.  Thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: AlexV on August 12, 2009, 10:59 AM
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
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: mcpesq817 on August 12, 2009, 01:00 PM
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!
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: 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
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: mcpesq817 on August 12, 2009, 05:53 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

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!
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: bonsaikc on August 12, 2009, 07:19 PM
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
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on August 12, 2009, 07:21 PM
You have to watch the apex and branches with plenty of foliage and lots of growth. There actually is o wire on the bent sections of the trunk, it only has the vertical aluminum wired between the first and second layers of raffia. The branches that were raffia'd and wired are all now pointing down, which will slow their growth, will keep track but am not too worried. As with all trees, you need to check it to be sure it doesn't surprise you.

On your trees, I would try and work in the fall, before you get any of that early, tender, growth we isouth of theMason Dixon line frequently see on these babies.

John
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on August 12, 2009, 07:24 PM
Chris,
He will be back in the states, hopefully you will be able to see him then. The tree was wrapped with raffia (very, very, tightly), 6 pieces of 5mm Aluminum wire was placed on the side of the tree on the outside of the bend, and then a second very tight layer of raffia was applied. Then big clamps and rebar and wood to force the bend.

John
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: mcpesq817 on August 13, 2009, 10:29 AM
You have to watch the apex and branches with plenty of foliage and lots of growth. There actually is o wire on the bent sections of the trunk, it only has the vertical aluminum wired between the first and second layers of raffia. The branches that were raffia'd and wired are all now pointing down, which will slow their growth, will keep track but am not too worried. As with all trees, you need to check it to be sure it doesn't surprise you.

On your trees, I would try and work in the fall, before you get any of that early, tender, growth we isouth of theMason Dixon line frequently see on these babies.

John

Thanks John - this is very helpful.  I'm signed up for another Ponderosa workshop with Larry Jackel this October, so maybe I'll wire one of my older trees at the workshop, and let my new tree rest.

Speaking of wiring, do you use raffia on your Ponderosas?  A member of my club recommends using those self-adhesive bandage tapes that you can get at CVS, saying that they are much easier to apply and they breathe.  I tried using them last fall, and they were pretty easy to work with.  The tape adheres to itself, but is not so sticky that it adheres very strongly to the bark of your tree.  Do you have any thoughts on using that in lieu of raffia?
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on August 13, 2009, 12:03 PM
I use raffia. We have had this conversation with Boon and others a number of times, raffia consistently holds and does not stretch, which is essential for maintaining the structural integrity of the branch/trunk. Other folks may disagree, that is fine, we use raffia not plastic tape, not vet wrap, etc. You should use what works best for you.

Have fun with Larry, he is a classy guy.
John
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: mcpesq817 on August 13, 2009, 12:35 PM
I use raffia. We have had this conversation with Boon and others a number of times, raffia consistently holds and does not stretch, which is essential for maintaining the structural integrity of the branch/trunk. Other folks may disagree, that is fine, we use raffia not plastic tape, not vet wrap, etc. You should use what works best for you.

Have fun with Larry, he is a classy guy.
John

Thanks John for all the help.  Really appreciate it.  Great trees - thanks for posting them.
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on August 18, 2009, 05:32 PM
Wait till you see some of the trees that are going to get worked on this fall....
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: MatsuBonsai on March 16, 2011, 06:44 PM
John, any update on this one?
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on March 16, 2011, 10:20 PM
Is doing great, will move to CT on Friday. John
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: Yenling83 on April 20, 2011, 12:47 PM
Hope your move goes smoothly, thank you for sharing this transformation!   
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: Chrisl on November 27, 2011, 02:25 PM
John, any updated pictures of this PP?  I'm curious how the major styling looks and how the tree responded.
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on November 27, 2011, 05:49 PM
It is doing fine. Will repot in the spring.
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: Chrisl on November 27, 2011, 07:44 PM
That's great to hear the tree is doing well!  I hope to see a picture next spring after the repot ;D
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: Dan W. on August 16, 2012, 11:31 AM
John, any updates on this or other PP's in your collection?
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: John Kirby on August 16, 2012, 06:40 PM
The ponderosas are doing well in CT, this tree has filled in well, lot's of backbudding, will try and get pictures this weekend.
Title: Re: Ponderosa Pine transformation
Post by: Chrisl on November 11, 2013, 10:01 AM
Pics??  ;D