Author Topic: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs  (Read 9114 times)

JRob

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Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« on: October 16, 2009, 07:12 AM »
Good Morning All,

I have two Shohin that I will start to style in 2010. One is a Pinus thunbergii, var corticosa or Japanese Cork Bark Black Pine and the other is a Pinus thunbergii 'Koto-Buki' a very small needled Japanese Black Pine. Both are 5.5" tall. I will post pics latter today so you can see them. I have had them for a year and I been studying their structures and sketching possible design choices.

If you have worked on trees of these varieties and have pics I would love to see them and hear about you experiences with them.

Thanks & Regards,

JRob
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 08:22 AM »
kotobuki are great trees to work on.  they easily maintain very short needles and back bud very well when cut back.  profuse budding may be for a combination of reasons including the very short needles which allow for air and light on the interior.  that said, they bud well even in congested areas. 

the only negative, imo, is trunk building/taper.  since they are all grafts or cuttings, they typically lack trunk girth and good taper.  growing them out helps but is not an easy fix since they grow so slowly.  when they do grow strongly they tend to grow long and thin, so adding girth is still challenging.  using a sacrificial branch is a typical method of accelerating trunk size.  this works but kotobuki tend to swell a bit more than is typical at branch/trunk union.  this swelling is compounded if more than one branch meets the trunk in the general area (even more common in shohin).  most kotobuki you see, even the best ones, will show areas of inverse taper and long, gradual trunk taper.  this is normal.  whether these characteristics are defects is subject to debate.

if I could own only 1 variety of jbp, it would be kotobuki  -- hands down, no contest, not even close.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 09:11 AM »
Don,
It is good that there are people like you and Harry to provide homes for these unwanted orphans  ;). In the past I would have agreed with you, however with contemporary black pine needle and candle management practices it makes the Kotobuki a nice oddity. I think some of the yatsubusas you see around are interesting, but again not sure I would go out of my way to deal with them.

John
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 09:42 AM »
with contemporary black pine needle and candle management practices it makes the Kotobuki a nice oddity.
John

with kotobuki you can have short needles without any needle and candle management practices, which makes them exceptionally nice when growing out and developing the tree since you can see the scale of the tree and don't have mid-size or longer needles in the way.  also, even with needle and candle practices you will never have typical black pine needles as short as those on a kotobuki that has been worked.  I can get my needles down to 3/8"-1/2" long if I try, and 1"-1.5" if I don't try, and maintain them that way with little or no effort.  The very short needle length makes for great low effort shohin and chuhin trees.  its just an added bonus.  i'm not saying a kotobuki is better than your typical thunbergii in all aspects, just in needle length.

your jbp probably have needles 1"-1.5" in length based on your efforts.  and they look great, at least the ones I have seen. 

some people cannot or will not put in the effort to maintain that needle length.  for example: Several years ago I sold a really nice pig typical thunbergii with short needles and inch plus long.  I got it back about 2 seasons later and the needles were three times that length because it had not been maintained correctly.  It has taken 2 seasons to get the needles back close to the same length.  after Fall needle work it will have needles close to the same length as when I sold it originally.  my point is, for a typical thunbergii the needle length requires some effort or the tree can go to hell on you.  you don't have that same issue with a kotobuki.  that's all.

 

JRob

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 10:06 AM »
Don & Jeff,

I appreciate the comments. Here are some pics of the Kotobuki.

JRob
 

John Kirby

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 11:00 AM »
Yes, but my internodes are shorter. Hee, Hee. John
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2009, 11:15 AM »
Yes, but my internodes are shorter. Hee, Hee. John

sounds like a personal issue to me....  ;)
 

John Kirby

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 03:24 PM »
Like I said, I will pass on Kotobukis, Takes a couple of years to get the real deal on target but they are worth it. You have very nice ones, with good value for collectors, I find them to be an oddity, perhaps  of value to those who don't want to work on their trees.

John
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 05:21 PM »
perhaps  of value to those who don't want to work on their trees.

John

your insult is duly noted   :'(
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 05:29 PM by Don Blackmond »
 

John Kirby

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 11:48 PM »
And hopefully taken in the context it was intended.

John
 

John Kirby

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2009, 09:11 AM »
Don,
So, how do you keep your kotobukis compact? Do you work them like white pines (cut old needles in the fall, prune to length)? I know theat their internodes (length of the neck on the candle)  tend to be long (even though their needles are short) like Zuisho White pine.

I beleive that there will be a even more interest in them after this thread, so let's educate.

John
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2009, 10:15 AM »
John,
Most of them have very short internode length, and even if you let a candle grow out it will only grow 1.5"-2" tops.  There is a strain from out west, Washington/Oregon, that has longer internode length and longer candles (2" lenth).  My trees that are built already get 100% of each candle removed (unless I need to strengthen or grow out the branchlet).  Then they put out clusters of needles (that grow to an inch in length) at the cut site, followed by buds for next year's candles.  I selectively remove buds, leaving 1 at most site but up to 3 if I an increasing density.  You have to watch them because the buds are small and many and the branches become dense due to compact length, heavy ramification and short, tight needles.  The good thing is you can cut out excessive growth the next season , early to open them back up, and they respond very well to this.
A candle fully extended and left to grown out will only grow to about 2" and will be covered in needles the whole length.  You can leave the needles and cut it back to the length of branch you want the next season, and it will send multiple buds to choose from.
Kotobuki are very compact and that can actually be a negative.  You have to thin them out, but when you do they put out even more buds to thin out, and so on.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2009, 06:04 PM »
Thanks, sounds pretty straight forward. I had a bunch from a grafter out west, I sold them off over the years. John
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2009, 07:11 PM »
I should have also mentioned that on most of my trees that I am developing I will pluck 3 year needles and leave 1 and 2 year needles.  Then, later if I choose to, I can cut back to the 2 year needles, or keep the length and just work the next cycle.  You can have 1 year and 2 year needles covering the span of an inch due to the slow growth.

Now, I should also clarify this by stating that I live in Michigan and my growth season is short.  I have heard from people in the south that have not candle-pruned a kotobuki and candle growth and needle length were longer than what I experience.  Sun, fertilizer, length of growth season all factor into this.  But for me, a fully extended and open candle will be barely more than an inch in length and rarely more than 1.5" in length (unless it is the WA/OR strain).
 

Sorce

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Re: Cork Bark and Koto-Buki JPBs
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2014, 08:16 PM »
 :o looking for an update.

And this is a good thread too.