Author Topic: Decandling White Pines  (Read 5768 times)

Frank Serraiocco

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Decandling White Pines
« on: October 27, 2010, 11:38 PM »
Hello,

I am relatively new with bonsai but I have learned quite a bit in the time that I have been practicing.  Unfortunately however, I cannot seem to find any information on how to decandle white pines in order to develop shorter needles.  One bonsai dealer near me that has practiced for about 40 years told me that one way of doing it is to cut all of the new shoots in mid summer all at once, and then the second wave of growth in late summer will be shorter.  Is this technique okay and does anyone know of other methods to develop short needles? 

Thanks for any help.

Frank
 

John Kirby

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2010, 06:13 AM »
Frank,
Because of the growth strategy of mountain pines (like JWP) decandling is not an option because they do not respond strongly as the low land pines like JBP. Breaking new growth (pruning) in summer can help, but the best methods are associated with watering and fertilizing. If you water JWP less, not frequency but volume and you delay adding fertilizer in the summer, the needles will shorten. For example, I don't fertilize JWP until the first of August in NW Arkansas, about the same time that I start fertilizing Ponderosa pines, this gives the new shoots plenty of strength in the spring when the are forming, but doesn't lead to excessive lengthening in the summer, when we start fertilizing the new growth has just about hardened off.

Where do yo like? getting that info (Zone and general location) will help folk to be more specific.

John
 

Frank Serraiocco

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2010, 03:33 PM »
I live in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.  Thanks again for the help.

Frank
 

tanlu

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2010, 11:19 PM »
Frank,
Because of the growth strategy of mountain pines (like JWP) decandling is not an option because they do not respond strongly as the low land pines like JBP. Breaking new growth (pruning) in summer can help, but the best methods are associated with watering and fertilizing. If you water JWP less, not frequency but volume and you delay adding fertilizer in the summer, the needles will shorten. For example, I don't fertilize JWP until the first of August in NW Arkansas, about the same time that I start fertilizing Ponderosa pines, this gives the new shoots plenty of strength in the spring when the are forming, but doesn't lead to excessive lengthening in the summer, when we start fertilizing the new growth has just about hardened off.


John,

That's very interesting. I've heard people reffer to JWP as a "mountain pine", but I never understood what that meant. Do all "mountain pines" in general respond slower than pines native to lower elevations? Besides having them grafted onto JBP roots, do you have any tips to improve their vigor? Can you recommend any good literature on JWP? It's my favorite subject for bonsai, and I'm always looking for new info on the species.

Frank,

I have one unusual 12 y/o JWP seedling with longer needles (about 2.5 inches), so I understand where you're coming from, but don't most JWP already have needles short enough for bonsai culture? I read that lots of direct sunlight (depending on where you live) back-budding, and finer branch development, will also result in shorter needles.

-Theo
 

John Kirby

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 07:34 AM »
Ah, it is all a matter of degree. I think you just need to understand that they are different. There are some relatively fast growing JWP, like zuisho, but they are more difficult to manage because of the growth habit. I think you just have to deal with the fact that it takes longer to develp JWP, but once developed are easier to maintain, without dramatic rebuilding and restructuring.
 

tanlu

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 12:36 PM »
John,

I think your last reply was exactly the answer I was looking for. You seem to know a lot about JWP. I started bonsai last year and JWP are my favorite subject. The variability in JWP seedlings is no joke...I have 3 seedlings and all look like completely different species. I'm going to start training them this winter, while in the meantime learn as much as I can about the species.

Do you have any finished JWP bonsai I can see?

-Theo
 

John Kirby

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 01:48 PM »
None finished, we have experimented for a number of years (~10) with them in NW Arkansas. When I first moved here about 20 years ago I was told that I couldn't raise them here. However, I do have several and have grafted white pine on to Ponderosa pine in NWA with good luck. If you want to see a big JWP that I have had for about 6 years, and should be wired this spring (I figure that it will take me 6 or 7 days of full time wiring) after Boon and I get it repotted and settled in. It is at this link: http://bonsaistudygroup.com/white-pine-discussion/root-connected-jwp/

John
 

tanlu

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2010, 11:03 PM »
I saw that post, but I didn't know that thing was yours! You have quite a collection...impressive, to say the least! There seems to be another JWP next to it with very nice color.

Can you recommend any good literature or care sheets on JWP? I found some at evergreengardenworks.com and lvbonsai.co.uk. Do you know any other sources?

-Theo
 

John Kirby

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2010, 06:40 AM »
Let me think about the care sheet, there are a couple of good articles in Bonsai Today and I have read a couple of great pieces ib International Bonsai (Bill Vavanis' periodical). I'll see what I can find.

The JWP in front of the big seedling JWP is an Ara Kawa type JWP that is grafted on to JBP. It did not like getting repotted 4years ago and has finally decided to grow well the past two years and again needs to be wired and styled. It has nice color.
 

tanlu

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2010, 03:37 PM »
I really would like to see a photo of that Ara Kawa. How is the bark on it? When I first became interested in JWP I planned to purchase the Ara Kawa cultivar because of its "warty bark", but I couldn't find any of decent size and/or within my student budget.

I have one 6y/o JWP seedling from Mt. Ishizuchi, Japan that I purchased from Julian Adams. It already has unusually rough bark for such a young age.   

I tried looking on those two sites, but I couldn't find any free online articles. I sent Bill Vavanis an email but I'm not sure if he'll respond.

 

John Kirby

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2010, 05:33 PM »
When I get home next week I will try and remember to take a picture of the Ara Kawa, it has a 6" base or so is about 20-22" tall. John

(Bill is a quality guy, I bet he responds, either here or to your email)
 

Frank Serraiocco

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Re: Decandling White Pines
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2010, 12:26 PM »
So I've been reading a bit more about Japanese White Pines...is it true that they only push out one wave of growth each year?  If so, this might explain the difference in care tactics for the white pine that I have.  My eastern white pine pushes out 2 waves of growth practically on the same schedule as my black pines.  Since this is the case, wouldn't it be safe to remove all of the spring growth and allow the summer growth to replace it...similar to a black pine except all at once rather than weakest to strongest 10 days apart?

Frank