Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => White Pine Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: mc4mc44 on March 07, 2011, 09:12 PM

Title: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: mc4mc44 on March 07, 2011, 09:12 PM
i live in an area surrounded by eastern white pines, and there is one that looks pretty old growing in a rock crevice. its in a perfect spot to collect, and has a very nice trunk. its a medium sized tree (about 15 in.), but has good movement and a thick trunk (about 3 in.) it looks like a nice little tree, still pretty flexible and could be made into something nice. i was about to collect it last year so i read about them online to look for any tips for collecting and growing them, all i heard was that they were pretty bad for use as bonsai. this made me decide to wait to try it. everyone said that they rarely bud-back, have very long internodes and the needles do not reduce. there also seems to be problems with the bark ageing slowly. i will probably collect it over the next year, just take it slow and hope it turns out alright.

so basically what im asking is has anyone had any experience with them? do any of you have any tips for needle reducing, or getting it to grow more compact?  it should be similar to all five needles, but i just want to check if it really will be worth it in the end. thanks, mike.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on March 07, 2011, 09:17 PM
I think you've certainly got the right idea and attitude towards giving it a shot.  I have no experience with eastern white pine for bonsai, but have heard the same as you.  There's a nursery grafter here that uses them as understock for Japanese 5-needle, so if nothing else you could always try grafting.

I say go for it, if you have permission to collect it, of course.  I would love to see your progress documented.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: bwaynef on March 07, 2011, 09:56 PM
Lindsay Farr demonstrates grafting JWP foliage onto a decent P. strobus trunk in one of his videos.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Don Blackmond on March 08, 2011, 08:41 AM
here is a photo of Jim Doyle's eastern white pine on display at the Midwest Bonsai Show in 2010.
http://bonsaistudygroup.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=787.0;attach=6823;image (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=787.0;attach=6823;image)
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: bwaynef on March 08, 2011, 10:04 AM
Here's an au naturale EWP @ the NC Arboretum's permanent collection.  The user AJ here may have more information.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: rockm on March 08, 2011, 03:04 PM
In collecting ANY tree for bonsai, it usually comes down to "is it worth the trouble?" That usually means if the first three feet of a wild grown tree is nice or even remarkable, it can be a candidate regardless of species quirks. If you dig the pine, is the trunk and resulting final image going to be good enough to ignore the long internodes, smooth bark, etc.?

In short--If the plant has movement in the lower third of the trunk, has some decent trunk girth and rougher mature looking plated bark, go for it...
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: mc4mc44 on March 08, 2011, 05:55 PM
thanks a lot you guys, those trees are great. matsubonsai, you can expect a pic of the tree as soon as its collected and as long as everything goes well. thanks again everybody, mike.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Treebeard55 on March 08, 2011, 11:05 PM
I also shied away from Pinus strobus, until I was pulled up short by Jim Doyle's splendid bunjin at the Mid-America. Now I'm reconsidering.

Good picture, Don. I think your pic turned out a little better than mine.  :D
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Alain Bertrand on March 09, 2011, 11:35 AM
the needles do not reduce.
A few months ago, in a French and Spanish bonsai magazine, there was an article translated from Japanese (probably published first in bonsai sekai) which showed total defoliation of JBP to get shorter needles. Why not give a try with some trees before collecting any ?
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: mc4mc44 on March 09, 2011, 01:01 PM

A few months ago, in a French and Spanish bonsai magazine, there was an article translated from Japanese (probably published first in bonsai sekai) which showed total defoliation of JBP to get shorter needles. Why not give a try with some trees before collecting any ?

i could never do that, if i killed the tree i would never forgive myself. and i searched "defoliation on japanese black pine" on google and nothing came up. do you have any link to an article like it online?
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Alain Bertrand on March 09, 2011, 02:33 PM
If uploading here small pictures scanned from the magazine (fair use, I think)  could be accepted, I would do it.
Any way, I am going to try this year with a few P. pinaster whose needles are really to long and don't reduce well. If it worked, it would open me many collecting possibilities.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: John Kirby on March 09, 2011, 11:37 PM
I wouldm't totally defoliate a JBP, but taking strong trees down to 3 pairs of needles will make the long, long, needles shorten very quicky.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: meushi on March 10, 2011, 12:05 AM
I have read the article in question, it is downright scary looking but seems to work for that specific person in that specific Japanese climate. He seems to be the only person doing it over there but I think a lot of French amateurs (based on the discussions on PB) will try it this year. There were a few comments saying that a few professionals in France already do something similar with local pines, with great success in their climate.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Buffrider on July 28, 2011, 03:45 PM
I have one of these lying around that I bought when I first got into bonsai and was told that they suck as bonsai so I'd like to see some more on this.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Alain Bertrand on July 29, 2011, 03:00 AM
Quote
I have read the article in question, it is downright scary looking but seems to work for that specific person in that specific Japanese climate
I have tried this. It did reduce the needles for about one half. No too bad.
As for an online article, there is one here (http://web.me.com/petertea/PeterTeaBonsai/Aichi-en_Journal/Entries/2011/4/15_New_Black_Pine_technique.html).
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: John Kirby on July 29, 2011, 08:11 AM
Good for you Alain, I have inadvertently done the same with a couple of JBP this year, late frost, allowed buds to elongate, etc. I strongly suggest that folks look at tree health, climate you live in, etc, before trying on a mature tree.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: amkhalid on January 05, 2012, 11:10 PM
everyone said that they rarely bud-back, have very long internodes and the needles do not reduce.

Not entirely true... they will bud back a bit if grown in a very coarse soil, and the needles will reduce a bit as ramification increases. The tree below is only about 16" tall from the lip of the pot, so that can give you an idea of what you can expect (not my tree, its a friends).

Finding a good strobus is harder than finding a good jack pine. The bark takes a long time to develop but if you know where to get some old stunted trees, go for it. If you have the ABS book North American Bonsai, there is a nice one in there with some info.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on November 09, 2012, 12:44 PM
I have been struggling with P. strobus for 15 years or so.  The comment is right, if the first 1/3 of the trunk is interesting, go ahead and collect it. When they are good, they are pretty darn good. More often than not, they will be a disappointment , but you won't know if you don't try. Do try it.

I found strobus to be very difficult to get them to grow in the shapes I want them to. If the central leader is intact, they tend to be simple bean pole, with branches coming out at the whorls like the spokes of a wheel. If you remove the central leader, and then in fall, remove the fat terminal buds, the growth pattern becomes rather random, almost like an oak or other deciduous tree. Branches tend to come out at odd angles. Complete disbudding in fall does force some back buds, but not uniform enough to be satisfactory. Not very pine like in the end. It never buds back where you want it to. It will bud back, though very rarely on wood older than 5 years. I have gotten reverse taper a couple times, at the hub of the 'wheel spokes', and then you need to carefully plan sacrifice branches to correct the reverse taper. Basically, strobus is much more difficult, less responsive to technique than JWP.

But I do like the fact that I can leave strobus on top of my bench in winter until I hear the temps are going below 0 F, or below - 15 C, and the trees do just fine. Really, in zone 4 or warmer all you have to do is set the tree in the shade for January through to time the ground thaws.

My tree is probably 25 to 35 years from seed, it has only just barely begun to develop bark scales on the first couple inches of trunk. So smooth bark is pretty much a permanent condition for these trees, unless you collect an old one.

I will keep working on the 1 that I first styled 15 years ago. I won't add any additional. The others that I collected back in 1997 that I haven't done much to, I will eventually use as under stock for JWP, once I find a JWP cultivar that I really want to propagate.

Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Charlestonbonsai on October 17, 2013, 06:23 PM
Does any one know of any short needle pines that grow in my hot climate? JWP's and JBP's supposedly will die because the winters aren't cold enough and the main native pine I have is the longleaf which has been used but isn't very impressive as the needles are about 5" long.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: bwaynef on October 17, 2013, 08:00 PM
I'd be surprised if JBP wouldn't grow well for you.  Charleston SC?
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Owen Reich on October 18, 2013, 09:00 PM
Try Pinus echinata.  Short-needle pine.  Had a few collected ones in Georgia.  They should perform well in SC.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: augustine on October 21, 2013, 09:24 AM
Charleston,

Do you have native Virginia pines in your area? Maybe an option if it occurs naturally.

A fellow club member collected a witches broom with short needles and grafted it onto JBP root stock. He then grew a bunch of seedlings from it's seeds, claims the needles are short. I have one and am growing it. Also, have three in the ground that were collected from an area in which they were mowed over repeatedly.

I snipped a candle of one branch to see what it would do. Grew back strongly. I've read that the trunks tend to stay thin? However they are strong growers and easy to care for.

Best,

Augustine
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: M. Frary on December 13, 2013, 12:33 PM
  Just posted a picture of my Eastern White Pine on the native pine species thread. Nature did all of the work so far.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: Dan W. on December 13, 2013, 02:05 PM
Here's the link to the thread with Mr. Frary's tree: http://bonsaistudygroup.com/white-pine-discussion/native-rocky-mountain-white-pines-aonyone-working-with/15/?topicseen (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/white-pine-discussion/native-rocky-mountain-white-pines-aonyone-working-with/15/?topicseen)
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: M. Frary on December 13, 2013, 02:41 PM
  Thank you Dan.
Title: Re: eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?
Post by: mc4mc44 on September 13, 2014, 12:07 AM
I have one of these lying around that I bought when I first got into bonsai and was told that they suck as bonsai so I'd like to see some more on this.

Well then, i have good news.

After 3 years this tree finally came out of the ground. No tap-root. Small rootball. We got most of it though. My old man helped, mostly with the swearing.

Im not sure how the tree was even living where it was, it had so few roots. We cut only three roots worth mentioning, only one needed the saw. The other two got chopped with the shovel before we even noticed, they were only 1/4".

Since it's the fall we just threw her in the ground, it'll be less worry come winter. It's not a tree moving from a tiny rock pocket high in the mountains of Colorado being planted at sea level, its a tree moving about a mile east. Hopefully planting it in the ground won't come back to haunt me, we'll see.

Wait until you guys see this tree...
Ill be able to post pictures tomorrow afternoon. 5" trunk, covered in ancient bark. This tree was better then i remembered.
I'll just post a new thread.