Author Topic: White pine in akadama  (Read 6305 times)

jferrier

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 39
White pine in akadama
« on: June 01, 2011, 10:23 AM »
I just got a Japanese white pine planted in an akadama/lava/sharp gravel mix and I've never used akadama in a mix before. I realize that my climate will be different than someone elses, and that there's no exact schedule, and that it will need watering when it needs watering, but was just wondering, generally, how often others had to water their white pines in a similar mix?
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 11:28 AM »
Well, of course the first answer will be "it depends". 

Everything I own (except for azaleas) is in Boon mix (akadama, lava, pumice), including several JWP in all stages.  For the smaller trees and seedlings it just in the regular size mix.  The medium and larger trees are in a larger size mix with perhaps a little more lava or pumice, but not always.

I took a workshop at Brussel's last year and brought home a nice JWP.  I've only replaced the front half of the (rather poor, imo) Brussel's soil with (good) soil.  With some of the old soil still in the pot it's still holding a little more water than I would like, so I don't water it as often or as much as others.  How often?  Well, that depends.  ;)

By adjusting soil size and components you can control how much water stays in a particular pot.  I know some do, but I don't typically adjust how I water.  For the most part everything gets watered the same amount/frequency, with the rare exception noted above.

Got any pictures?
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 11:39 AM »
Jferrier,
Are you a member of the Dallas or Fort Worth Bonsai Societies? I know of several people who do well with JWP there, I would get with the clubs and seen what folks like Howard and Sylvia Smith are doing. Like Matsu, I would assume that they are maintaining their trees in an akadama based mix (Boon's Mix) but the strategy for managing the extreme summer heat is something that would be good to hear from someone experienced in that climate.  John
 

tanlu

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 10:58 PM »
I agree with John. Japanese White Pines normally don't do well in the southern part of the US, however if there are local bonsai enthusiasts who have been successful for many years definitely make it a priority to contact them.

I keep my JWPs in pure turface and they love it. I think the soil's ability to provide excellent drainage while maintaining moisture out ways the soil's actual contents.

Good luck with your pine.
 

jferrier

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 03:06 PM »
Well I got this tree knowing I'm heading to the Northwest as soon as my house sells, so hopefully won't have to worry about the heat. Right now it gets eastern morning sun only and misted daily. I've just not been able to tell how wet the soil is with a chopstick. The large particle sizes are somewhat dry on the outside and slightly damp inside. The tree looks very healthy now, but I am concerned the clay nature of the soil will hold too much moisture. Generally do you guys water daily or less? I'll get a pic up soon.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 03:08 PM by jferrier »
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2011, 03:14 PM »
During these 90°+ days I've got my timer coming on for 1 minute 3 times a day (11am, 1pm, 3pm) and then hand watering when I get home from work.  Before the 90° days it was only twice (11am and 1pm), or not at all since we've had pretty constant rainfall for the last month or so.

The JWP in the mix of good and (bad) Brussel's soil hasn't needed any additional hand watering.  Mostly the only trees requiring additional watering are the azaleas and JBP in colanders. 
 

jferrier

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2011, 03:35 PM »
Thanks Matsu,
That helps alot. Here's a pic. I'm going to try and air layer the top off and establish a new apex at some point because there's a really nasty inverse taper up there. Maybe you can see a portion of it. Also I'm thinking of losing that first large branch. It's just too symmetrical to me. And the surface roots (or lack thereof) will need some help. Don't know what I've got below the soil. It was jsut repotted shortly before I bought it so I'll probably wait a few years before repotting and seeing what's going on down there.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 03:39 PM by jferrier »
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2011, 03:48 PM »
Remember, you can treat this a little more like a JBP than a JWP as it has JBP roots from the grafting. John
 

jferrier

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 03:59 PM »
Yeah I knew it had JBP trunk, but hadn't thought about how that might change things. How could it be treated differently? Care, style?
 

tanlu

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2011, 01:23 AM »
It's not that different other than requiring SLIGHTLY more watering than JWP roots. In fact, their roots look completely different. I think they can be handled similarly in terms of styling. Your tree seems to be already styled. What you need to focus on is how to keep it alive and let it thrive.

On a hot windy day they should be watered at least twice. The best thing is to use your finger and dig half an inch into the soil to check for moisture. If there is none, water.

T
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2011, 08:12 AM »
Um, well, the JBP roots allow the tree to be handled much more like a JBP than a JWP. They are much hardier in containers, they grow much faster and are much less finicky about being handled. This is why folks are willing to live with the ugly grafts, it gives them the opportunity to have a reasonable size of JWP without the big investment in a JWP on it's own roots (as in cutting grown). Don't believe me? Try growing them on their own roots.
 

jferrier

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 05:00 PM »
It's not that different other than requiring SLIGHTLY more watering than JWP roots. In fact, their roots look completely different. I think they can be handled similarly in terms of styling. Your tree seems to be already styled. What you need to focus on is how to keep it alive and let it thrive.

On a hot windy day they should be watered at least twice. The best thing is to use your finger and dig half an inch into the soil to check for moisture. If there is none, water.

T

Well its always hot here so I have been watering twice a day. Soil seems to dry fairly quickly and water runs through the pot like a sieve.
 

jferrier

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2011, 05:02 PM »
Um, well, the JBP roots allow the tree to be handled much more like a JBP than a JWP. They are much hardier in containers, they grow much faster and are much less finicky about being handled. This is why folks are willing to live with the ugly grafts, it gives them the opportunity to have a reasonable size of JWP without the big investment in a JWP on it's own roots (as in cutting grown). Don't believe me? Try growing them on their own roots.

Thanks. I will be trying one on its own roots, that is, if I can get the top of this one to air layer, but that will be after this thing has survived the TX heat and made the trip to the Northwest.
 

tanlu

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2011, 10:32 PM »
Um, well, the JBP roots allow the tree to be handled much more like a JBP than a JWP. They are much hardier in containers, they grow much faster and are much less finicky about being handled. This is why folks are willing to live with the ugly grafts, it gives them the opportunity to have a reasonable size of JWP without the big investment in a JWP on it's own roots (as in cutting grown). Don't believe me? Try growing them on their own roots.

John, you're right. I mistakenly wrote "JWP" when I meant "JBP". And you're also right about JWP on JBP roots being easier to handle. Actually, all the JWP I have are on their own roots and two of them have attained considerable size for their age. I have 2 zuisho, the rest seedlings. The one thing that I find fascinating about JWP seedlings is the degree of genetic variation! I have one 13 y/o seedling that's very vigorous and can be treated almost like a JBP, while one of the Ishizuchi JWP are extremely slow, reminiscent of Limber Pine and Bristlecone Pine. I actually have more confidence in taking care of JWP than JBP, as I only have one.
 

tanlu

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
Re: White pine in akadama
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2011, 10:35 PM »
Well its always hot here so I have been watering twice a day. Soil seems to dry fairly quickly and water runs through the pot like a sieve.

Then you're doing the right thing. If you plan on getting JWP on their own roots I highly recommend stopping by Julian Adams' place in Lynchberg, VA. Visit www.adamsbonsai.com and give him a call. Very friendly guy and possibly the authority on growing JWP on their own roots on the East Coast. He specializes in zuisho JWP.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 10:42 PM by tanlu »