Author Topic: care for recently collected pines  (Read 10785 times)


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care for recently collected pines
« on: March 03, 2011, 09:29 PM »
ive been working on bonsai trees for about 4-5 years and just recently started getting some better trees to work with. i bought a tree from andy smith at Golden Arrow Bonsai, and it is just so amazing to me at how much of a difference it is compared to what i was always working on before. (will post pics soon, too dark to do it now) i used to just work on saplings behind my house, and less expensive trees from nurserys. i am deffinately going to stop doing that and cough up the money to get better material.  the tree i  got was collected just last year, it seems to have plenty of growth that happened since he collected it. what i need to know is do you guys think it would be safe to style it this year or do you guys think i should wait another year? i deffinately know to wait to repot it, but im wondering about styling. also when i post a pic i need some help with styling. when i purchased it i thought it would end up as a very simple, straightforward design. in the picture it looked simple, but when i got it it was not what i expected, much more branches and pretty confusing. i know it will have to be a bunjin or some literati, the tree is definately made for it. will post pics soon, you'll see what im talking about when you see the tree.

Dave Murphy

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Re: care for recently collected pines
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 08:04 AM »
Collected trees, particularly older yamadori from more extreme climates, are stressed and need time to regrow roots and aclimate to their new environment.  You should wait a MINIMUM of 3 years post collection prior to styling.  There are more experienced collectors/artists out there that may start the styling sooner, but they have much greater experience then you do at assessing a given tree's health and how it will respond to pruning or wiring.  Health is everything with these collected trees.  Styling before they are truly healthy will, at the bare minimum, slow down their recovery as well as their response to your styling, and at worst, might result in the loss of branches or even the entire tree.  Take it'll be happier in the long run.



  • Steve Moore
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Re: care for recently collected pines
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 06:26 PM »
I know what you mean: I bought a ponderosa from Andy last year (see my recent thread) and I too found that its picture on the web didn't do it justice. Even better "in person!"  :) :)

Dave's right. Waiting can be rough, especially with such interesting material. But yamadori are usually mature trees, and don't bounce back from trauma as fast as young trees do -- very much as happens with us! I've already got the basic design of my pondy mapped out in my mind, pretty much. But I don't expect to do any styling at all until 2013 at the earliest.

If you don't yet have a copy of Larry Jackel's little book on ponderosas as bonsai, I recommend it!


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Re: care for recently collected pines
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 05:53 PM »
Just an addition of what Andy told me.  I got 2 burlap bonanza trees from him last year and they did fantastic with new needles and apparent survival.  Andy told me not to wire for at least 2 years after collection and potting.  So for me that's maybe 2016 if I'M ready to do a first styling by then.  Funny how 2 years can seem like such a long time but it's been almost a year already. ;)