Small Black Pine Progress

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 | 2 Comments
Small Black Pine Progress

Each fall, I can hardly wait to get started on working on black pines. The long summer season of working on juniper and cypress finally winds down and we can get to serious fall work on conifers of all types. While I probably have more cypress work that I could be doing (they never stop growing!) I’ll take some time to go through my Japanese black pine collection and do needle pulling, bud thinning and wiring.

For each tree, slightly different work is needed depending on the stage that the tree is in. Many of the trees that I’m growing are just beginning to need wiring touchups each year.

First, the tree from my previous post “One Step Backward” The tree was dramatically reduced last year and improved in the process, but it will take a few more years to really see where we’re going with this one (see the sketch in the other article.)

October 2015, before work.  The tree grew shoots after candle cutting that are bit longer than desired.

October 2015, before work. The tree grew shoots after candle cutting that are bit longer than desired.

October 2015, after work.  The bud from last fall grew strongly and two small buds appeared at it's base.   I bent the upward growing shoot toward the back to allow the smaller buds to grow also.

October 2015, after work. The central apical bud from last fall grew strongly and two small buds appeared at it’s base. I bent the upward growing shoot toward the back to allow the smaller buds to grow also.

Second, a tree that I posted over on Bnut last year This tree is now 10 growing seasons old, all of this batch will be 10 full years old in March 2016.

The main work here is reduction of buds around the decandling sites, reduction of old needles and in this case I had to decide on a top once and for all. Last year I left two candidates but I finally cut off the one that was larger and further to the right because it just didn’t seem like it would ever work as a compact top for the tree.

November 2014, after cleanup and wiring to create the basic style.

November 2014, after cleanup and wiring to create the basic style.

March 2015, a closeup of the problematic top on the right and what I ultimately decided to use on the left.

March 2015, a closeup of the problematic top on the right and what I ultimately decided to use on the left.

October 2015, before work

October 2015, before work

October 2015, after thinning, needle pulling and some wiring.

October 2015, after thinning, needle pulling and some wiring. You can see the eliminated apex as a jin on the right near the apex.

Finally, the little tree below is one of my better successes from my second batch of Japanese black pine. I have others coming along, but none quite as well as this one. While it may be good enough to show now in most club shows, I think another year or two of refinement and repotting into a smaller container will really polish this tree.

October 2015, before work.

October 2015, before work.

October 2015, after needle pulling, thinning and a little wiring.

October 2015, after needle pulling, thinning and a little wiring.

2 Comments

  1. Dan Wiederrecht
    October 27, 2015

    Great work! These trees have come far. I’ve watched at least a couple of them on B-nut for the past few years, and they are progressing quickly into very nice bonsai. 🙂

  2. Ray Norris
    October 29, 2015

    Great work Eric, I wish we had more sun in Vancouver,BC to get faster growth. but mine are coming along. 3-5 years more I think.