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.)
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.
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.