Black Pine 075


This black pine came by way of Ed Clark at Round Valley Nursery. I purchased it in 2015 as part of a workshop on pines with Ted Matson.

Ted talking about the finer points of bonsai design.

Lunch at the nursery and the workshop group.

By the fall of 2015 after my initial cutback I had a profusion of buds and shoots going into winter. Lots of sun and lots of water and fertilizer are what these pines like.

The trunk on this was just shy of two inches.

At this point the tree was about 7 inches tall, but there was more to come.

In 2016 the tree was really putting on weight. It would now become time to choose what to keep and what to remove.

I did that in spades, again reducing to the bare minimum to build my armature. On the right side I had to wire down the branch. It was just too large to hold with wire and look normal. Copper may have done the trick but I didn’t have the right size and didn’t feel like spending $100.00 for a couple rolls of copper.

In 2017 The tree was looking pretty good and refinement would come by way of needle plucking, candle pruning and growing out and cutting back.

It was at this point that upon removing the soil in the basket I found that there was about another 1 1/2 inches of trunk buried in the pot. I wasn’t so sure I liked this new proposition. The base of the trunk now became more slanted and longer before the first branching. Maybe this tree may have been looked over had it been planted at this height in the can. I’m not sure how I would have looked it it. That year it went into a second generation Yamaaki pot.

In 2018 I purchased this second generation signature Yamaaki pot from Garret Ryan. Someone made a mention on the internet that you can’t cut the needles on a black pine?

Of course you can. Is it standard practise? No. When you cut and choose as many times a year as I do, I have to cut the needles just to wire. When I get the armature done to my liking I will concentrate on traditional refinement techniques.

All the budding after the needle prune and cut back. I talked to Ed the other day about pines in general as he called me about how to treat some pines he has placed in the ground. We both agree in our climate we just don’t see the fine growth that people in lessor heat climates get nor those on the coast. We get 5 and 6 inch candle extension in a couple months here. That may be OK on a two foot tree but a six inch tree , that’s a disaster. But, on the other hand that’s how I can get a small Shohin tree from rough stock to pretty refined in 4 years.

The white water like stains on the pots is daconil. I hate the new formulation as it turns a milky residue on everything, even leaves.

This was the tree in June 2019, and it has a fresh crop of needles on it. This was after the needle cut I did. The needles were pretty small and the same all over.

This is the current image for the tree Jan. 2020. It has come a long ways in just four years.

Posted January 5, 2020 by California Bonsai Art

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