Help with a pine

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Help with a pine

Post  Nemotux on Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:59 pm

Hi all,

Newbie here in Brooktondale, NY. I've experimented with bonsai in the past without much success. After giving it a rest for a couple years, I came into the possession of a cute little pine tree that wasn't doing so hot in a friend's garden and got evicted by said friend. So I'm thinking maybe I should give it a more dedicated go. And I'm looking for advice on how to care for it/style it/etc. Also, if anyone knows exactly what kind of pine this is (I count 5 needles), that'd be nice to know. I'm assuming it's some kind of dwarf variety. The friend has another one that is healthier and it's not much bigger.

So, here's the tree after I potted it and cut off all the dead branches:



The images are about a month or two after I got it, at which point it had pushed out some new needles.

The view from other sides:







Here's the trunk. It has this little root sticking out the side:



And closeups of the foliage. It has these dense, chaotic pods of needles:





I'm assuming I should let it rest, grow stronger, and get used to the pot for the remainder of the year and only start doing anything more next spring. But then next spring start training it. But how? Seems maybe informal upright style? And work towards shortening the branches in back?

Thanks for any help!

Nemotux
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Re: Help with a pine

Post  Marty Weiser on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:49 pm

It looks like a grafted white pine (5 needle) of some sort. Fertilize consistently this year to build strength. My suggestion is to repot next year into a coarse soil mix and let it gain strength. If it pushes strong candles next spring you can break them off by about 1/2 to start to encourage back budding. Fertilize well and consistently starting a few weeks after it is repotted (I like a granular organic fertilizer for coarse soil mixes so it is used every time I water) . It looks to me like you have a couple of seasons of recovery and back bud stimulation before you get serious about styling. I find candle and shoot control in white pines a bit trickier than in other pines so I would focus on getting it strong before you do much work.

Marty Weiser
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Help with a Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:45 am

Your tree is grafted. Can you see the graft union? Where did your friend get it? If it is from a garden center, it is probably a dwarf cultivar of eastern white pine, Pinus strobus. See thread on this subject, "Pinus strobus really?"

bonsaisr
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Re: Help with a pine

Post  Nemotux on Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:22 am

bonsaisr: Ok. Yes, I can see where it's grafted. It was in my friend's garden for sometime. Not sure where it came from originally. But I wouldn't be surprised if it came from a garden center.

Marty: Thanks for the advice! I'll give it plenty of time to recover and work on convincing it to back bud.

Nemotux
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Re: Help with a pine

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