Pine on the Brain

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Pine on the Brain

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:17 am

Lately I have had pine on the brain. Working way beyond the normal schedule, it's been a struggle to get my Japanese Black Pine bonsai trees through their summer work cycle. Pine trees don't take a lot of work throughout the year, but they take concentrated work at least twice a year (in Florida that is). When you factor all the pines that I have, I spent lots of free time in August, September and even into October working on them. Wouldn't hurt to have an apprentice. alien

Here is Dragon's Cave before and after.




I plan to post many more on my blog. Already posted some there and it's too much work to do it again here. Sorry.
Mad


Last edited by Rob Kempinski on Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Pine on the Brain

Post  Rob Addonizio on Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:25 am

Nice work Rob.

A question for you. Is it true that you left the top needles a bit longer that the bottom trees? Perhaps that is in relation to the relative size of the individuals in the planting. I am a total NOOB when it comes to pines Rolling Eyes

Great Blog BTW Cool

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Re: Pine on the Brain

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:41 am

Rob Addonizio wrote:Nice work Rob.

A question for you. Is it true that you left the top needles a bit longer that the bottom trees? Perhaps that is in relation to the relative size of the individuals in the planting. I am a total NOOB when it comes to pines Rolling Eyes

Great Blog BTW Cool
I don't worry about needle length when I am developing a pine tree. The key point is to get light into the interior of the tree and to let branches that need it to fatten grow wild. (All covered in my book BTW). This tree is still several years away from being show ready (mostly due to bark difference) between the main tree and the subordinates. The main tree took its time to develop mostly because it did not have any mychorryzae until this past year. Also the after photo is not finished at this stage as I ran out of fine wire and needed to order more. Now I need to wait until January to finish.

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Re: Pine on the Brain

Post  Curtis on Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:08 am

Hey Rob, I was just checking out your blog. The tree you call pirates dream, is the way you grew that following the same techniques that are laid out in issue 106 of bonsai today??

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Re: Pine on the Brain

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:14 am

Curtis wrote:Hey Rob, I was just checking out your blog. The tree you call pirates dream, is the way you grew that following the same techniques that are laid out in issue 106 of bonsai today??

Hi Curtis,

i don't have issue 106 so I can't answer - probably the same though. Its the concept of using a sacrifice branch to help heal a scar and grow a new apex. I also did a simialr technique on the other formal upright on my blog and below. The apex has developed nicely.


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Re: Pine on the Brain

Post  Curtis on Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:30 am

I was referring more to the base of the tree. They use many sacrifice branches at the base of the tree to thicken.


Last edited by Curtis on Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Change of wording)

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Re: Pine on the Brain

Post  Reiner Goebel on Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:52 am

Nice work, Rob.

Honestly.

Why do I have to say that? [img]http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_eek.gif[/img]

However. [img]http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

And realizing that i am looking at a two-dimensional picture of a three-dimensional tree.

I would like you to take a close look at the apex branching of the main tree with a view towards possibly eliminating a few branches. I think it would look better if it was less dense.

And when it comes to dense, I know what I am talking about. [img]http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_lol.gif[/img]

The first left branch of the main tree has something hanging down. Can that be done away with?

And, lastly but not leastly, I think the composition would work better if the apex of the third tree from the left was made to point right instead of growing back into the trunk of the main tree.

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Re: Pine on the Brain

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:29 pm

Curtis wrote:I was referring more to the base of the tree. They use many sacrifice branches at the base of the tree to thicken.

Hi Curtis, regarding Pirates Dream - The Sunken Chest pirat (you'll have to ask me to explain that one in person when we get a chance to meet. ) When the tree was in the ground I had some lower branches to help develop the base caliper. Upon harvesting I pruned most of them as I didn't want major scars at the bottom of the tree. Pines are apically dominant and I find that bottom scars take forever to heal. The lower left side has what one could consider two branches coming from the same side of the tree and my rationale was to leave them for a few years to help the tree fill in below them. Now that the tree has and the branches have thickened, they appear to be the first bifurcation on that branch instead of two branches coming from the trunk so I might keep both of them especially since that branch is going to be much longer in the future.

I have a pine that was grown in Asia (not sure if it was Japan or China) where there was obviously once a really thick branch down low. It did its job of adding caliper to the trunk, but alas even 7 years later the scar is still there. Its slowly closing but certainly taking its time.

That's not to say that apex scars always closer faster either. The second tree I posted above has had very little chop scar closing and the scar will probably have to be a permanent feature of the design (Like software guys saying its not a bug but a feature. tongue )

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Re: Pine on the Brain

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:17 pm

Reiner Goebel wrote:Nice work, Rob.

I would like you to take a close look at the apex branching of the main tree with a view towards possibly eliminating a few branches. I think it would look better if it was less dense.

Maybe so. This tree was actually quite weak for several years (until I inoculated it with mychorrizae), so I am letting the branches get some vigor. In the future it will get thinned.

Reiner Goebel wrote: The first left branch of the main tree has something hanging down. Can that be done away with?

Not sure what you are referring to, perhaps it could be the apex of the smaller tree behind it. That is a problem in this design, the hanging branch and the apex of the first tree on the left interfere a bit. I bent the little trees apex down almost 90 degrees and will let it grow away from the main tree. However in a group planting the trees are going to occupy some of the same frontal area - that can't be avoided, however in 3D it can be seen that the smaller tree is behind the larger.

Reiner Goebel wrote:And, lastly but not leastly, I think the composition would work better if the apex of the third tree from the left was made to point right instead of growing back into the trunk of the main tree.

That's a very good suggestion. Now that Julian Adams shipped me some copper wire, I will wire that up when I get a chance. That tree (the one with the big loop) has a long way to go so there isn't much rush. BTW it is actually the 4th tree from the left as there are two trees on the left of the main tree. Unfortunately the furthest back one is hard to see in the photo and that theoretically could be another problem.

BTW(2), regarding our conversation about growing from seeds in Rochester, all of the smaller trees were grown from seed by myself.

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I hate removing wire from bonsai

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:24 am

Rob Kempinski wrote:
Curtis wrote:Hey Rob, I was just checking out your blog. The tree you call pirates dream, is the way you grew that following the same techniques that are laid out in issue 106 of bonsai today??

Hi Curtis,

i don't have issue 106 so I can't answer - probably the same though. Its the concept of using a sacrifice branch to help heal a scar and grow a new apex. I also did a simialr technique on the other formal upright on my blog and below. The apex has developed nicely.


In August and September I work my way through my Pine trees. I needle pluck, dewire and rewire. Unfortunately my wire supply is low wire so I am deferring rewiring but the timing of the needle plucking is critical so I'm dewiring, thinning and pulling needles now. By needle thinning in August/September the trees get another 2.5 to 3 months of growing season to make new candles and needles - these needles are usually nice and short. I will probably wire them in January during the start of the next cycle. Here is the quoted tree as of Saturday of this year.

The before shot on the pedestal.


And with the wire removed and most needles plucked. It's a basic Japanese pot.

I thinned out the lower left branch by removing this sub-branch. Too think this tree started as a yard tree and had some grafts applied and the apex grown from a small candle bent upwards. It has an interesting thread graft that's scion took on both sides of the drilled hol/. Next year it might be show ready with smaller needles.




This is another pine that has gone through the same process. I call this one "Kon Tiki" as it is a raft JBP. Modest Chinese pot.
Before on the pedestal. Needles are a bit yellow from too much rain.


After some thinning, needles plucking and a bit of wire. Still needs about 30% more wire.



This is a close up of the raft structure.


I start with my larger JBP in August as they will have more time to grow slightly larger needles. Prior to working this Formal Upright and Kon Tiki I did several of my other large JBP. The one exception is Dragon's Tale. I will skip that as it was out of cycle to get ready for last spring's US National Exhibition. In September I work my way to the medium and shohin JBP in my collection. Those done by the end of September will get very short needles. Waiting until October is just a bit too late and really stunts the tree. So timing is fairly critical.

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Grown From Seed

Post  Rob Kempinski on Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:36 am

Japanese Black Pine work continues.

This is a tree I grew from a seed taken off a tree in November 2000 in Kyoto. So just under 10 years from seed.
It is growing against a lava rock from New Mexico near Los Alamos.

Before shot showing good growth. The pot is by Nick Lenz. The tree is about 15 inches high and 19 inches wide.


By needle thinning and candle pruning now the tree has about 3 more months this year to make new needles. These new needles will be significantly shorter than the full season needles.
When the shorter needles grow in I will pluck the old needles and the tree will probably look pretty good but still a few years from being show ready.


A close up of the rock tree interface.



And an overhead shot to show the decent branching.


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Re: Pine on the Brain

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