4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

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4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  Lothriel on Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:06 am

Hello all,

Please excuse the newbie ignorance, but I'd really appreciate some help.
A friend got me a starter kit with 5 Japanese Black Pine seeds as a gift.  As per the enclosed instructions, I went ahead and planted them all in the supplied pot, with the supplied fertilizer (the details of which are unknown) and was super excited when 4 of them sprouted!
However, it's now been about a month since I planted them, and I'm left wondering what to do next!!
I've tried searching for information about the next step, and am rather overwhelmed with trying to piece everything together, as I haven't been able to find much about what to do with seedlings.  I came across one article about how to make cuttings at around the 3-month mark, but I can't help but notice that my sprouts look notably different than those pictured in the afore-mentioned article. (ie. already much taller, with no signs of the trunks darkening any time soon...)
Do they need to be transferred to their own separate pots?  Should they be moved outside?  Should I be concerned about how long and lanky they are?
Any assistance from this stage would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!




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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  yamasuri on Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:59 am

.......now what?......Is looooong way to go

PS:
Sorry I wasn't helpful much but I couldn't resist

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  Lothriel on Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:09 pm

yamasuri wrote:
PS:
Sorry I wasn't helpful much but I couldn't resist

Wow...understatement of the year, right there.

I am aware of the fact that trees take a long time to grow, and that bonsai is time-consuming, etc., thanks.
No point in considering the distant future if I can't get any information on what to do over the next few weeks, though, eh?

Everything I've come across is either about a) what to do with a bonsai you've bought, or b) how to get your seeds to germinate. As my first post indicated, I'm looking for some assistance with an interim situation.

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  jgeanangel on Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:53 pm

http://bonsaitonight.com/2011/07/01/how-to-create-seedling-cuttings-japanese-black-pine/

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  Lothriel on Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:38 pm

Thanks for the link.
Unfortunately, this is the one I've looked at already.

I'm concerned that my seedlings look very dissimilar to those posted in the article (no dark trunk, but already notably taller, as mentioned above). There's also some considerable debate over the efficacy of those cuttings. Which is why I wanted to ask about other possible plans of action.

If that's really the only piece of info. available, though (legible books are unfortunately not an option for me in my current location), then there's nothing for it except to give the cuttings a try...

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Move Outside

Post  TextMe on Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:14 pm

I recommend moving outside provided temps are not hovering around or below freezing. Leave them in the current pots until 2nd or 3rd year. Once established in pot, move to the ground (for fastest growth) for a couple of years. Per USDA. Gov: Japanese black pine typically grows on medium fertility, slightly acid, loamy to sandy soils. Establishment is by planting bare-root or container-grown plants 2-3 years old. On sand dunes, the use of container-grown plants is recommended. It may be established using bare-root two-year-old seedlings where soil and moisture conditions are good for plant establishment. It is desirable to dig a hole 2-3 times larger than the container, backfill with peat moss, then mix thoroughly with the sand. Place the roots in the hole and backfill around them. Water immediately. Japanese black pine is grown in nurseries from seed, using conventional propagation practices. Hope this helps.

Bill

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  fiona on Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:38 pm

Hi Lothriel,

Part of the lack of response to your question arises from your location. The bulk of folk who post regularly on here are from the US, the UK or a tropical zone.  We don't know what your climate is like so can't really comment. Perhaps if you gave us some details of what temperatures you get oudoors at this time of year, how much sunshine etc.

All I can say is that when I grew some Black Pine from seed it took two years to get them to any sort of point where they even looked like trees.  They were germinated outdoors in spring  and  kept in an unheated greenhouse over the winter (not a particularly cold one that year).  They were left outdoors after that. By the end of two years they had grown to about 6 inches tall and the stems (couldn't even call them trunks) were getting sturdy enough.   After three years they were given to school kids to do some basic trunk twisting on at a demo day we did at a local garden centre. I have no idea what became of them after that.

Our climate here is temperate, seldom below about -3C in the winter but our "summers" seldom get above about 18C.   It is also quite wet.

Hope that may be of some help.

btw I grew mine in individual 3inch pots right from the start in just a bog-standard garden centre multi-purpose compost.

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  timahlen on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:26 pm

Lothriel,

I have grown several black pines from seed in the last ten years.  In fact I currently have 25 Ponderosa pine seedlings that are in about the same stage of development as yours.  In my experience it is important to to follow the instructions in the bonsaitonight post.  If you do not deal with the taproot, you will not likely achieve an attractive nebari.  Trimming as the article suggests, causes multiple new roots to sprout, and they usually do so in a radial pattern.

Make sure you keep your seedlings outside.  Give them plenty of sun.  Don't over water them.  Don't let the roots get overheated in that tiny cup, and when they stems start to turn--which might be in just a few days given the right conditions-- follow the instructions in the article.  To be on the safe side, since you don't know how the seeds were treated before they came to you, you may  want to treat the roots with a fungicide.

And when you trim the taproot, do not put them all back in that ceramic pot.  Put them into individual peat or plastic nursery pots.

Tim Ahlen
Dallas, TX
Zone 8b


Last edited by timahlen on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:34 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Additional info)

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  Lothriel on Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:26 am

Thanks very much, guys, for your help.  I've got a much better idea of how to proceed now. Cool

I believe Beijing is done with its frozen temperatures for this year, though it's still only averaging about 8 degrees C during the day.  It's also extremely dry here.  Extremely, ie., it hasn't rained once in the last 4 months.  Heck knows what's in the soil here, either, because the pollution really is no joke...

I think I'll give the cutting a try in the near future, though.  At least for the one seedling that looks the strongest, with the middle bud.  The other three may get some time outside first.  

I may be moving back to Japan in the near future (fingers crossed), so hopefully I can a) get them across the border, no fuss, and b) then give them some quality attention in a more suitable environment.

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  MKBonsai on Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:22 am

I will post some information later that will allow you to greatly shortcut the growing and development process to give you a respectable Bonsai in a much reduced timescale. As soon as I'm in the office later I'll dig it out and post it. It's worked extremely well for me.

I'll be back.......

JT - MKBonsai

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  MKBonsai on Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:02 pm

The best methods I've found are both found in Bonsai Today - page 140 in the Bonsai Today Masters Series on Pines, or Bonsai Today Issue Nos 20 and 106. If you can't locate these, let me know via private message and I'll sort a summary out for you.

Best,

JT - MKBonsai

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:52 pm

HI Lothriel
I think the reason your seedlings don't look like the seedlings in the Bonsai Tonight article is because they are not getting enough light. The long thin stems are a reaction to insufficient light. These need to go outdoors as soon as possible, even if it is just the outside of a windowsill or a balcony. I know it is not common to have garden space outdoors in Beijing. For USA members, Beijing climate is similar to Saint Louis, Missouri in terms of temperatures. Cold in winter, hot in summer. But not as cold as Minnesota, nor as hot a Memphis. Rain is another matter. I am not familiar with your rainfall pattern, but if I remember my geography right, your winters can be quite dry.

Personally I have skipped the "seedling cutting step" recommended by many Japanese and the Bonsai tonight article. To completely remove all roots is risky unless you have ideal, humid, warm, and sunny growing conditions. You will loose half or more of your seedlings if you cut off all the roots and your humidity is too low. I would instead, when you repot the seedlings to individual pots, prune the taproot then, but keep the fine roots that do spread horizontally. I will usually do this the second or third year of the seedling's life. I normally use a flat tray, and keep the seedlings together in a group until the second or third growing season.

It is a long haul. But in as little as 10 years, you can have trees that look like trees. Bonsai trees. If your growing conditions are less than ideal, plan on 15 years, but still it is an achievable goal.

Read Evergreen Garden Works 2 articles on growing Japanese Black Pine. http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm

below is a flat of mixed seedlings, getting ready to start their third growing season. Pinus bungeana(Lacebark pine), Pinus edulis (2 needle pinion), ginkgo, and Ostrya virginiana (hop flowered hornbeam)
Both pine seedlings still have juvinal foliage, needles are single, rather than in bundles of 5 for Lacebark, or 2 for pinion. Needles should change over to adult this 3rd growing season. Lacebark the seedlings look blue-ish, pinion the seedlings look more green.




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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

Post  MKBonsai on Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:05 pm

I agree with the view on not cutting the roots off to produce a cutting from your seedling unless you have a number of seedlings that means you can afford to loose some. Cutting does reduce root to apex height to form a good stocky base but can mean losses which isn't desirable if you only have a low number of seedlings.

JT - MKBonsai

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Re: 4 germinated Black Pines from seed ... now what?!

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