Black Pine

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Black Pine

Post  Michael Tigue on Fri May 13, 2016 10:49 pm

I recently picked up this black pine for $200.00. It is in a weakened condition.

The needles are green, somewhat stiff and there are many buds, but they are 1/4 inch to an inch in length.

I've had it for a few weeks and they don't appear to be elongating or opening up.  I'm in zone 6.  Whether has been warm 70-80f but pretty wet. A lot of multi day stretches of rain.

Soil is mix of aggregate and organic soil.  It is fairly open and doesn't appear to be root bound.

Just curious if other folks growing black pines notice slower growth during heavy periods of rain?

Other than scratching bark, are there other ways to know for sure its alive and not just living on sap?


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Black Pine

Post  Michael Tigue on Fri May 13, 2016 10:50 pm




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Re: Black Pine

Post  Carterbeall on Sat May 14, 2016 3:17 am

I am by no means an authority on black pine or bonsai for that matter, but it seems that there are some small candles extending in the second photo which would have to have to be this year's growth. The two I have seem to respond well to very coarse soil with a lot of fertilizer. They are potted in about 85% expanded clay aggregate (between 1/4" and 1/2") and the remainder of bark. As for confirming that it is still alive, I know of no other easy way than scratching the bark, but scratching and seeing green does not help the tree as does providing proper care. You will find out sooner or later if the tree is alive, but it is better to care for the tree wether or not you think it is alive. I had a buttonwood that was hit by a 25 degree night when the heater went out, and it did not show green for 3 or so months, but I watered it anyway, and before I knew it, there were buds popping all along the trunk and it was 4 feet tall by the end of the summer! I know that conifers are a different story, but I have read about black pine that have turned brown and lost all their needles, then with proper care, returned to full heath within several years. Do you have the tree positioned in full sun? They love a lot of sun.

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Re: Black Pine

Post  Michael Tigue on Sat May 14, 2016 3:55 am

Gets a fair amount of sun through most of the day. Its a wooded lot though so there are periods of shade. Every tuft of needles bas a bud in it. Some quite small. Others a bit larger. There is only one branch on the right hand side and its the weakest. Really hope I don't lose it.

Its 30 inches tall and the trunk at its base is 8-10 inches. Think it has a bit of potential if it gains strength.

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Re: Black Pine

Post  Carterbeall on Sat May 14, 2016 4:01 am

Michael Tigue wrote:
Its 30 inches tall and the trunk at its base is 8-10 inches.  Think it has a bit of potential if it gains strength.  
I would certainly say so!
But I think sun could be your problem- my black pine like having totally unobstructed sun from about 10-6. Aside from that I would assume that you are watering thoroughly, then waiting for the soil to dry reasonably before watering again. What are you doing for fertilizer? That could be limiting the growth because a lot gets flushed out when using coarse soil.

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Re: Black Pine

Post  Michael Tigue on Sat May 14, 2016 4:08 am

I can move it to an area that gets more direct sun. I watered couple of times. One of those times to fertilize it. Its rained almost every day since I got it.

I grow almost everything else in straight rock so I can water and feed liberally, but its still in the aggregate soil mix it came in.

If its grow picks up, I'll probably transfer it to a training box with straight rock in it. No root work, just lift it and move it. Until then I put a little slow release fertilizer on top and will probably give a bi weekly feed.

The fellow who parted with it invited me out to dig some field grown tridents. And while I was out there I can across the black pine sort of struggling along in an old hoop house.

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Re: Black Pine

Post  Carterbeall on Sat May 14, 2016 4:15 am

Ok that sounds like a good idea to me. I am not sure about the rock though. Do you mean like gravel or decomposed granite? I guess if that works for you, but it seems like it would dry so quickly that it would be impossible to keep up with watering. Then again, I know in Japan, sometimes pines are grown in straight coarse river sand.

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