Black pine suggestions ?????

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Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Joe Hatfield on Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:25 pm

This is my newly acquired black pine. This is my first black pine so, I am hesitant to dive right in. I have of course read a lot about them as bonsai and have been viewing many tutorials and viewing many pictures. I am looking for some suggestions in regard to styling, wiring, etc.













Thanks,

Joe

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Todd Ellis on Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:13 pm

I'm just learning how to grow pines as well. This is a nice looking literati... Where did you find it?
Regards, Todd

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Joe Hatfield on Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:12 pm

Todd, I recently bought it from a gent' trying to slim his collection. I also was able to purchase a plethora of pots which can be seen here POTs

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  JimLewis on Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:22 pm

That's a lovely little tree. It does have a lice literati shape on it. It is, however, a bit hairy for a typical literati.

Here are two looks at it if you were to take off some of the top:





_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Joe Hatfield on Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:37 pm

Jim, Thank you for the suggestions. I am more drawn to the first (fuller top) options you have suggested. I would have to agree with you in regard to how heavy it as a literati, however, do you think it would be worth it for me to pot this in a bigger pot and try to thicken the trunk? I am not sure how rational that would be for black pines.

Thanks Again!

-joe

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Todd Ellis on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:11 pm

Joe Hatfield wrote:Todd, I recently bought it from a gent' trying to slim his collection. I also was able to purchase a plethora of pots which can be seen here POTs

Nice collection of pots!
I recently dug my JBP that I planted in the ground for over ten years ago. It started out as a 10" tree (with 1" trunk) that I bought to style as a small bonsai. I grew and pruned it for a few years (for bonsai) , then decided to keep it in the landscape (convincing myself that I would leave it for the landscape...my wife said "sure you will..." Very Happy .... Anyway, it has thickened up nicely and I dug it this Fall. It will make a nice Medium to Large bonsai. The diameter at the base above the root flair is 3 1/2 ". If you planted your tree in the ground, in a good sunny location, making sure it gets enough water, then it could become a nice Informal Upright. The current first elbow and 2nd curve would be less "dramatic". Just a thought.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Velodog2 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:26 pm

Yes, no real need to thicken the trunk if you are going for a literati style.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:28 pm

Since this is a new species to you - first things first. Take it easy on the tree. The key to successful JBP is to learn how to water them. They like to get dry before watering again. Removing too much foliage now will hurt in water use and run the risk of over watering the tree. I would leave it full and watch how the tree responds to basic pruning and needle reduction. Plus I never really liked the real skimpy JP bunjin trees.

I wouldn't touch the roots now - unless with minor disturbance to put it in a slightly larger pot and to introduce some micorrhyzae.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  AlainK on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:32 pm

Good evening Joe,

To my taste, you've bought a very good specimen : it has curves where they look nice, and breaks that keep monotony away.

I truly think that you have an excellent future in your hands.

What i would do :

1/ trim the first branch on the right (1), and wire it down (1.b)

2/ bring down banch nr 2 to the back to give some depth in the overall design

3/ cut out branch nr 3, the one above (not numbered) would then become branch nr 3

4/ cut our branch 4 that would be on the same side as branch nr 3

5/ reduce branch nr 5 which seems to have needles far from the trunk, and bring it to the back

Not sure about the rest because it's not my tree, and I can't go out into the snow to ponder what might be best (yes, it's snowing again, but I love it, must be atavic D:)



I think the line of the trunk is really great, here is my poor rendition of what I picture it (but wait for other opinions, some might even adise you to sell it to your best enemy, in which case, I will gladly pay the postage coasts to old europe, aye...)



PS: Are you in Philadelphia, Pa., or Philadelphia Al. ?

Anyway, take care of this one, iy could be a number one one day... (My 2 € cents pirat ...)

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  AlainK on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:44 pm

By the way, how tall is it?

I'd say 37.5 cm from the base of the roots to the top.

Or for those who are still counting in imperial measures, one foot, one inch and a couple of hairs past freckles, more or less... Very Happy

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Joe Hatfield on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:48 pm

Thanks Todd. I have a vision of a nice informal upright, I'm just not sure if this is the right candidate for it even if it takes 10 years. I know time is required for this to do what we are discussing, I'm just not sure if its worth it for this one. Is this tree without enough lower branches to strive for an informal upright or should I stay with the literati design?


Alain, Wow Ty for the time you put in. This will prove to be very helpful. I really appreciate what you have shown me and I will consider this option greatly. I have an eye developed for bonsai but not the skill in creating my visions just yet. Smile It will come!

Rob, Yes I will take your advice in regard to waiting on the styling. I usually wait a full season or two after acquiring a new tree to begin any real alterations in styling. I have to learn to keep it alive first. I have contact with the prior owner and he has given me a simple history of this tree in regard to how it was cared for so I have a slight head start Smile

Thank you everyone.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Joe Hatfield on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:51 pm

I would say 2 pencils tall from the root Smile I'm not home now to measure but I will give a real reading when I get there tonight.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Rick Moquin on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:52 pm

Joe Hatfield wrote:however, do you think it would be worth it for me to pot this in a bigger pot and try to thicken the trunk? I am not sure how rational that would be for black pines.

Thanks Again!

-joe
... absolutely! This is a beautiful little tree, it has some nice lines. I wouldn't use a bigger pot but the ground for thickening the trunk 3-5 years maybe more it's up to you.

Rick Moquin
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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Pavel Slovák on Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:22 pm

Hi Joe.
Nice tree. Little attempt virtual. Smile


Pavel

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Velodog2 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:33 pm

Hmmm, for those advocating thickening in the ground, wouldn't having branches lower on the trunk allow taper to be developed better? I'm not sure how well this would do that now unless it is to be allowed to get significantly taller. I would say that this tree "wants" to be a literati.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  anttal63 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:57 pm

A beaut. little tree joe, congrats. i like Alain's virt but without the lower right hand branch or at least shorter. Pavels is great as all ways. cheers


Last edited by anttal63 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  JimLewis on Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:59 pm

I doubt than any of us are advocating that you do any major work on this tree for a good while yet. They're all things for you to think about. And I like leaving more up top, too.

Personally, I do NOT see an informal upright in that tree, though I suppose you could force it there somehow. It has a natural literati trunk and shape and has a strong base -- VERY important in a literati. I tend to let trees say what they want to do rather than forcing them to my will.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  AlainK on Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:25 pm

I love Pavel's option too, but I'm afraid your tree is too small to consider that option.

If this tree was P. sylvestris, maybe his design could be achieved in 3 years or so, but on a black pine I don't believe the needles will reduce as much as to fit this virtual. Wink

If the needles do reduce and you take Pavel's direction, it'll always be time to cut out that branch.

So far, I would keep it...

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Rick Moquin on Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:22 pm

Velodog2 wrote:Hmmm, for those advocating thickening in the ground, wouldn't having branches lower on the trunk allow taper to be developed better? I'm not sure how well this would do that now unless it is to be allowed to get significantly taller. I would say that this tree "wants" to be a literati.
I wasn't talking about taper. Taper as you stated needs something to make that happen (lower branching). No this tree will never have that but at roughly 3/4" dia. some years in the ground will do some good. Allot quicker than trying to grow girth in a bonsai pot, wouldn't you think?

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Velodog2 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:30 pm

Rick Moquin wrote:
Velodog2 wrote:Hmmm, for those advocating thickening in the ground, wouldn't having branches lower on the trunk allow taper to be developed better? I'm not sure how well this would do that now unless it is to be allowed to get significantly taller. I would say that this tree "wants" to be a literati.
I wasn't talking about taper. Taper as you stated needs something to make that happen (lower branching). No this tree will never have that but at roughly 3/4" dia. some years in the ground will do some good. Allot quicker than trying to grow girth in a bonsai pot, wouldn't you think?

Sorry, the desire for taper in an informal upright was just assumed. If it is to remain literati, then I don't know that I see the need for additional girth. If it comes without additional taper I'd be afraid the grace would be compromised. Maybe.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Joe Hatfield on Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:23 am

Pavel, I like the virt' you have made , I think I will work on the reduction and see if its possible.

Alain, I am in Philadelphia, PA USA.

Thanks again everyone.

I am taking in a lot from this discussion. It's exciting taking on a new tree and you guys/gals are creating a great well of inspiration as always.

Joe Hatfield
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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Brett Summers on Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:20 am

Joe. I am unsure but I am guessing that you are fairly new to bonsai. Literati seems to be a style that grows on bonsai enthusiasts. It is only the last couple of years of my 5 years in bonsai that I started to see how magical literati is. A good literati shows an artist with a great understanding of bonsai design as they are not easy to create. The way that tension balance and line work together in the most simplistic form and he apparent fragile age of the tree is inspiring.

What you have here is perfect literati material and I am pretty sure you will be disappointed in the future if you don't embrace that for the tree. If you are set on an informal upright, sell this tree(you should get good money) and buy another that will make a better informal upright in less time Wink

Alain's Mud map and virt is about as good as you could get without having the tree in your hands I reckon. Well done Alain Laughing

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Joe Hatfield on Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:14 am

My heart isn't set on anything other then learning the tree at this point. I am pretty familiar with Literati and I think that this will make a very nice one. I agree that Alain did a wonderful job . Thanks for the advice Brett.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Rick Moquin on Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:37 pm

Velodog2 wrote:
Rick Moquin wrote:
Velodog2 wrote:Hmmm, for those advocating thickening in the ground, wouldn't having branches lower on the trunk allow taper to be developed better? I'm not sure how well this would do that now unless it is to be allowed to get significantly taller. I would say that this tree "wants" to be a literati.
I wasn't talking about taper. Taper as you stated needs something to make that happen (lower branching). No this tree will never have that but at roughly 3/4" dia. some years in the ground will do some good. Allot quicker than trying to grow girth in a bonsai pot, wouldn't you think?

Sorry, the desire for taper in an informal upright was just assumed. If it is to remain literati, then I don't know that I see the need for additional girth. If it comes without additional taper I'd be afraid the grace would be compromised. Maybe.

It has the lines and grace of a literati. At this point in time the gracefulness of the trunk cannot support the weight of the canopy. Joe and the tree are still very young and IMHO would benefit tremendously planted out (to gain girth). In the mean time judicious pruning will need to be conducted to keep the top in check so inverse taper doesn't occur.

I don't believe the tree will loose much of it's gracefulness if properly cared for during this growing phase.

Rick Moquin
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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:52 pm

While debating the future styling of this tree is interesting it seems the most immediate step for this tree is to fix the root problems. The mound with the soil covered in moss along with the seemingly weak top implies the beginning of root problems. Since this tree lives up north, when the weather starts to warm a bit I would repot it into a larger pot where the soil comes up to the trunk base - getting rid of the mound. I would only gently touch the roots at this point but try to add micorrhyzae to the fresh well draining soil. Maybe use a dowel to push a few holes close to the trunk to get fresh soil near it. (Another option might be to build a temporary wood frame around the pot edge and build up soil, but I believe fresh soil around the edge and bottom of the tree would help the vigor of the tree. ) Next year I'd repot again and remove about half of the old soil. And then again the next year removing the other half of the soil. The trunk could use some girth, even as a literati but I wouldn't put it in the ground until its vigor returned with good soil close to the trunk.

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Re: Black pine suggestions ?????

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