Small Mugo pine development & other minies

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Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Lukas Sirotny on Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:25 pm

I had a visit from my friend lately and we spent one shiny afternoon working on some trees.
The most interesting one is this shohin mugo pine - bought 10+ years in a nursery by my father as a tiny seedling and then just cultivated, irregularly trimmed and cut back. In 2006 it was repotted into "modern" substrate and later that year the first serious styling took place, in 2008 new restyling was made, 2009 got its actual pot. Last week I pulled all of the old needles and cut it back a bit. This year it has developed a little bit longer needles than last year, but this will be solved in near future with propper training - it´s still in quite an early stage of development. The total height of tree is 12 cm, pot by a local potter Ondra Plšek (CZ).

2007 may - stage after its first styling from the previous year


2008 fall - after the restyling (a golf ball for size comparison)


2009 july - before/after summer trimming






2010 july - another trimming, actual look


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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  mbolos on Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:30 pm

That's a beautiful mugo! Given its size, do you keep it in full sun? How often do you water?

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Lukas Sirotny on Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:38 pm

I also gave a first style to this small Stephanandra incisa - it is very uncommon species for bonsai, in fact, it is my first experience ever with this tree, but as I could have observed till now it grows and backbuds like a weed, it´s absolutely crazy tree Very Happy . Does anyone have an experience with this species scratch ?




My friend Honza also worked on this little scots pine, I think that in some years it can become quite cute tree - its height rounds 30 cm.








More photos from our small bonsai meeting can be found on my website - http://www.bonsairoznov.cz/fotoalbum/tvarovani-_-pestovani/mini-den

Comments on trees and possible recommendations about cultivating Stephanandra are very welcome! Wink

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Lukas Sirotny on Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:55 pm

mbolos, thanks for you reply! It is kept in medium shade an it is placed (along with all of my mame and shohin bonsais) in a tray with gravel which helps to retain moisture. I guess I may take a photo of this set up if you are interested. It is watered at least once a day, during these hot summer days 2 - 3 times a day. With pines it is not such a problem, small deciduous trees are much more delicate though and sometimes an unwanted summer defoliation due to a lack of water is made Smile.

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  craigw on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:56 pm

Hi Lukas, I really like your little mugo there is something so satisfying about growing a bonsai from a seedling. I grow stephanadra incisa in my garden but never thought about it as a bonsai subject, now I will look at it with renewed interest. Looks like it has really nice bark.
Craig

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Ricky Keaton on Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:11 am

Is the moss on the mugo pine harmful tho?

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Lukas Sirotny on Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:59 pm

Craig, yes growing "something out of nothing" is quite a rewarding feeling, kind of bonsai relax, one can not work just with yamadori monsters all the time lol! .

No, moss does no harm to pines (just obscures nice nebari of this pine), but when it spreads and covers a good part of trunk (very quickly in medium shade and moisture, especially on these small trees) you can have problems with getting rid of it - when you peel it mechanicaly e.g. with pincers you also peel away strips of bark very often Mad . So in this case Walter´s biotree cleaner proved to be very good and comfortable solution Smile .

One question for all the pine growers here in forum - how about shortening the size of needles by cutting them with scissors (I´ve never tried this, but seen many times in pictures of shohin pines from Japan)? Is it possible to apply this technique on mugos/scots pines and with which results? Does this provoke backbudding, can you control better energy distribution to different growing zones of tree? I attach photo - JBP with obvoiusly shortened needles.

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:50 pm

Hi Lukas,

Your trees are coming along nicely. The stephanadra incisa looks interesting. I'm not familiar with it but it looks like a cross between a hawthorn and Ivy.


As for pine needle size reduction, there are many specific techniques. The basic premise is similar to other bonsai techniques in that you prune/pluck needles to force back budding but with pines you factor in the timing of the work in the growing cycle to minimize the time for the needles to grow. The timing will depend on where on the globe the tree lives. In your area I would guess main work on pruning is in the late spring with plucking in the fall. There are some other factors to consider such as watering and fertilizer but this is the basic process. As for cutting needles, if you figure out the timing of the process it is not necessary to cut needles. But for a tree under development or one not going into a show, cutting needles is a short cut. Recognize that some bonsai artists will frown on this technique as it is a short cut.

PS Will you and your friend be going to the national Show in Prague in September? I just bought my tickets - hope to meet you there.

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Lukas Sirotny on Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:28 pm

Rob, thanks for your comment - I am aware of the basic techniques for shortening needles which I am currently using, I was just wondering if I could get use of "manual" shortening with scissors as a complementary technique scratch . But I also consider it quite a short cut (and don´t like brown tips of cut needles at all), so I guess that for now I won´t make experiments.
As for the National Czech Exhibition in Prague - I´ll will be there for sure, I can´t miss my demo on Sunday
... and of course yours on Saturday Very Happy. I will be looking forward to meet you in person, I admire your work very much Exclamation
See you in september!

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  ybonsai on Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:10 pm

Good job, especially the first one.

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Tom Benda on Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:50 pm

Lukáš has his Stephanandra from me, It´s a cutting from this one:
http://picasaweb.google.cz/lh/photo/qBLm4Glht570bIcfiPozIA?feat=directlink
Nebari x height 7x20cm

I have a few in development, one in pot, others in ground.
http://picasaweb.google.cz/lh/photo/9Gh3o-xB7V3OHg4-xmdmDA?feat=directlink
5x10cm

There is a problem keepin´ them wet enough. Some winters some branches go away - they grow like weeds, but the late branches don´t maturate enough to survive the winter... I think.

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  craigw on Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:04 pm

Hi Tom, How long do they take to make such a trunk. The plant I have in the garden is a low shrub with very fine branches that never seem to thicken.
Regards from Craig

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Tom Benda on Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:17 pm

Hi Craig!
It takes 5 years at least. You have to care for Your single trunk. Watch it every week. Lots of suckers emerge all the time.
My stephanandras can make even one meter long branches in one year - in the ground. If You have more of them one one plant, it´s thickening fast.
The measurements are for height and nebari part - the trunk itself has 4-5cm, resp. 3cm the second one.

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  craigw on Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:28 pm

Thanks for that Tom, I am going to propagate some to experiment with. The bark is lovely and 5 years for a nice shohin is not such a huge investment in time.
Regards from Craig

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Re: Small Mugo pine development & other minies

Post  Tom Benda on Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:39 pm

To be accurate and honest :-), I must say, the plants were two years old cuttings before I planted them for another five years to the ground...

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