New Japanese Black Pine

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New Japanese Black Pine

Post  jersanct on Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:38 am

This is a black pine I bought recently from one of my local club members. It has a decent little history to it: it was started from seed by Mrs. Yamaguchi in California, and it has seen only two previous owners since it was bought from her in 1980. Estimated age from seed is around 55-60 years.

I should add some pictures from different angles, as that might give some of you some better ideas to pass along to me. The first branch and all of its secondary branches are extremely heavy and have a lot of character; more of it needs to be exposed, and it could be styled as a secondary trunk, possibly. There is an awkward gap in the middle of the tree, as you can see, but my plan is to fix this by 1) rotating the tree slightly, as seen in the second photo; 2) spreading an existing low branch on the right/rear into the open space (you can see it already peeking into this space in the second photo); and 3) lowering the branch above the gap. I haven't thought much beyond that point yet, but I have all winter to think about it before this strange Italian chap who is constantly fiddling with trees comes through town next year. Also, obviously, it could use some work on thinning and needle reduction over the next few years.

One important note: I have rescued the tree from that perverse noose you see around its neck in the photos.

I will try to add some more photos later. Thanks for looking.








Last edited by jersanct on Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:42 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fiddling with photos)

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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  jersanct on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:11 pm

a few shots after thinning it out




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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:45 pm

Hi Jersanct, Nice tree with gorgeous bark and texture and movement up the trunk! My first impression - Literati. Which means the first branch will go. It looks like it was kept as a sacrifice branch. It is also the same thickness as the trunk at that level. I think it did its job. But, others may have different ideas and suggestions. Have fun with this beauty!

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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  shimsuki on Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:17 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:Hi Jersanct, Nice tree with gorgeous bark and texture and movement up the trunk! My first impression - Literati. Which means the first branch will go. It looks like it was kept as a sacrifice branch. It is also the same thickness as the trunk at that level. I think it did its job. But, others may have different ideas and suggestions. Have fun with this beauty!

I agree with that suggestion.

Glad to see you got that god awful wire off that was wrapped around the trunk. You gonna repot this in the spring?


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New Japanese Black Pine

Post  Herb Gustafson on Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:03 am

It seems to me that either the second or the third branch could spread out and fill in the void quite nicely, depending on the rotation of the trunk, and your chosen front. The 'sacrifice first branch' could be salvaged by severely restricting growth on it for a few years and simultaneously encouraging growth from the rest of the tree, particularly branches two and three. Wonderful potential, I'd hate to see literati happen at this point if it could be avoided; and I believe it can be corrected in three or four years.
Herb Gustafson.

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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  jersanct on Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:22 am

Thanks, everyone, for the comments and suggestions.

Interesting suggestion for a literati...I definitely will consider the possibility, although I suspect I may not go that way in the end.

Just so you can see what I can see, I am showing an overhead photo of the first branch--as you can see, it has been developed over the years, and it was not intended as a sacrifice branch. I still could remove it, of course, if I were to decide to use a literati style.

Thanks again for your help - Chris


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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  jersanct on Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:04 am

Hello Shim - hope life is treating you well - I plan to do some work on it with Marco this spring, so I won't stress it with a repotting, too. Maybe next year.

Thanks again to everyone for your comments and help

Chris

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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  JimLewis on Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:28 pm

Wonderful potential, I'd hate to see literati happen at this point if
it could be avoided; and I believe it can be corrected in three or four
years.

Some of the best advice ever given here. Given a somewhat difficult tree and human impatience, literati seems to be the first thought. It often could be the worst thought.

Think some more. It is very easy to make a poor literati out of most any material. But, once you recall how few really good literati you have seen, you might give your tree a second -- or third -- thought and discover some quite nice potential in it. I for one would not be in a hurry to get rid of that "sacrifice branch. Others have suggested pulling upper branches down to cover that long straight, non-tapering and bare section of trunk. Good idea, and let whatever branches you bring down grow longer.

_________________
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: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  jersanct on Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:45 pm

Thanks for your comment, Jim. I think it's a beautiful tree and see plenty of potential in it, and I promise I would not style it as a literati purely because it happened to be the least bad of several poor options. I don't think that will be necessary.

I hadn't really considered the literati option until a few people were kind enough to post their thoughts on the tree here...as I said earlier in the thread, I don't really see myself going in that direction, but it definitely is something new to consider before I get down to the serious work in a few months. Thanks again for having a look and for taking the time to comment.

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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  jersanct on Sat May 14, 2011 6:31 am

Here are a few shots of this tree after styling by Marco Invernizzi today. We rotated the front slightly, uncovered a more attractive nebari beneath the soil, carved away traces of some old sloppy pruning, and unleashed a barrage of guy wires upon it. I'm quite pleased with its progress, but I am always happy for your thoughts. Thanks for looking.






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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  John Brocklehurst on Sat May 14, 2011 11:36 am

Hi Chris, your pine is starting to look really nice, I'm glad you kept the lower branch it gives the tree character.

I've a question for you, I hope you don't mind me asking.
When Peter Warren was last at our club he told me to cover the surface of my black pines pot with food (organic) as it is virtually impossible to overfeed a black pine. The abundance of food helps to build the trees energy reserves to develop back budding etc.

Peter said that this is the norm at Shunka-en for black pines.



I noticed you only have a few "cakes" on your pot, is this for any particular reason ? Or because you removed them to uncover the nebari ?

Regards
John


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Re: New Japanese Black Pine

Post  jersanct on Sat May 14, 2011 9:01 pm

Hello John, and thanks for your kind words. Of course, you are exactly right...I just don't have enough cakes out there at the moment. I was running low on cakes during my latest round of bird- and squirrel-feeding...er...I mean, fertilizing...so I'm spread a bit thin at the moment. I'll be fixing it shortly.

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