Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

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Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  jonkatzmail on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:51 pm

I read that Japanese White Pines are -always- grafted onto a Japanese Black Pine root.
Why do that? Why not just grow it on its own root? It seems like it would be a lot of trouble to put yourself thru when it already has its own root to begin with. confused
Also, why not use some other kind of pines besides japanese pines to make bonsai? Or other trees in general besides only japanese trees? Bonsai books only seem to talk about japanese trees, and only seem to show bonsai of japanese trees. And nearly all bonsai books list the same trees to make bonsai from. Sleep Why not other trees and bushes in the bonsai books? There are thousands of plants to choose from, so why only the same twenty or so? alien

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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:00 pm

I THINK that it's because the bark on a black pine is "better" that that of a white pine. But I don't do pines, so that's just a faintly recalled something that I read????

On your other point, lots of other pines and lots of other trees (and shrubs) are used for bonsai. Scotts pine is often used. Mugho pine too. In the USA, Ponderosa pine is often used. My only pine is a small Virginia pine.

But I do hornbeam, Osage orange, swamp maple, hackberry, and a lot of other North American trees and shrubs.

The books show Japanese plants because bonsai has been practiced MUCH longer in Japan than in the west. As a result, many of today's finest bonsai are Japanese bonsai, but that is changing -- slowly, because it takes a LOT of time to produce a masterpiece bonsai, but they ARE changing.

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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  Glaucus on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:08 pm

Japanese use their native plants. Japan is a conservative country. They aren't going to go look across the world to find which species is best for bonsai. They have their own tradition and stick with that. Following tradition is more important than most other things.


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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  Kev Bailey on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:15 pm

Black pine are vigorous, hearty trees but white pine are delicate and more temperamental. White are more difficult to keep alive on their own rootstock. I think that is the main reason for grafting. The bark differences can be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on personal tastes.

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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  tim stubbs on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:19 pm

jonkatzmail wrote:I read that Japanese White Pines are -always- grafted onto a Japanese Black Pine root.
Why do that? Why not just grow it on its own root? It seems like it would be a lot of trouble to put yourself thru when it already has its own root to begin with. confused
Also, why not use some other kind of pines besides japanese pines to make bonsai? Or other trees in general besides only japanese trees? Bonsai books only seem to talk about japanese trees, and only seem to show bonsai of japanese trees. And nearly all bonsai books list the same trees to make bonsai from. Sleep Why not other trees and bushes in the bonsai books? There are thousands of plants to choose from, so why only the same twenty or so? alien



we do use pines other than Japanese ones , ignore the books look at what will grow near you , Scots pines are probably better than any other pine due to its adaptability or your own ponderosa pine . Don't worry about you have to do "Japanese style bonsai ", its not law

Have a look at
http://walter-pall.de/00gallery/index.html
http://www.natureswaybonsai.com/
http://www.bonsaivigi.cz/
and see what they use


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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  fiona on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:21 pm

We have had the discussion before on here regarding the almost snobby attitude that has reared its head on occasion which claims that Japanese = better regarding trees, but as far as I'm concerned that's as spurious an argument as saying if your jeans aren't Levi's then they're not proper jeans. As Glaucus states, the Japanese were merely using what they had to hand among their own native trees. It's us who have assumed this must somehow mean they are better.

In the UK there is a significant groundswell towards native trees with Hawthorn and Yew being prime favourites, and the naturalised Larch also being a favourite. But the UK has only 3 native conifers in Scots Pine, Yew and common Juniper which rather narrows down the field. I myself love many of the juniper bonsai but it is a sad fact that our native one is generally not a good bonsai subject. So in that particular case I have to compromise - which of course I am happy to do.

Additionally don't forget the obvious benefit that if you use trees native to your own country then they have a "track record" of survival in your own local climate. I love seeing the "exotic" trees that members such as Jun post as they are spectacular. But I'd never consider even attempting one over here as my climate would not support it. Indeed there are many members in the US (Rob, John Geanangel et al) who regularly post their work on trees native to their own area, and I have similar zone envy wth those too.

As Jim says, it is changing, and for the better too IMHO.

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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:09 am

Here in Florida we are using a lot of tropical species and developing our own style. While they look different than the traditional Japanese trees, I would put one of our Buttonwoods up against anything from Japan.
The Chinese have been doing Bonsai style trees for much longer than the Japanese and they also have their own regional preferences of species. In the south of China you will see a lot of tropicals and as you move north more temperate trees. In Yangzhou (east central) they use boxwoods a lot.
Many of the books are showing a variety of non Japanese species.

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Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:04 am

Unfortunately, the Midwest has very few native trees that make good bonsai, so you will have to be content with what is available in the trade. Find the nearest bonsai club and go to their next auction. You may find something unusual & interesting.
Save the dates of July 26-29, 2012 for the MABA bonsai convention entitled “Buckeye Bonsai – A Family Affair” at the Kings Island Golf Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. This not to be missed convention will be hosted by the Bonsai Society of Greater Cincinnati and feature Walter Pall as the headlining master. contact John Short, event chairman, at 513-871-1314 for more information.
34th Annual Mid-America Bonsai Exhibit
August 19 - 21, 2011
Chicago Botanic Garden
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional information)

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why graft japanese white pine

Post  paul.spearman on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:49 am

I have a large multi trunked white pine on its own roots witch I bought 6 years ago
the only problem is when I repot it sulks for a few months. my grafted white pines repot with out problem, but have got ugly grafting marks been told by Lee Vandervoot the 70 % of none grafted trees brought into Britain have died
Paul

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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  Glaucus on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:13 am

Maybe the cultivar white pines are weaker than the species and it is similar to maples.

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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  marcus watts on Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:49 pm

the white pine on its own roots is not a tree that thrives easily in a pot - they are so tempremental when it comes to moisture levels, drainage etc and are slow to re-root after pruning. These root problems lead to the branches getting weak and dieing off, from the bottom up. Due to the general weakness of ungrafted white pines they are slower to back bud and respond to pruning too. - often the foliage is a lot paler 'yellow/green too.

By grafting the white pine (which has shorter, neater more desirable needles) to the far superior stronger rootstock of the black pine you get a tree that responds to life in a pot perfectly, and the added strength the tree gains helps with producing plenty of buds to build the pads properly. White pines on their own roots are cheaper to buy in Japan too as they have required less work to produce so they should be cheaper when they reach the dealers ! while grafted trees cost more to purchase but are far more forgiving and less likely to die.

I have one white on its own roots and one grafted - the grafted one is virtually 'idiot proof' - it buds & back buds, it responds to pruning and doen't sulk or get any die off. In contrast the un-grafted tree lost 5 or 6 lower branches about 10 years ago due to incorrect soil mixture (pure akadama)in the 12-18 months after its first repot, when I never knew any different. I planted it in a growing bed for a few years as it only had 2 branches left !! and then it was only by switching to 55% kiryu, 40% akadama and 5% fresh sphagnum moss that the tree has recovered and is now responding well to life in a pot again.

While as you point out there are 100's of tree species you always need to be aware that the tree you choose needs to be able to thrive both in the confines of a pot and that it will respond to all the tecniques required to produce a bonsai - preferably the species will produce inner buds and twigs so you can build convincing ramification, if it doesnt you need to treat inner growth like gold dust or you just get bare branches and tufts of foliage. More importantly the tree must respond and recover from regular root pruning, if it doesnt you will never make a bonsai. I think you are better off with some Japenesse trees that are proven and well documented in the methods required, then some native / experimental trees to play with and learn from.

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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:04 pm

JimLewis wrote:The books show Japanese plants because bonsai has been practiced MUCH longer in Japan than in the west. As a result, many of today's finest bonsai are Japanese bonsai, but that is changing -- slowly, because it takes a LOT of time to produce a masterpiece bonsai, but they ARE changing.

The Chinese have been doing bonsai for longer than the Japanese. There are many varieties of bonsai in China from temperate to tropical. The west looks to Japan for bonsai primarily due to geopolitics after WWII.

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Re: Why graft japanese white pines? And, why only japanese trees?

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