pine maintenance in the UK

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pine maintenance in the UK

Post  phils928 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:39 pm

Hi i have only been doing bonsai for a year and have read about 20 books watched every video on line and find alot of info would appear to contradict each other.... So trial and error have been my weapons of choice lol however i would like to be a little more efficient with trees this year......... a little too much dead would is being created if you get my drift....lol i am looking for reliable info on pines bud and candle pinching etc......... can anybody reccomend a good source of info specific to the uk Thanks Phil

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  Justin_ on Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:24 pm

Dan Barton's "Bonsai Book" from the late '80s has very detailed information on pines, which if I recall was based on his own experience here in the UK. Very cheap copies available on Abe.

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?an=barton+dan&bt.x=0&bt.y=0&sts=t&tn=bonsai

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  DangerousBry on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:29 pm

Hi Phil
I was doing the same thing this evening. Here are a few that I came across. Also the comment about Dan Bartons book is right. It's full of great information.

http://ofbonsai.org/species-specific/two-needle-pine-care-basics

Also

http://www.bonsaicollector.com/articles/ramification.html

Cheers
Bryan

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  marcus watts on Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:32 pm

Hi,
it depends which species of pine you are talking about

black, white, scot and mugo all need different timing and techniques really -- also what we do in Cornwall is timed different to the guys and girls up north.

I do a fair bit with pines in Cornwall - this is a very simple overview of what i do
Black pine let grow, cut off all but the very weakest candles, second crop of candles grow smaller, needle pluck all old needles and some of the strong ones in early winter, plus pluck off buds in dense clusters and wrong places - feed hard for more buds, just feed late season for short needles, protect from sub zero winter temps and waterlogging

Scots pine - do same as above but reduce the second crop of buds to just 2 on every shoot or you get ugly clusters of 5, 6 or more that crowd the shoots and thicken the branch ends - generally much easier species and responds well with loads of buds. we leave out in winter but cover pot from excess water

White pine - grafted - quite tough and hardy as long as you let it get properly cold in winter - they really do better with a good period of exposed cold weather but weaken over time if over protected. dont cut off new candles totally - you need to shorten strong candles by 3/4, medium candles by half, leave weak ones alone. New buds form from cut area and behind, periodically cut back to these inner candles and start again. remove old needles etc late season. Again - protect from waterlogging - too much water is the biggest pine killer in uk, not the weather.

White pine ungrafted - same as above but be a bit more gentle as the tree is weaker - keep more needles on the candles and shoots so branches retain more strength.

Mugo - read Hans's blog & web site - best mugo advice i've read hans van meer

This is very much a brief overview of pine care as timing will vary from county to county but method will remain much the same.
I rate highly the advice from the book 'Bonsai master series - pines, by stone lantern' the advice works perfectly if you follow it properly.

cheers Marcus

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  fiona on Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:57 pm

Thanks, Marcus, for the best synopsis of pine care I've read in a long time.

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  phils928 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:46 am

Thank you all for your advice i think i have Dans book is in my maassive collection outnumbering my trees by 3 to 1 lol. And Marcus your advice sounds great very similar to what i have done to my scotts pine i have just left the very weakest buds on although i also have a white pine that i think i may just let it grow a crop of full size needles this yeear to gain some vigor because i took all last years candles off and although it produced buds they didnt open so it has no needles from last year and is looking a little sad for its self.........

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  phils928 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:23 am

Oh and Marcus i have read you blog very interesting and some great trees..... keep up the good work hope fully afew more years and i will have something to show for my efforts... lol

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  paulf on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:42 pm

Im doing some candle work on scots pines today. I have 2 standing next to each other on the lawn - one has 2inch candles and the other has nothing - so its really tuned to the individual plant. Im still growing them out a little more so i wont remove candles completely yet as im still after some more branch length as i build up the ramification. i do remove needles and pinch candles to even out the growth - which is mostly working for me. i think next year i will try out complete candle removal JBP style and see how well the backbudding works. personally i still doubt the JBP candle removal on scots pines - but i still have much to learn.

ive had them for 4 years so ive been taking my time and learning how to grow them - ive taken the time to observe the effects of different cuts during the season. before that i butchered a few nursery mugos as practise plants. before that i killed a few nursery JBP.

there is a nice video on youtube - the most clear ive seen on JBP pruning.
http://youtu.be/IIB8nGANvok

i have an old book by Colin Lewis which has a lenghtly section on growing scots pines in the UK. His were collected in the new forest. Its about the most detailed one ive seen sofar. I believe the pine mastery ones are excelent but i cant afford them yet. When the recession lets go a little i will buy a few more books.

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  marcus watts on Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:14 am

Hi Paul,
the bp method actually works too well on Scotts pines as it produces too many buds Very Happy You need to decide in advance though that you are going to follow the method then stick to it- plucking away at the tips of candles early season is one method - the jWp method if you like, and leaving to grow until june/july then removing is a totally different method jBp, and each makes the tree respond differently internally.

once you pinch a bit off a developing candle to stop the extension the tree begins to put energy into forming new buds at the cut, plus back buds if the tree is strong, fed and healthy. - (All pines will show you how good your care is - one small terminal bud = poor care, underfed, badly timed pruning etc. 2 buds = better, and at least you can start building ramification, 3 terminal buds or more is the aim). If you try to mix up the candle methods the tree can be weakened - Using our example above if you tip pinch early season - energy goes into forming the new buds, then if you cut off the same candle later the forming buds are lost and more energy is used to form more buds at the new cut site. By letting a candle grow unchecked the tree gains energy early season rather than losing it, this gives more 2 and 3 bud shoots later on.

Cheers Phil,
def leave the white pine to grow this year and feed it very well- white pines really need a section of every years candle (with needles) left on the branches. With a white pine every branch will slowly get too big for the design - you are aiming to produce at least one inner shoot with buds that you can cut back to to regrow the branch - pine branches are a cycle really - they are.........1) perfect size, 2) little too big, 3) too big so cut back, 4) too small, 5) nearly perfect, 6) then perfect again -so a 5 year cycle looking great for 2 of those years.

cheers Marcus

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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  paulf on Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:37 pm

Marcus, thanks for the good advice. id not heard about the scots pine responding too well - although evidence on my own trees does show this. I will need to start using a hedge trimmer soon.

just for a giggle ive gone out and taken a quick picture of the tree. Its even budding back where needles were removed. It now takes me days to prune them each year. this was a jbp style candle removal in an extremely vigorous zone - 2 new buds were selected from the whole horde that formed. and then all the 1 year old needles below it decided to have a try aswell.






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Re: pine maintenance in the UK

Post  handy mick on Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:30 pm

Hi guys,
I am loving this thread, good advice in layman terms.
For those of you who know what you are doing with pine, what is the technique used to force new growth back closer to the trunk?
Could we also use seasons aswell (early, mid or late) not months, this will help us on the other side of the world.

Thanks
Mick

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