One of the more common challenges with refining pines is balance. Last summer I wrote about a red pine forest with uneven growth (see “Getting the balance right“). To improve the balance between trees, I decandled the weak trees early and the strong trees later.
Here’s how the pine looked last spring before decandling.
April 2015 – the trees on the right are strong
At decandling time, I plucked more needles from the strong trees to reduce their vigor.
June 2015 – the stronger trees are left with fewer needles
How did this turn out? Here’s the group planting in August.
August 2015 – the summer growth is mostly filled in
And here it is in January.
January 2016 – balance is good
The improved balance made exhibit prep easy.
Red pine forest as shown at Bay Island Bonsai’s 17th annual exhibit
I expect further adjustments will be needed to produce even growth again this year – and if that’s the case, I’ll repeat last year’s approach and see what comes this fall.
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Scott Shatrowsky says
Whoa, just 1 season and the difference is huge! Terrific looking Red Pine.
BTW, have you considered doing a post on moss? Your method of cultivating it and what you do with the moss after a show?
Jonas Dupuich says
Thanks Scott – good question about the moss. I actually don’t cultivate it – I just collect it when I need moss for exhibits. After the show I either leave it in place or remove it, depending on the tree. Unless the moss is holding soil in place – like when the soil is mounded above the rim of the pot – I usually remove it.