I’d like to write a few articles this season about fall work for pines, in particular needle-pulling and thinning.
I’ll start with a simple example. One of my recently acquired pines was very weak last year. When I repotted it for the first time, I found enough healthy roots to make me think the tree had a chance to recover. I watered carefully, fed moderately, and avoided pruning or decandling.
As the new growth filled in, much of the old foliage turned yellow or brown.
Discoloration of old foliage is common for pines that are in recovery. Now is a good time to remove these old needles.
Branch with old needles
After removing the old needles
I removed almost all of the old foliage on the tree. Doing this gave me a good idea about how healthy the tree is as I can now see that there is a good number of healthy, green needles.
Because the tree is still gaining vigor, I have yet to decide if I’ll do any pruning or wiring before spring. I may, however, repot again to bring the tree closer to the intended planting angle.
New planting angle
What caught my eye about the tree was the interesting movement and deadwood – not common features on black pine.
I don’t know the history of the tree so I don’t have a good idea about how long it’s been in training or what might account for the deadwood features. I am, however, enjoying these distinctions as it’s fun to have a pine that stands out from the others a bit.
Midori Bonsai Club’s 57th Annual Show this Weekend!
Midori Bonsai Club will be hosting its 57th Annual show this Saturday at the Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino, California. Show hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I’ll be doing a bonsai demonstration on a hinoki cypress at 1:30 p.m.
A beginning bonsai workshop will kick-off at 10:00 a.m. and several bonsai vendors will have trees, tools and supplies on hand. I’ll be vending before the demo so stop by and say hello!
For more information, see the Midori Bonsai Club website.
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Yaroslav Pronin says
I see that so far you have not removed fertilizer from the ground. How long do you leave them? All autumn? Usually, starting from August, I reduce the dose of nitrogenous fertilizers and till October I fertilize with nitrogen-free fertilizers. But maybe your experience will help me review this procedure 🙂
Jonas Dupuich says
Hi Yaroslav! Good question – I usually leave the fertilizer in place until fairly late in the season as it’s still warm out (it’s been in the 70s lately). I also fertilized late this year – and the pines are still growing! – so am hoping to get a last dose in before the temps drop.
Yaroslav Pronin says
At this moment we have +15-18°C, many trees are no longer vegetating. September was hot, but I was afraid to fertilize them with nitrogen fertilizers and limited myself to slow and liquid nitrogen-free fertilizers. Hope that I’m on the right way 😀