Even though it’s January, I’m just now starting my pine fall work. This entails pruning and thinning extra needles. When time allows, I wire the branches too!
Here’s what this looks like with a young root over rock black pine grown by Eric Schrader.
Root over rock black pine – 14 years old
I’ve had the tree for the last few years and it’s been a lot of fun to work with. Here it is after pruning and needle thinning.
After pruning and thinning (thanks, Max!)
And here it is after wiring.
The goal at this stage is to get the primary branches into place and increase overall branch density.
Once the branches were set, I noticed that the best front for the tree might be to the right of the current front. Here’s a close-up.
I plan to make the change a year from now as it doesn’t need repotting this year. I may remove the sacrifice branches then too. I left them this year so they can continue to accelerate the healing of a large scar on the back of the trunk.
News & Updates
On January 15th and 16th, the Bay Area Bonsai Associates will be holding their 40th annual exhibit at the Lakeside Park Garden Center in Oakland, California.
The event runs from 5pm – 9pm Saturday with a Peter Tea demonstration at 6:30pm and Sunday from 10am – 4pm. Club sales by the East Bay Bonsai Society and Marin Bonsai Club both days. Admission is free. Paid parking is available within Lakeside Park.
Although I won’t be teaching workshops or private classes for the next few months, I plan to host classes taught by a colleague the week of January 17. If you are interested in a workshop or private classes January 17th – 22nd, call or write and I can provide additional information.
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A good adjustment. I trust Peter Tea will work on ‘tea trees’ . As their sensitivity to root work has cost me a lot of $’s.
Hi – nice post as always! Can you point out which branches are the sacrifice branches? Are they the branches not shown in the “new front” photo?
Jonas Dupuich says
Thanks, Matt! That’s right – the long, spindly branches that aren’t shown in the new front photo are helping close a wound and will be removed in a year or two.
Very new to this so I’m very removed from any knowledge on traditional and popular styling. I’m not much for art either but in saying that I do know when I like something. I really like the lower half of this tree with the smaller needles and the miniature tree look, the upper looks like it doesn’t belong and I lack the experience to see what the future plans might be. What is the future vision for the tree and how are the long spindly upper branches going to be incorporated or is the entire top going to be removed once the aforementioned healing has taken place?
Apologies as no offence intended just a total naivety on display interested to know and learn.
Jonas Dupuich says
Hi Mike – thanks for the great question, your intuition is on the mark! All of the long, spindly branches will be removed in the next year or two. By letting these branches grow when the tree was young the trunk and roots were able to thicken quickly. Now that the roots look good on the rock and the trunk is a good size I can begin to remove these “sacrifice” branches. I don’t know what the exact final silhouette of the tree will be, but it’ll be closer to what you see in the last photo.
If you’re curious about how sacrifice branches work, here’s an example of a tree with multiple sacrifice branches: https://bonsaitonight.com/2019/08/06/bonsai-development-series-16-developing-the-trunk-with-multiple-sacrifice-branches/