Large White Pine

Posted: March 3, 2013 in My Trees
Tags: ,

032This is an imported tree which was originally was sourced from Kyoto Bonsai for a client of my mentors in the UK. The tree was totally re-styled by my mentor for the client and was planted in a custom-made Dan Barton pot.

My mentors client decided to give up keeping bonsai trees and decided to focus on breeding his snakes instead (don’t ask me why). My mentor was offered the collection and he gladly excepted having worked on many of the trees over some time getting good results. He had a small yet great collection with mainly white pines (they were his ‘thing’) and a few other trees. Unfortunately, as is the case with many people who get tired of the hobby they were a little neglected and some looked a bit worse for the ware especially with the harsh winters we started to receive at the time. I was roped in as ‘muscle’ (which I don’t mind, it’s always fun and interesting on these sort of jobs) and looking at the trees I was pretty impressed.

My mentor decided to keep two of the trees which he felt quite close too having worked/developed them and wanted to sell the others. I loved this pine which was for sale and when I saw it, I knew I wanted to buy it. So with a bit of a chat I managed to secure the purchase of it. The tree had a dead branch, was looking a bit weak and because I helped out, I got a really good price for it.

The picture of it, is of the tree just coming up to three years down the line since I acquired it. Since then I only did some minor wiring and maintenance pruning. I decided that the tree was getting a little too out of shape and was due for total wire a re-style. The fact that I am going to Japan for a month in April was another factor but, that’s another story.

The health of the tree seemed to improve year on year that was until last year when I was a little disappointed at its progress. Understanding/reading a trees health is one of the key elements to keeping/developing bonsai and its something I think I’m only truly starting to grasp/understand. I belive the tree is in need of a re-pot. The soil isn’t too bad but, it stays too moist through the growing season especially with the weather we have been having. So, I’m going to re-pot in the next month.

White pine are a mountainous tree, which aren’t used too our wet winters in their natural climate and need to be kept on the dry side in the winter. I learnt from reading a post by Peter Tea, that in Japan that they keep white pines so dry in the growing season that the weeds wilt in the pot. That’s ok when the air moisture is as humid as Japan and the pine can get moisture from the air but, in the UK I belive they need to be watered more with our dry atmosphere. They don’t dislike water but, they appreciate drying out between watering’s.

Here is the tree, post me wiring it this winter. (If you are wondering about the actual size of the tree it’s about 27-28 inches tall with a trunk about 6 inches thick. The pot is about 18 inches across and 4 thick. It’s pretty hefty too.)

It didn’t turn out too bad, I don’t think. I know it’s a cleshay but, the photo’s don’t do it justice. I’m not much of a photographer, I don’t really have the setup to photo trees and light was fading at the time (well those are my excuse’s anyway).

I could have taken more needles off and neatened the image but, they are a weaker pine (especially in the UK) and I wanted to leave as many as a I could. The final image is not such a problem at the moment its more important to get the structure set and it will fill out in time. I would have liked to put more movement in the two first branches but, they are old and brittle and it was the wrong time to do that sort of thing anyway. Other than that I’m quite happy with it. My skill has certainly improved but, I still have a long way to go yet.


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