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I am trying to repot a handful of trees each weekend in the lead up to spring to get ahead of the growth that seems to be quickly approaching. One of the trees I potted last weekend was the below, tall Japanese white pine.

The little pine didn’t start it’s life as a white pine and in fact was collected (liberated) from a local pine plantation’s roadside where it had self sown. I collected it really only to test as grafting stock.

It had some nice bark and a strange curve atop an otherwise straight trunk. It was also very thin which meant it had a small root ball and was easy to collect.

Turns out that it took the graft really well and the white pine foliage I grafted on has thrived.

After the graft being successful I think I let it grow out for a couple of years before I cut all the original foliage off. Essentially I was able to replace the long (20cm-ish) and shaggy original pine foliage with neat and compact white pine.

After the experiment was confirmed a success, I decided I should probably do something with it so I styled the tree and finally got it into a pot.

I really like how this one has turned out for what was just an experiment. It has a lot of development and growing to do before it is any more than styled stock but I think its off to an interesting start. I am really liking the tall-ness of this tree and it has made me want to go and dig a handful more so I could graft them and assemble a group. I did have to remove the tap root this re-potting but it had few feeder roots growing from it so fingers crossed it is a quick recovery.

Just a quick post for today. I was going through some old holiday photos (mainly bonsai pics) and came across a small Japanese White Pine I had worked on in Japan.

I am really getting more and more into shohin sized trees. They are really challenging to grow well yet are easy to handle and take up much less bench space, which is a plus.

The challenge with this tree was to create enough detail in the foliage by means of multiple layers to give the illusion that it was in fact a much larger tree.

IMG_5338

Before

IMG_5370

After

Of course half the battle is starting with good stock which this little tree certainly falls into the category of.

Hopefully I can start producing some stock similar to this in the coming years.

Prior to the recent AABC convention, I was asked to style an established Japanese white pine that had reached a stage where it needed some work to get it back on track.

It had been worked on a number of years ago during a workshop held by Hirotoshi Saito where the second trunk was bent upwards from what was a heavy first branch. Since then the tree has grown out with the occasional branch guyed down from time to time and with some trimming to keep the growth somewhat compact. What the tree was desperately needing was a full wiring and styling.

As the tree arrived in my garden.

I cut a good amount of branches off and had to do some heavy bending to move the apex from leaning towards the back to leaning forward. Most of the work was sorting out branch structure and setting basic branch positions to prevent thickening in areas that you might not want it in the future and providing structure for the tree to grow into.

Some of the removed branches.

After a couple of days wiring.

The tree will really benefit from a couple of years growth to fill out some areas such as the apex, but it now has a solid base structure to build upon further in the future.

The graft in this trees case is quite noticeable at the moment but I think that once the white pines park begins to crackle it should start to blend in much more. How long will that take? Who knows. I think 10 years would start to see the process beginning.

You don’t see many White pines in Australia and particularly of this size. It will be a good tree to keep an eye on as it progresses in the coming years.

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