I acquired this JWP this year, in order to learn about growing habits of different pines, and how best to develop them. Although a good sized trunk, and a healthy tree with ample foliage, this tree has no definition and was potted in Akadama. The tree had obviously not been re-potted for a few years as the Akadama had broken down into a thick, mushy impermeable block. Water merely runs around the outside of the solid medium/root mass block, not penetrating the root ball, which must also be starved of oxygen and nutrients! For trees such a pines and junipers, that can't be bare-rooted as often as others (especially older trees), due to their more dependent relationship to mycorrhizal fungi etc., a medium which retains its form and composition for longer than Akadama would therefore be advised.
The tree more or less had 'bar branches' to the lower branches, which I wasn't keen on. It was decided at a workshop with Harry to remove the weaker of the two down to a jin, and to use the other as the main defining branch. With this in mind, the rest of the trees primary and secondary branches were wired and positioned, and a new apex was chosen, and twisted round and down and over the tree base / center of gravity. Initial styling, some pruning and wiring was done at the workshop, but we didn't have time to wire each individual tuft.
When I got the tree home, I finished wiring the individual needle tufts, and turned them upwards.
The Apex still needs to be lowered further and all foliage pads will be pruned to increase density and ramification. The jin will be worked on more once it has dried out fully.
In spring, the tree will be root pruned and re-potted into a new pot, which will be unglazed, and be slightly shallower (2.5" as per the trunk girth), and slightly narrower (c.8" as per 2/3rds of the tree's height/width).
The old broken down soil around the rootball needs removing, but this will unlikely be done in one go as caution should be exercised when bare-rooting such pines. Some people bare-root in 2 halves; over 2 seasons, and others merely remove the old unwanted soil carefully over 2 or 3 potting seasons. I will decide how to go once I have examined the rootball in spring.
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I will post some pictures and descriptions of how my trees are developing, and any new projects I'm starting.
Some of the blogs I follow with great interest! .. then my favourite ceramic artists!
My Favourite Ceramic Artists
Tom Benda - Czech
Peter Krebs - Germany