White pine update

This tree belongs to our bonsai club, and I wired it in the fall of 2010. It had gotten pretty leggy and like most collection trees, don’t get the regular attention needed to stay in good shape. Every so often, the break is very good for trees, but over several years, this tree had become less and less a bonsai and more and more a containerized five needle pine.
Fall 2010, before:

Fall 2010 after wiring:

Fall 2011 after a year back in the collection:

Peter Warren looked at it and said it had a lot of “blind shoots”, new shoots that did not produce buds for next year. In spring of 2012, the growth was weaker and more sporadic. In the fall, I brought it back to my garden for more sun, more food, and generally more attention. As it arrived in fall ’12:

In Spring of ’13, I did a light repot and infused some new, freer-draining soil. Lots of sun, lots of feed, and less water produced a respectable flush of growth:

Wires were starting to dig in a little, so it was unwired with the help of some friends (thanks Adam and Ron!)…quite a task considering it took the better part of 3 weekends to wire initially:

It was good to see the wire had done its job. Next year will be another year of “pumping up” and hopefully it will back bud a little and we can start to compact the design.



6 thoughts on “White pine update

    • Crust,
      Our club owns the trees, and they are on display at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The BBG handles daily watering and security, and we handle the rest. Like most public/group collections, they can become a little neglected, are sometimes worked on as practice, and are often worked on to maintain, rather than worked on to really improve the quality of the bonsai. This can be due to concern for aftercare, or because people may be timid to make a stand on the design of a tree that they don’t own.

      If they were displayed closer to the building where we meet and work, we, as a club could benefit more by using them as part of our lectures, shows, and workshops. Unfortunately, that’s not possible right now.

      To ensure they receive a little more regular attention, some members have started adopting trees from the collection for a season or more. The ultimate goal is to have somewhat of a rotating display, to add interest and ensure the trees come off display at times to be cared for and worked on.

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