Candle-Cutting time 2018

It takes about 100 days for the second flush of JBP growth to finish and harden off. That needs to happen before the first frost, so find your first frost date, and count back 100 days. That is when you should decandle black pines.

First up, this Arakawa cultivar from Telperion Farms. This one looks goofy because I’m letting the first right branch run wild for a few years in hopes of getting a back-bud closer to the trunk.

Done. See that “Irish moss” in the photo above? That stuff has to go. It is invasive, has a big root system, and prevents the soil from drying out. Interestingly, it starts out as very pretty deep green velvety moss. But don’t let it fool you!

Next up is this JBP, originally styled by Peter Warren in 2011. It’s coming along nicely. I like the trunk movement at this planting angle, and the branch structure is starting to mature a bit.




Moss removed here too, and a little light pruning to reduce clusters of shoots down to a pair of shoots.

I don’t stop feeding pines after candle cutting, so these will continue the regimen of Pant Tone cakes and regular doses of fish emulsion.

Good growing!


“Peter Warren JBP” 2017 Update part 2


The work:

1.  Remove yellow needles

2.  Reduce new needles to balance the strength.

3.  Remove dead tips (pine tip moth was rough this year)

4.  Thin congested areas.

5.  Reposition some of the wires to fan out the shoots.


Next spring, I swear I’ll get the planting angle right:

Like this…

Happy Spring repotting season!

“Peter Warren JBP” 2017 Update part 1

Quick history; bought this one back in 2009 from Brussel’s.  My son was less than 2 when I brought it home:

Here is the front:

Spring 2011, it has been allowed to grow freely.

Peter Warren did a demo with the tree in 4/11:

With a little help from my daughter…

Peter returned that fall for another round of work.  Here is a shot a couple years later in 2013:

It was repotted into its first bonsai pot in 2014, and I started working on pushing the growth back toward the trunk, and replacing heavy branches with finer ones.  Early 2015:

Late summer 2016:

After thinning, pruning, and wiring in spring 2017:

And repotting to a deeper and forward-leaning planting angle, although it still needs to lean more to the right, but that part of the root ball needs to be reduced in stages, so it leans a bit left now:

Growing well in early May: