Late summer cleanup on a corkbark black pine

This cultivar, ‘hachi gen’ is on its own roots, and is a flaky bark corker, as contrasted with the winged corkers. These two facts make creeping moss a mortal enemy.

So with an hour to sit with the patient mindset necessary for this tedious chore, I and my tweezers got to work on this Shohin-sized JBP.

Mossy encroachment

And after the work:

Clean, but not tidy. I don’t do summer candle-cutting on this tree, because it has never responded with a reliable and balanced second flush of growth. So, instead, I remove some of the new long needles, and over the winter, lightly prune to open it up a bit.

Here it is with some of the new linger needles pulled:

The pot, Suzuki Syuzan. A little gem. Stamped on the front, back, and bottom.

Shoehorning a Trident Maple into a Shohin pot

I have had this tree for close to 20 years now, and this is probably the smallest it’s ever been. Deciding to make it into a “sumo” Shohin later meant challenges to finding a suitable pot because the base had gotten wide. It’s been in this 12″ wide Ino pot for the last few years, which is visually too big. Most Shohin pots are around 6″, which are too small. Fortunately, I found this Ikkou at 7 3/8″, that I thought would work.

The current planting:

Unpotted:

I only had to remove a little from the heavy roots to make it work, and I tried to leave some live feeder roots on each cut to prevent dieback.

I also potted it a little deeper this time to encourage fine roots. Over time I can raise the planting depth and expose more flare. For now, here is the result.

Watered in:

Shohin Japanese Maple winter pruning and wiring

I have had this little clump for about 3 years. The mature bark is starting to form, and it has a good base starting to show that “turtle back” look. During the growing season, it has been pinched, and during the winter it has been pruned, but I have not wired it yet. As it started the winter:

Close- up of the base and bark forming:

Some heavy areas to address, largest trunk:

Pruning at the red line:

Back left trunk:

Pruning at the red line:

Pruned back:

Wired:

Placed and evaluated:

Adjustments needed:

Finished for now:

Transitions are softer now, and the tree has some balance from side to side. It will be repotted again in spring, and the work for 2020 will include building some ramification, and addressing the apex of the tallest trunk. Pot, Koyo.