Hi there, this is my first post and I’m wondering if anyone has experience with this dwarf variety of Japanese white pine. It was a scraggly little thing that I found in a local nursery at the beginning of spring. I’ve given it some TLC and it’s looking greener and happier. I’m basically letting it grow so I can repot it in early spring next year. But I’m wondering if it’s OK to clean out some of the needles on the underside of the branches. I’ve watched a few of Ryan’s videos and I believe he said to wait until the needles emerge from their sheaths and the sheaths drop. And I think he said that would be in June sometime. Well, it’s June 29 and the sheaths are not dropping. Any thoughts? Thanks!
I would leave all of the new needles this year to regain strength. I would clean out some of the older needs on the tops and bottoms to insure good light and air penetration. I have a similar dwarf JWP from nursery stock and that worked well for me to get into bonsai soil. I have been slowly removing branches that are not part of the design and am finally getting to the point where I can get serious about a design after 4-5 years.
Thanks for the advice, Marty. This is my first nursery stock tree and only my second bonsai, so it’s great as a beginner to get feedback. I also appreciate that you’ve had your dwarf JWP for 4-5 years. That gives me encouragement to be patient, let the tree regain its strength, improve light and air penetration, and ponder design as it grows. All the best, Audree.