Plucking needles at decandling on a black pione

Possible rookie mistake by over plucking several black pines. Results - good new buds but very slow to develop. Could this be caused by too little needle mass ? Not enough foliage to photosynthesize ?
This is in the Houston area and very hot since decandling. Thoughts/comments ?

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Hey Vern, any pictures, I too am in the Houston area. Have a few black pines I am working with. One air layered black pine I separated this late summer. Maybe we can collaborate.


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Good idea. Can send some pics later. What part of town? Are you a member of the Houston Bonsai Society? Great group for any help and some very good JBP growers.

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I am not a member of the HBS, my work schedule did not allow and it’s an hour drive for me. A possibility I will try this year to intermingle with some Bonsai folks. I currently reside in spring.

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The HBS meeting place and day have changed. May be better for you. We will start meeting on Saturday morning at a location on I-10, just past 610. I can send you the details. Take a look at the Houston Bonsai Society monthly newsletter, on line. Lots of good information and contacts.
Also, there is a free workshop almost every Saturday; bring your own tree. Info is in the newsletter.
We will be having our state convention show in early April. Ryan will be one of the featured artists. It’s going to be a super cool show. Info also on the web site.
Look forward to meeting you soon.

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I am very excited for the ABS meeting. Can not wait, will be in our own back yard. Attached you will find a photo of my 9 month old JBP air layer. My first and only attempt. I believe I got lucky. May be a nice multi-trunk after some development.

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Good job on the air layer. Difficult with a conifer. Should be a nice tree.

Awsome root ball from a pine air layer.
Any pointers on how you didit?

Sorry it has taken so long to reply. To make a long story short, my dog knocked over the parent plant and it struck another pot knocking off the cambium and the tree started to bleed. I knew from previous experiences with pines that they could bleed to death at certain times of the year. So I began researching JBP air layering, as the newly emerged candles were of concern to me. This was pre Mirai by the way, and when I discovered Ryans work. I came across this website:

I used these guidelines in March of 2018, with the exception of not removing the candles, this plant was 25 inches tall with 5 or six candles emerging from the very top. I watered every other day, and decided to check for roots at about month four. No luck. So I re cut the newly formed callous with a razor blade and began another round of waiting, as Mr muranaka states that this could take up to a year and a half.
At the end of August, I started to notice that the moss was drying out much faster and the whole bunch of candles was way bigger than when I started and as I rotated the container, I noticed this mass of roots emerging from the slit in the container that I used to contain the moss. At this point I knew I could not provide enough watering for this air layer, being at work 12 hours, 6 days a week, I was watering 2 to 3 times a day. The container that contained the moss was about the size of a cake frosting can. It would surely parish. So I decided to separate and plant in Boone’s mix. At least it would have a fighting chance on it own root mass and a bigger supply of moisture than I was providing. It has set buds for next seasons candle growth and I can only assume that the repot was successful. Guess I will find out in a couple of months. Hope this helps.


You can see here that the air layer is almost as big as the parent plant as of today, and the parent plant where separated, and of the bud set at the very top.