Ponderosa Pine Progression

This is a Ponderosa Pine I picked up from Andy Smith. This first image is how it was shown on his website.

The image was taken in September of 2016.
image

This second image is soon after I received the tree in April 2017.

image

I took the tree to a workshop with Bjorn Bjorholm in June 2017.

image

I started fertilizing heavy after the workshop.
You can see the results of that fertilization in the length of needles in the next two images.

July 2017

image

September 2017

image

I have continued to fertilize through the fall of 2017 and into the spring of 2018.

April 2018

image

May 2018

image

June 2018

image

I will continue to fertilize for the rest of 2018 and 2019 and see where the tree is at. All of the fertilization has created long needles and lots more buds.
The long needles and the amount of them should shorten the next set of needles. In a couple years, I will cut back on the fertilizer to just the fall. That will help to reduce needle length as all.

5 Likes

I have been watching the Bonsai Empire Advanced Bonsai classes that Bjorn has recorded. He is very adamant to not do bending of pines in the extreme of summer or winter. Was the weather pretty mild during this workshop, or did Bjorn break his own rule, and risk doing some damage to the tree? I am very glad to see it healthy and growing well! Not sure I know what to think when instructors say one thing and then do something that is contrary to what they recommend. I know that having confidence and proper technique are critical when we do significant styling, but wonder about doing workshops in the heat of summer. I want to work on my junipers this time of year. Looks like you are rightfully very proud of the development of this ponderosa!!

1 Like

The workshop was on June 3rd of 2017 according to my facebook history. May was 60’s and 70’s. but that weekend was in the 90’s with an average June temp of 69. This year we have been in the mid 70’s for the month so far. So maybe he did break his rules that year. It seems like the MN Bonsai Society holds all of their spring workshops in June.

This tree to me is the cream of the crop. This tree is by far my favorite of my collection. But I like all of my ponderosa pines. (except for that one in the other thread)

1 Like

July 2018

5 Likes

lookin good!!
:heart_eyes:

1 Like

Boom! Lookin good. Bjorns a magician…and a great guy to boot. Really cool he’s out hands on your tree. Looks great man!

1 Like

August 2018

5 Likes

Here are some September photos.

It’s really starting to shut down now. The bottom right branch is getting healthier. I will see where we are next fall to really start the second phase of the work on this one. Looking forward to next spring on this one.

4 Likes

October 2018 update.

What these monthly photos don’t really show, especially these fall photos, are the buds at the tips of all of these growth points and how much they have grown. Hidden among all of those needles is about 80 or more buds (I just counted). I imagine that by springtime some of those will have a smaller pair of buds that will pop up next to those. I imagine there will be buds that pop up on their own. How many of those will produce needles next year? We shall see.

5 Likes

Love it. The update photos are great as well! Looking forward to see what this does in spring!

2 Likes

So… the sunshine, the water and oxygen… and the fertilizer are all doing a good job! Keep it healthy and keep it strong. Then you have more options to guide its future. :gem:

1 Like

I will start cutting back probably next fall. Bjorn will be doing some workshops, so I will try to be apart of those. He did the bones so I would like him to help with the next step.

1 Like

Maybe last year for travel workshops? :thinking:

1 Like

Possible. Only time will tell.

1 Like

Well, it is November and the trees have been placed into their winter quarters. A few needles dropped this fall. If you look at the photo from June 2017 you will see that there were not many to drop off.

1 Like

Well, I repotted this tree yesterday with the help of Matt Reel. Wrong pot color and shape from what I am looking for, but it had the width and depth to allow for the angle change that I needed. I went too far with it by a couple of inches but that can be readjusted next time.
I was surprised by the roots. Three years from the collection, two years being fertilized spring to winter with Sumo Cakes® Acidic Blend. I was expecting to see coarse roots and a tangled mess, but what we found was lots of fine roots. This is only my third Ponderosa Pine repot and this one was not like the rest.

Ponderosa%20Repot
Ponderosa%20Repot%202
Ponderosa%20Repot%201 Ponderosa%20Repot%203 Ponderosa%20Repot%204

1 Like

Here are the finished pictures of the tree’s repot.
As I said above, its the wrong pot for this tree but it works to get the angle change completed and to get it out of the gross soil it was in from the post-collection potting. It also allows me more time to find the pot I am looking for and it can be more suitable as well.
I will move onto fall fertilization and rewire the tree this fall to reset the image.

2019%20April%20-%20a 2019%20April

5 Likes

It looks like I forgot to update this thread last year.

July 2019

September 2019

And this year. Today June 19th, 2020.

3 Likes

Great looking Ponderosa and thanks for sharing the progression. Based on the last pics it looks like you did some editing of the apex. I think obscuring that tight bend where the raffia was is the way to go. What are your plans for the left side of the tree? I like the frame the current left branch creates around the jin/shari but also feel like it negates some of the drama of that area. Planning to extend the right side out further?

Great tree!

2 Likes

I think that left area will look better this fall or next. If not then the back branch can play a bit of a counter on that side. I do feel that the right side does need a little more extension on it. Not much, but enough to continue the movement in that direction.

2 Likes