I purchased a Scot’s pine from Telperion Farms in May and decided to style it before repotting (dumb on my part), my question is do you think it will be able to be repotted in February or should I wait until the new growth comes in and hardens off before repotting, late Summer? I live in Southern California. Any feedback is appreciated.
Do you have before and after pictures so we can see how much foliage came off?
on a similar question in the forum q&A Ryan offered to give it a full year of “recovery” before repotting and not dumb but rather the right sequence, as you now can set the tree perfectly for your design.
I think it will depend on the vigour of the tree.
For a refined styling, you want the tree already in a bonsai pot, but if you are placing primary branches, I don’t see the problem in styling first?
Looks like some pretty heavy work. I see a large chop at the top and several smaller cuts where larger branches were removed. I imagine you’ll remove the bottom half of the soil mass when you repot as the container is about 2x deeper than any bonsai pot you’ll want to put the tree into. This being the case
I would give it a year of unchecked growth to rebuild foliage mass; an extra step that is unnecessary if the repot comes first.
The new growth you’ll get in 2020 will probably be vigorous with longer internodes, but you are going to need/want to keep all that new foliage on the tree to aid in repot recovery in Jan/Feb 2021 rather than pruning back the new growth to develop ramification.
A more ideal sequence would have been:
Jan 2020 - Repot
Aug. 2020 - First Styling
2021 - Push tree into refinement
Your time line will look more like this:
2019 - First Styling
2020 - hands off to rebuild foliage mass
Jan 2021 - Repot
Summer 2021 - begin refining if tree pushes strong growth. If not you’ll need to wait until 2022.
The first scenario is going to be more reliable and won’t slow the tree down as much as scenario 2 in which it’s a lot less likely that the tree will rebound with strong growth In 2021.
With that said I have never worked with Scott’s pine. My experience is mostly with Black and Red pine and so there may be some nuances that I am unaware of.
This looks like a nice tree. Take it slow and let the tree lead and you’ll be fine.
Thanks Ryan for your detailed assessment. This is very helpful. My only comment is that the large chop at the top was performed by Telperion in 2018 if that changes your thoughts at all.
Hey @Biogregw, I wonder about Scot Pine in So Cal. I’m afraid that it might not get enough of a dormant period. In general you don’t see too many healthy single flush pines in So Cal. Black Pine will do great long term there, but i’m not sure about Scot Pine. It may eventually exhaust all it’s resources and die. I apologize for potentially being the bearer of bad news. Generally pines that require a significant dormant period will do well for 2-5 years before they start looking bad. The best option i’ve seen is to bring the tree to somewhere it get’s much colder so it get’s that true dormant period.
Doesn’t really change my thoughts on this tree. Also, in the long run the difference in time between the two timelines I suggested is really not much; not even 1 year.
Also, think about this, if you repot in the late winter 2020 you will not have the opportunity to see how the tree is really responding to the styling. Following the first timeline you would see the response to the repot shortly thereafter informing you on whether the tree is ready to be styled or not. But because you just styled the tree you won’t see what the next push of growth looks like until after repotting season. Hence the necessity to wait.
This is all a dance. You’re leading, but you need to see how the tree handles your big moves before moving on to the next.
I hear you! I send my Scot’s pine and Ponderosa to my Mom’s over the winter in the San Bernardino Mountains so it can have a true winter with freeze and snow.
OK. I am taking your advice on this one and letting it have a year to have unchecked growth so it can handle the repot in late winter 2020.