JBP dilemma

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JBP dilemma

Postby Ryceman3 » April 10th, 2018, 4:36 pm

OK, so ...
I have had a couple of JBP for almost 1 year (the first JBPs I have) and have spent the past 12 months getting myself acquainted with the process that goes into looking after these trees. Since I had no prior experience and I know compared to elms, maples, natives and even junipers, pines are a completely different animal - I sought the help of somebody with much more knowledge than myself...
... (hi Tien) ... :yes:

I have spoken with him at each stage and got a LOT of useful info, but I thought I'd throw this out to see what others think of this :

Here's what I did ...

Both trees were root pruned (quite hard) and repotted, still in training pots, at the beginning of Spring (needles were also thinned). After a recovery of a few weeks they were fertilised heavily and good growth and candle extension occurred ... all going to plan.

I laid off the fert leading up to December and then "decandled" early December. Within weeks I had multiple buds appearing around the cut candle site which was the aim, so again ... all going to plan!

I then watched patiently over summer, just watering and leaving the buds/candles to extend into shoots - which they did, shorter needles than the first flush ... which is the plan! :yes:

Autumn ... and time to cut those shoots back to two and see what we have... which is where my question/search for input comes from :

Where multiple buds have formed at one site, even though it's only a few months from the December de-candle, when I cut back to two shoots I have a pretty significant "knuckle" (swelling) from the shoots. So much so that I have no option but to cut this growth back past the initial de-candle point and hope for back-budding on the remaining needles ... starting the construction of the branch again. It hasn't happened at every cut point, but enough to make me think I need to address this before repeating the same error next year.

The obvious answer is to cut back to two shoots earlier and not allow the multiple shoots to thicken at the cut point in the first place - but as far as I can tell that goes against what Ryan Neil says as it means the remaining shoots will then further extend with longer needles (not the desired result).

Perhaps there is an answer in the timing of decandling?? If I do it later the buds won't develop as much before autumn and therefore not thicken the cut site as much. As far as I can tell (my first time remember), the second flush has only really hardened off though in the last week or so. I don't think I could have cut back any earlier?? I therefore think if I decandle later - I would have to wait and cut back in autumn later ... and still have the same issue.

Fert timing?? Do I need to adjust when/how to apply fertiliser so as to regulate the growth rate of the second flush (i.e: slow it down more) to avoid this thickening??

Anyhow ... in short - I'm not sure. Any advice, previous experiences or input from those in the know would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
:beer:
"NO CUTS, NO GLORY"
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby treeman » April 10th, 2018, 5:48 pm

Ryceman3 wrote:OK, so ...
I have had a couple of JBP for almost 1 year (the first JBPs I have) and have spent the past 12 months getting myself acquainted with the process that goes into looking after these trees. Since I had no prior experience and I know compared to elms, maples, natives and even junipers, pines are a completely different animal - I sought the help of somebody with much more knowledge than myself...
... (hi Tien) ... :yes:

I have spoken with him at each stage and got a LOT of useful info, but I thought I'd throw this out to see what others think of this :

Here's what I did ...

Both trees were root pruned (quite hard) and repotted, still in training pots, at the beginning of Spring (needles were also thinned). After a recovery of a few weeks they were fertilised heavily and good growth and candle extension occurred ... all going to plan.

I laid off the fert leading up to December and then "decandled" early December. Within weeks I had multiple buds appearing around the cut candle site which was the aim, so again ... all going to plan!

I then watched patiently over summer, just watering and leaving the buds/candles to extend into shoots - which they did, shorter needles than the first flush ... which is the plan! :yes:

Autumn ... and time to cut those shoots back to two and see what we have... which is where my question/search for input comes from :

Where multiple buds have formed at one site, even though it's only a few months from the December de-candle, when I cut back to two shoots I have a pretty significant "knuckle" (swelling) from the shoots. So much so that I have no option but to cut this growth back past the initial de-candle point and hope for back-budding on the remaining needles ... starting the construction of the branch again. It hasn't happened at every cut point, but enough to make me think I need to address this before repeating the same error next year.

The obvious answer is to cut back to two shoots earlier and not allow the multiple shoots to thicken at the cut point in the first place - but as far as I can tell that goes against what Ryan Neil says as it means the remaining shoots will then further extend with longer needles (not the desired result).

Perhaps there is an answer in the timing of decandling?? If I do it later the buds won't develop as much before autumn and therefore not thicken the cut site as much. As far as I can tell (my first time remember), the second flush has only really hardened off though in the last week or so. I don't think I could have cut back any earlier?? I therefore think if I decandle later - I would have to wait and cut back in autumn later ... and still have the same issue.

Fert timing?? Do I need to adjust when/how to apply fertiliser so as to regulate the growth rate of the second flush (i.e: slow it down more) to avoid this thickening??

Anyhow ... in short - I'm not sure. Any advice, previous experiences or input from those in the know would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
:beer:

Hi Ryceman
The real secret in getting small uniform growth throughout the tree is ramification. The more you have the more even the distribution of energy and the easier it will be to manage. The secret to ramification in the branches is ramification in the roots. I'm not sure how advanced your particular tree is but if it has reached a stage where you want short needles etc., it's best to keep it in a smallish pot with a finer mix than you would use if you were fattening the trunk for example.
Thick roots equals thick stems.

When you root prune, for every say 3 out of 4 repots, just shave off 1/4 or so of the root ball to stimulate many fine roots rather than a heavy prune which will stimulate strong vigorous roots which will be reflected in the branches. Of course at the same time you must make sure the root mass is still open enough for good water percolation. Leave longer periods between repottings too. At least 3 years and 4 if the drainage is still good. All this will help with reducing the overall vigour and increasing ramification in the roots and branches by restricting the room and freedom to the roots.

As you mentioned, the reason Ryan suggests waiting until the second shoots are mature before cutting is that it helps with suppressing all the others, but you have run into the thickening problem by doing that. I suggest that the tree is a little too strong from residual nitrogen in the mix and/or the roots had too much room and/or you possibly watered a little too much at the critical time.

Having said all that, I prefer to remove/thin out the re-growth from Dec pruning way before it matures. Sometimes when it's soft enough to do with tweezers. You may end up with longer needles but at the same time you will reduce the overall vigour of that branch and avoid any thickening issues. Later on when the tree is more settled and has developed a nice fine root system, the needles will begin to reduce in length naturally.

It's all about the number of shoot tips. The more the better. The more you have the shorter the needles. You can increase them (number of shoots) by leaving everything that grows after de-candling OR you can de-bud early and wait until the tree develops greater ramification as it matures naturally.

I hope that makes sense.
:2c:
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby DocPep » April 10th, 2018, 6:35 pm

I had the exact same problem Ryceman after watching the Ryan Neil video.
I decandled late January and had maybe 8 shoots pop all at once which caused major swelling.
I did cut the majority of them off but it was to late.
I think Treeman hit the nail on the head, it’s all about managing vigour with what we are trying to achieve.
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby pureheart » April 10th, 2018, 9:49 pm

treeman wrote:
Ryceman3 wrote:OK, so ...
I have had a couple of JBP for almost 1 year (the first JBPs I have) and have spent the past 12 months getting myself acquainted with the process that goes into looking after these trees. Since I had no prior experience and I know compared to elms, maples, natives and even junipers, pines are a completely different animal - I sought the help of somebody with much more knowledge than myself...
... (hi Tien) ... :yes:

I have spoken with him at each stage and got a LOT of useful info, but I thought I'd throw this out to see what others think of this :

Here's what I did ...

Both trees were root pruned (quite hard) and repotted, still in training pots, at the beginning of Spring (needles were also thinned). After a recovery of a few weeks they were fertilised heavily and good growth and candle extension occurred ... all going to plan.

I laid off the fert leading up to December and then "decandled" early December. Within weeks I had multiple buds appearing around the cut candle site which was the aim, so again ... all going to plan!

I then watched patiently over summer, just watering and leaving the buds/candles to extend into shoots - which they did, shorter needles than the first flush ... which is the plan! :yes:

Autumn ... and time to cut those shoots back to two and see what we have... which is where my question/search for input comes from :

Where multiple buds have formed at one site, even though it's only a few months from the December de-candle, when I cut back to two shoots I have a pretty significant "knuckle" (swelling) from the shoots. So much so that I have no option but to cut this growth back past the initial de-candle point and hope for back-budding on the remaining needles ... starting the construction of the branch again. It hasn't happened at every cut point, but enough to make me think I need to address this before repeating the same error next year.

The obvious answer is to cut back to two shoots earlier and not allow the multiple shoots to thicken at the cut point in the first place - but as far as I can tell that goes against what Ryan Neil says as it means the remaining shoots will then further extend with longer needles (not the desired result).

Perhaps there is an answer in the timing of decandling?? If I do it later the buds won't develop as much before autumn and therefore not thicken the cut site as much. As far as I can tell (my first time remember), the second flush has only really hardened off though in the last week or so. I don't think I could have cut back any earlier?? I therefore think if I decandle later - I would have to wait and cut back in autumn later ... and still have the same issue.

Fert timing?? Do I need to adjust when/how to apply fertiliser so as to regulate the growth rate of the second flush (i.e: slow it down more) to avoid this thickening??

Anyhow ... in short - I'm not sure. Any advice, previous experiences or input from those in the know would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
:beer:

Hi Ryceman
The real secret in getting small uniform growth throughout the tree is ramification. The more you have the more even the distribution of energy and the easier it will be to manage. The secret to ramification in the branches is ramification in the roots. I'm not sure how advanced your particular tree is but if it has reached a stage where you want short needles etc., it's best to keep it in a smallish pot with a finer mix than you would use if you were fattening the trunk for example.
Thick roots equals thick stems.

When you root prune, for every say 3 out of 4 repots, just shave off 1/4 or so of the root ball to stimulate many fine roots rather than a heavy prune which will stimulate strong vigorous roots which will be reflected in the branches. Of course at the same time you must make sure the root mass is still open enough for good water percolation. Leave longer periods between repottings too. At least 3 years and 4 if the drainage is still good. All this will help with reducing the overall vigour and increasing ramification in the roots and branches by restricting the room and freedom to the roots.

As you mentioned, the reason Ryan suggests waiting until the second shoots are mature before cutting is that it helps with suppressing all the others, but you have run into the thickening problem by doing that. I suggest that the tree is a little too strong from residual nitrogen in the mix and/or the roots had too much room and/or you possibly watered a little too much at the critical time.

Having said all that, I prefer to remove/thin out the re-growth from Dec pruning way before it matures. Sometimes when it's soft enough to do with tweezers. You may end up with longer needles but at the same time you will reduce the overall vigour of that branch and avoid any thickening issues. Later on when the tree is more settled and has developed a nice fine root system, the needles will begin to reduce in length naturally.

It's all about the number of shoot tips. The more the better. The more you have the shorter the needles. You can increase them (number of shoots) by leaving everything that grows after de-candling OR you can de-bud early and wait until the tree develops greater ramification as it matures naturally.

I hope that makes sense.
:2c:


Thanks Mike that’s a great explanation, can the same principle of vigour be applied to any species?


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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby Ryceman3 » April 11th, 2018, 11:25 am

Thanks Mike, that's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for and your explanation is very clear and easy to understand.

I think your point about cutting back roots and giving them too much room to grow may well apply to my trees. I cut the roots hard last year and so had no intention of repotting this year ... but now I'm wondering if moving into bonsai pots (smaller than the grow pots they are currently in) this Spring might be a better option? My trees are around 7 years old and have nice sized shohin trunks. This is their first year of branch refinement/development, and so ramification is only beginning. I guess the more seasons I get through, the more ramification I will hopefully achieve and the easier I'll be able to manage it. MIght be a good time to start a progression thread for these ones (if I can get around to it).

There are several bits of gold in your post that I think will come in handy over the coming years, I appreciate you passing on your thoughts ... thanks again! :yes:

@DocPep : Hope there's some stuff in Mike's post that you can use too, good luck with your pines!
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby treeman » April 11th, 2018, 12:43 pm

pureheart wrote:







can the same principle of vigour be applied to any species?


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Yes they are all the same in that respect.

I noticed something else mentioned by Mr Neil the other day, and that is the question of the medium for growing. He suggested that akadama was the best for this reason....as the roots penetrate the aka, the pressure from the expanding roots causes the particles to break and reduce in size. Bit by bit, more and more roots infiltrate the newly created pore spaces and further break up the particles creating yet more and finer pore spaces which in turn creates (forces) finer and finer roots to develop. This is what makes for finer root and branch ramification. I have observed the same kind of thing when I look closely at the state of the soil in the various repotting pictures from Japan. What starts off as say 3 or 5mm granules, ends up very fine almost dust like articles when repotting times comes around. Yet still with apparently fair AFP although reduced. I have also observed a similar phenomenon when I started using my own clay particles in the mix. This is another reason why the coarser aeration layer at the base of the pot is important when using akadama for an extended amount of time.
You won't get the same results using sand, scoria, pumice or diatomite (unless it's soft and breaks apart but unfortunately some are so soft they turn to dust too quickly). You probably will get a similar thing with bark as it decomposes but the lasting qualities are only 2 or 3 years not the 4 or 5 we are looking for. There's no doubt that akadama remains the best growing medium but as I've said before, the red ''mountain'' soil in Eastern Australia behaves the same way. At least the ones I have tried. In Victoria, King Lake, Monbulk, and probably half the Great dividing range has it.
Last edited by treeman on April 11th, 2018, 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby treeman » April 11th, 2018, 2:39 pm

Ryceman3 wrote:Thanks Mike, that's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for and your explanation is very clear and easy to understand.

I think your point about cutting back roots and giving them too much room to grow may well apply to my trees. I cut the roots hard last year and so had no intention of repotting this year ... but now I'm wondering if moving into bonsai pots (smaller than the grow pots they are currently in) this Spring might be a better option? My trees are around 7 years old and have nice sized shohin trunks. This is their first year of branch refinement/development, and so ramification is only beginning. I guess the more seasons I get through, the more ramification I will hopefully achieve and the easier I'll be able to manage it. MIght be a good time to start a progression thread for these ones (if I can get around to it).

There are several bits of gold in your post that I think will come in handy over the coming years, I appreciate you passing on your thoughts ... thanks again! :yes:

@DocPep : Hope there's some stuff in Mike's post that you can use too, good luck with your pines!

I should have mentioned that all that does not mean you can forget about things like removing the strong buds from the strong shoots and the weak ones from the weak shoots and needle thinning etc!
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby Ryceman3 » April 11th, 2018, 9:44 pm

treeman wrote: I should have mentioned that all that does not mean you can forget about things like removing the strong buds from the strong shoots and the weak ones from the weak shoots and needle thinning etc!


Noted! Same basic principles apply... :yes:
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby Keep Calm and Ramify » April 14th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Ryceman3 wrote:Thanks Mike, that's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for and your explanation is very clear and easy to understand.

There are several bits of gold in your post that I think will come in handy over the coming years, I appreciate you passing on your thoughts ... thanks again! :yes:



I agree this is a GREAT response here from Treeman - this year's responses so much better than usual :P
Personally, this bit of info has been solid gold for me in my JBP developmental stages.

treeman wrote:You can increase them (number of shoots) by leaving everything that grows after de-candling OR you can de-bud early and wait until the tree develops greater ramification as it matures naturally.


I'm a big advocate of this first part. I kinda feel by allowing the tree to have all it's growth, I am aiding in the development & maturation of the bark - especially on the branches themselves. I can always remove any unwanted shoots later, after allowing some extension. I have no proof but refer pic below.
branches3.jpg


Mike, do you think this could be true? Can not de-budding early help in obtaining better bark development quicker?
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby treeman » April 15th, 2018, 11:07 am

Keep Calm and Ramify wrote:
Mike, do you think this could be true? Can not de-budding early help in obtaining better bark development quicker?


No I don't think so. Bark development comes from the genetics of the tree, it's age and it's environment - including feeding watering or lack of. The faster a tree grows the quicker thick bark develops but the less aged it will look. The real aged bark like on your tree is due mainly to it's slow growth over a number of years.
It's very nice but like I said somewhere else, if you don't take the bull by the horns and drastically reduce the length of the branches (and thin them out) the greater your problems will be down the road.
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Re: JBP dilemma

Postby Keep Calm and Ramify » April 15th, 2018, 9:01 pm

:cool: Thanks Treeman.
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