Black and Red Pines
By Scott Martin
Black and Red Pines are ideal for bonsai culture. More mature trees require a lot of work so be mindful of how many black and red pines you have in your collection.
Tips for growing pines
Avoid touching pine bark and needles as this could damage trees.
Start at top of tree and work down when cleaning.
If you don’t like wiring, don’t get pines.
Minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day.
Keep pines fully exposed to elements.
Do not blindly follow maintenance program for pines.
Bud understand strength of tree and which stage of growth it is at.
Overworking a pine will lead to a weakened tree.
They do need to be worked thoroughly.
Candle breaking by fingers, feed heavily. eg. Use fertiliser bags
Decandling, energy balancing, styling
Autumn & Winter:
Bud selection, needle plucking, wiring and styling, feeding.
Use fertiliser bags in Autumn. Take off during Winter.
Very busy time for pine maintenance and absolutely essential.
Heading into dormancy so best time to wire and style - not full of liquid as they move into dormancy so branches are more flexible.
Process of shaping
Remove the buds that are too strong and too weak.
Remove up and down growth, try to keep lateral.
Remove backwards growth
Pluck off old needles.
Balancing the strength
Lowest branches are weakest, apex is strongest.
In the strong area, near apex, remove the strong.
In the weak areas, in lower area, remove the weak.
Needle plucking in Autumn
Entire removal. Keep tweezers clean and avoid sap build up
Needle removal, then sheath (optional). Pull needles in direction of needle growth