The Bonsai Pinus, or Black Pine Bonsai, is a miniaturized black pine tree found in Japan. Its scientific name is Pinus thunbergii. This type of bonsai pinus is a universal favorite among bonsai lovers. Beginners should not start with this plant as it requires some amount of experience when pruning and trimming for the desired shape. The reason for this is that pines grow with a distinctive pattern that is different from many other trees and pins also have needle shaped foliage, which you may not be used to.
Identifying and Growing A Black Pine Bonsai
It you have experience in growing bonsai pinus then you will definitely prefer the black pine bonsai as this plant is extremely adaptive and will thrive in many climate variations both hot and cold. The plant's unique characteristics include a thin twisted trunk and dense bushy foliage. Its oozing buds and greenish-purple bark is very unique when compared to other species of pines.
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Before you plant a Japanese bonsai pinus you should know that its preferred soil has average moisture content. Growth can be enhanced by enriching the soil condition in late spring when the new growth has begun to harden using a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen. Additionally, the feeding process should be continued using a fertilizer that has high nitrogen content at intervals of 2 to 3 weeks until the first or second week in autumn.
Trimming The Japanese Black Bonsai Pinus Properly
Black pine bonsais have thick foliage so you have to make sure that you remove 50% or more of its leaves, especially from the canopy. If you want to do some major trimming and cut off a piece of the truck or heavy branches then make sure you do it in the autumn because the sap flow will be minimal then. After you cut a large piece of the tree off apply petroleum jelly to it to hasten the recovery.
For the best growth and shape results you will need to remove most of the buds that form during the spring. You will however leave two that will grow in the form of a fork. When pruning a pine you should leave behind the branches that are considered to be weak and remove the strong buds. Note the buds that are located on the lower weaker branches should be less restrained when compared to those on the upper ones.
The buds that remain will grow in a long candle type formation during mid-spring the lengths of which vary greatly. You will have to remove them by pinching off the longer candles so that all will be equal in length. When pinching a candle you should focus pinching away from the apex to achieve the best results. Candles that are located near the bottom of the plant should be trimmed at the same time as the shoots at the end of the year.
Re-potting your bonsai pinus should take place when the plant is 2 to 5 years old and must be done in the spring. The most active growth takes place in the black pine bonsai during the spring and it will easily adapt to new soil. Make sure never to wash the roots of a bonsai pinus when repotting it. If you are going to use black pine seeds you should allow them to germinate in snow during early spring.