Garage Night Tree #4

This is John’s raw material Austrian Black Pine.

This is young nursery stock that has a long way to go before it will be ready for any real work. However, this doesn’t mean we just leave it as is. The centre of the tree is of no use in the future of this tree as a bonsai. It is too straight and is without branches for some distance.  We looked at viable branches with some ramification at the bottom of the tree and removed all the branches that were not needed in the future. This tree will now be left to grow and will be pinched during the year to encourage more back budding and ramification.

I see a lot of material like this and in many cases it isn’t suitable for bonsai or at the very best, it’s a long way off being ready for work. However, that doesn’t mean that people new to bonsai like John can’t learn from working on this tree for a few years, seeing how it responds to pruning and pinching.

3 comments on “Garage Night Tree #4

  1. I agree entirely with the concept of a “learning tree.” I think novices need to be encouraged to use them more (at least more than I see here in the US.)

    I’m also playing around with Pinus nigra, since JBP is very marginally hardy here when in a pot. I’ll be interested to see how this tree develops over time.

    (For a little more on how I handle JBP, take a look here:


  2. Hello,
    Branch selection and first repotting have been done at the same time?
    If not, when did you make first repotting and when did you cut the apex off?
    I have one similar black pine (for learning purposes) and I am trying to figure out basic details about what, when, how much, appropriate time….


    • To be honest I can’t remember the timing of this one Alexandra. With young, strong vigorous material you can often get away with working both top and bottom the same year. I prefer to chop back in Autumn and repot in Spring but not on an establish bonsai with age! Worth noting that this is an Austrian Black not Japanese Black Pine too. A little different.

      Since this photo John has done great work and the tree was cut back further as the branches back budded. It’s taken a few years but this preparation has made reasonable pre bonsai material.
      Hope this helps a little.


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