Austrian Black Pine

This tree once belonged to a bonsai enthusiast from County Cavan. It had been a bonsai, but due to ill health it was planted into the ground for quite a few years while he fought his battle. Sadly he died and his widow moved to a new home but took the tree with her, planting it in a large pot as we see it below in January 2016.


She wanted the tree to go to someone who would bring it back to its bonsai journey and I was offered the tree. Myself and my friend Stephen went to collect but had been told to leave the pot. Now look at the photo above and imagine getting that out of the pot it had been in for years!

We got it home and potted up as above. The tree was dense with a lot of branches that were not usable in a design so I cleared it out to allow light to penetrate for back budding.

Thinned out.

It was left for 2 1/2 years with only the occasional prune back where back budding had occurred. Then in September 2019 I brought in in for its first branch placement.

Before work 2019

It’s a big tree with a large needle and I was happy to create an expansive image.

After styling

In March 2020 I repotted the tree into a more suitable training pot.

It was fertilised heavily throughout 2020 and was a little slow to flush but came good in the end.

So just under 4 years in, I’m happy enough with the progress. The tree has a long way to go and, as it’s my only Austrian Black Pine, I’m enjoying the learning process with this species. A lot of back budding and ramification to be added as the years go by but I think 2021 should be an exciting year for this tree.