Trimming and Pruning the Black Pine Bonsai

Published: 22nd February 2011
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The Black pine bonsai is a small version of the Japanese Black pine tree. The botanical name for this is "Pinus Thunbergii." Just like most pine varieties, this tree also has needle-shaped foliage and the bark has a purplish green hue. The plant looks slightly different from other pine trees, with a twisted trunk with thick foliage. It can be easily identified from other specimens, because of the color of the bark and the many buds that make the tree look bushy.

Bonsai cultivators are particularly fond of using this bonsai, as it is a versatile plant that can thrive in both, hot and cold climates easily. This plant needs to be constantly pruned and trimmed to make it grow to the desire shape and therefore may not be the best choice for beginners new to growing bonsais. Most pine trees follow a definite pattern of growth and the Black pine bonsai is no exception. It needs to be pruned carefully to ensure that it retains its shape and follows the normal pattern of growth.

The foliage of this plant is very thick and therefore one has to prune at least half the leaves. During the autumn season, the sap that flows through the plant is minimal. Therefore, this makes it the ideal time for cutting off the heavy and unwanted branches and portions from the trunk that spoils the look of the plant. Use petroleum jelly immediately after pruning to seal the pores. This is necessary to prevent infection from setting in and destroying the plant.

Retain only two buds and remove all the rest from the tree, during spring, to train the tree to grow into the pattern you wish to follow. A fork shoot will form, when you remove these buds. Do not worry about the buds that are found in the weaker branches, as these are difficult to remove, without damaging the plant. You will notice that the buds of the Black pine bonsai begin to resemble long candle like structures by mid spring. Ideally, you should pinch off some of these structures from the top of the plants and try to get them all, into a standard length. Prune the structures that grow at the bottom, when you remove the shoots.

Average moisture content is required in the soil when growing Black pine bonsai. Use low nitrogen fertilizer for enriching the soil during late spring. This is required to ensure that the needles grow harder. During spring and autumn, you need to go in for high nitrogen fertilizer for Black pine bonsai once in two to three weeks.

The first time you repot the plant should be anywhere from 2 to 5 years. Spring is the ideal time for repotting, as this is the most active season of growth for the black pine, with least amount of effort.

Interested in learning more about the art of gardening bonsai trees? Take a look at my website at http://www.BonsaiPlantsCenter.com and subscribe to my FREE online mini course where I'll teach you all the basic to grow awesome looking Bonsai plants. http://www.BonsaiPlantsCenter.com

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