Close your eyes and imagine a Bonsai Tree and I bet one of the first things that springs to mind is the Black Pine Bonsai. It’s one of the most instantly recognizable trees out there. It is immensely beautiful, with fantastic bark, bright green needs and of course, a lot of grace. Whilst it would be difficult to go into too much depth on the Black Pine Bonsai, the intention of this article is give a bit of an overview of this fantastic miniature tree.
The normal Japanese Black Pine can be found throughout Asia, it is native to China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. This beautiful tree can stand up to 40 feet tall. The primary reason for the cultivation of this tree is for use as a Black Pine Bonsai.
It is has been cultivated for this reason by the Japanese since the 17th Century, and many of the trees that are in the Japanese Imperial Collection are as old as this. It was exported to the United States in 1915, the first tree is still alive in the United States. In the 1920’s, Japanese immigrants bought a lot of this particular bonsai tree to the US, and is by far one of the most popular out there nowadays for people looking to get started in Bonsai.
Caring For Your Black Pine Bonsai
Of course, when you first pick up your Black Pine Bonsai you will want it to ‘thicken’ as fast as possible. This means that you want to take it out of the pot and instead grow in a prepared gardening bed outside.
Try to keep weeds away from it, and keep as many of the branches as possible, especially those that lie nearer the bottom of the base. You will want to change the soil every three years, this is because when it comes to transfer to a container, it is much easier.
You will want to prune the roots and pot the plant in the first four months of the year. The ideal time is around December to January. You will want to place it in a soil mixture of 25% Organic and 75% aggregate.
Some bonsai trees require 100% inorganic, but for the Black Pine Bonsai this is a bad idea. This is because fungus grows on the bottom of the tree which helps the Bonsai absorb nutrients. The organic soil keeps it alive.
You will need to supply your Black Pine Bonsai with at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. Do not give it too little, or too much. Otherwise the tree will become pale. You will want to water at least once a day during the summer, and every second day during the rest of the months.
Black Pine Bonsai Pruning & Styling
Your Black Pine Bonsai will bud once a year, this is in the late winter or early spring. These will ‘elongate’ into something called candles. You will want to control the size of these. Long candles will result in long needles, short candles in dense growth but shorter needles. You will want to prune during the summer months for this. This means leaving five pairs of needles at the end of each branch tip. You can also twist off the candles in order to prune during the ‘budding’ stage.
How you style your Black Pine Bonsai is up to you. They work best in groups, and there is a plethora of different styles that you play about with to create the most ‘beautiful’ look for yourself.
If you are looking to purchase a Black Pine Bonsai, always ensure that pick it up from a reputable seller that is a specialist in Bonsai Trees. This is because they require a great deal of care and attention, something which your standard ‘store’ will be unable to provide, and therefore it could be suffering from numerous problems at the start.. since the Black Pine Bonsai has strong apical dominance, and keeping the lower part of the tree from getting weak takes constant work.