Bonsai Culture Article
Growing A White Pine Bonsai Tree
If you are looking for a relatively easy tree to nurture as a Bonsai, white pines would be a good choice. They are not prone to drying like other trees. They need basic pruning and to be repotted once they out grow their original pot.
In the forest, pine trees can grow well over 50 feet. They tend to be naturally straight and they are well suited as Bonsai trees. They are recommended for the formal upright Bonsai. The straight grows straight up from the base of the tree.
Many people believe that Bonsai trees are dwarf varieties of natural trees. However, they are not. They are trained to be dwarfed by pruning and shaping but, they have the same traits as full grown trees.
The needles of the white pine are a very pretty blue that have a tendency to group together from a bud. The branches grow in a circular formation that resembles tiers when looking down.
New growth will make the tree look brighter and healthy. The needles will begin lengthening and will be brighter. You may want to prune or cut back the new growth as needed.
If you are considering repotting the tree you may want to wait until the fall. The summer heat may take a toll on the tree and it may die from the shock of a new environment.
Make sure the tree is able to drain any excess water. Pines will die if they are over watered. It is best to use a mixture of soil, peat and sand in combination to build the foundation for the tree to grow.
If you do need to repot plan on cutting off less than a 1/3 rd of the root or the tree may become unstable. If you are repotting this is the time to trim the roots.
In the summer, it is not unusual to lose needles, the summer may dry the tree somewhat and consequently needles will dry up and fall.
However, if the tree has large round circles of a dark growth this may mean that the tree has a disease. This may be cause for concern. If not, then you need not be concerned.
You may notice some bugs and other pests. If so, spray diluted dishwashing soap onto the tree to get rid of them. Make sure you spray clear water the next day to rinse off the needles.
It is best to water the tree every other day, and to make sure there is adequate drainage. The tree is likely to grow in the fall. You should feed the tree every three to five weeks depending on its appearance and how fast it is growing.