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  • Writer's picturepeacelovebonsai

3 Great Online Sources for Developing Japanese Black Pine Bonsai

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

japanese black pines bonsai grown from seed in colanders against a white wall
A couple of JBP 2 years from seed

Whether you are a bonsai newbie or grizzly vet, the Japanese black pine (JBP) makes for great bonsai.

You can grow from seed, in the ground or from developed material. The JBP can be intimidating if you're new to bonsai or unfamiliar with the species, but the results can be rewarding. In addition, the JBP can be grown from Florida to California back to New York. There’s plenty of online training and information available to help you grow and train your own black pines.

Learning through in-person classes is still superior, but here’s 3 great resources available online to give you the confidence you need to develop some great Japanese Black pines. Happy Bonsai!

I found Brian’s e-book through the bonsai forum Bonsainut many years ago. According to Brian's blog, Brian has been studying bonsai since 1994 and it shows in his fantastic book. This book was the first time someone had put it all together in one place for me. It's written in an easy and digestible way. It’s a great little book and I highly recommend.

wire biting into a japanese black pine bonsai seedling
Wire biting into the trunk - I'll take off in 2021

Boon Manakitivipart (aka Bonsai Boon) was one of the first professionals to train and learn in Japan and come back to teach in the US. He developed a series of DVDs (shows you just how long he’s been teaching bonsai!) which have now been converted to digital downloads. The entire black pine library is fantastic, but if I had to pick just one, I would start with the decandling DVD. He does an excellent job of demystifying the entire process.

japanses black pine bonsai buds being set for next year
Strong buds being set for next year

Jonas is probably the preeminent Japanese black pine grower in the US. If someone is doing more and/or better than Jonas, I’d like to see it. He's a great teacher and prolific blogger, which means his site is chalk full of all sorts of information. It’s my go-to site for any quick JBP questions I might have. He also goes in detail about growing from seed, which I also recommend. Beside being deeply satisfying, growing bonsai from seed offers an in depth understanding of the species your are growing.

What online sources do you use to learn about growing Japanese black pines?

Peace Love Bonsai

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