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Bonsai Progression Thursday - Update to the Twisted Japanese Black Pine

Good day to all the PLB readers and welcome back to another installment of #bonsaiprogressionthursday where I take you through an update of one of the trees in my garden.

This week, an update to a Japanese black pine that I first wrote about in the fall of 2020. This remains one of my favorite progressions and it's hard to believe it's been five years since I started this tree on it's bonsai journey. Be sure to read the first installment and come back to read the rest of the story.

As I discussed in the last post, this tree was in need of a repot. The tree had been in this container for several years and was filled with original ground soil. I wanted to get the tree into a free-draining substrate. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the repot, but here's a shot of the tree shortly after. I like the band in the middle of the container, I think it helps highlight the exposed roots.

Spring 2021

Japanese Black Pine bonsai, sitting on a table, after repot
A quick after shot

Up close picture of the exposed roots of Japanese black pine bonsai
The great exposed roots

I normally candle-cut my black pines in July here in the Nashville area, but given that this tree was repotted, I decided to skip the candle cutting and let it grow. And grow it has!

The tree looking strong and healthy

As I outlined in the previous update, this trees has some cool twists and the deadwood that was created from splitting the trunk, some 5 years ago, is now resulting in cool shari* features.

*Shari - A Japanese term meaning deadwood on the trunk of a tree

Up-Close picture of deadwood on a Japanese black pine bonsai
Cool dead wood forming

Up-close picture of bonsai shari on a Japanese black pine
Twisted Shari

I'm excited to let this tree grow and rest for the remainder of 2021. I'll fertilize and keep it in full sun, while awaiting strong candle development into the fall. Next year should see a resumption of candle cutting and in the fall of 2022 it should be in outstanding form. I'll be sure to update ya'll then!

5 Year Progression - 2016-2021

So, what do you think? Do you like the deadwood features? How about the pot, does it go with the tree? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below and subscribe to the blog for all my bonsai updates and posts. Until next time, Peace Love Bonsai!

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