Caring For Black Pine Bonsai

The black pine is a classical option for bonsai as it responds well to the training techniques of bonsai; it is also one of the best bonsai species to start with if you’re a novice. Normally, the black pine grows up to 25 feet tall with long branches and dark green needle foliage.

As a bonsai, the black pine requires well-drained soil, with equal concentrations of akadama and pumice and a 5.

5-6.5 pH level. This depends on the watering process – preferably watered 2-3 times a day, kept moist but not over watered (or the roots will rot).

It likes staying in the sun and it can tolerate temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but avoid over exposure during summer of both heat and sunlight – the pot can be covered to avoid baking the roots. Unlike other deciduous trees, the black pine appreciates being pruned during late autumn or early winter when it will lose less sap by bleeding. You could apply putty cut paste on the wounds once pruned. When done, place it for 3-4 weeks in a place with shade and normal temperature.

A common problem with this bonsai might involve the red spider mite so check regularly for weakness or even red specks on its needles; aphids and mealy bugs are not to be underestimated either. A good prevention is appropriate care especially during late spring and summer when the tree is most stressed. If you do have an infestation problem, use pesticides but consider using organics with vitamins and chelated iron.

If your black pine bonsai is well and healthy you can even wire it in different shapes and the best time of year to do that is late winter because it is less stress and sap bleeding.

Winter is also when you should re-pot it, the younger ones every year, the older every 3-5 years. Do not remove too much root when re-potting because it will reflect in the density of branches.

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