Young Black Pines

Below documents the development of Japanese Black Pine lifted from the field after 5 years growth and initial potting, training and shaping. After about 9 years the trunk is starting to acquire the beginnings of textured bark, and it’ll be another 7 or so years to develop nice fissures and age in the bark that Black Pine is famous for. For the pine below it’s still early stages but it is set to become a nice formal upright or Literati style in the future. Further below is another pine around the same age being developed into a semi-cascade.


8 year old Japanese Black Pine lifted from ground & potted in large training pot, 2014

After thinning, wiring and shaping, 2014. Pictured alongside is a 1 year old Black Pine seedling 

In the image above, the upright and horizontal branches extending much longer than the others are both sacrifice branches used to thicken the trunk or branches in those areas, and they will be removed in the future. This is key to developing thickness and age in the trunk of bonsai.

Below is the tree as at January 2015. Foliage has filled out slightly but bud development has a long way to go to develop finer branch structure. With this particular tree we will compress the lower zig-zagging trunk in the future to create a more compact form as the trunk line has rather typical bends…

Pine, January 2015

Trunk detail, with mature bark beginning to form

The Black Pine below is around the same age as above, in training to eventually become a semi-cascade.

06_BP_develop07_BP_developClose up of trunk


Below are some beautiful semi-cascade pines from the BIB Exhibition in Northern California (Bay Island Bonsai), good inspiration for some of our young pines to aspire to in the future…

BP_semicascadeSemi-cascade Black Pine, BIB Exhibition (Artist unknown)

WP_rock_dishWhite Pine on rock, BIB Exhibition (Artist unknown)

BP_semicascade2Semi-cascade Black Pine, BIB Exhibition (Artist unknown)