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Pinus Thunbergii

Pinus Thunbergii

The size and shape of Japanese black pine is variable reaching a height of 25 feet and a spread of 20 to 35 feet in nature. The Black pine is a native of Japan. One of the most basic trees for bonsai, a very popular specimen. This is a dense spreading pine with horizontally branches and a broad pyramidal head. Pinus thunbergii has thick, dark grey-green needles, 2 in a bundle. Though quite long, the needle-size can be reduced in length with the use of bonsai pruning techniques. Branches are held horizontally in a picturesque silhouette and sometimes can outgrow the central leader forming an attractive multistemmed specimen tree. Bark is purplish-grey and becomes very craggy and fissured with age. Branch pruning can be done in late Fall or Winter to reduce sap bleeding from the wound. You might consider removing major branches in Spring as the large wound will heal faster. Pines should be reduced slowly, over a period of years. Drastic pruning is stressful and should only be performed on very strong and well-fed trees. Keep recently pruned trees out of temperature extremes and in partial shade for 2 to 4 weeks.

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Hardiness zones 5-8, (-26°C/-15°F,-10°C/15°F) in Winter. The Black pine does not like extreme heat, especially in the area of its roots. It prefers but does not insist on colder climates. Black pines enjoy full sun all day long, but if you live in an area where the daily temperatures in Summer are in excess of 100°F, you should place them in partial shade for the hot part of the day, their color will be a deeper green. If your trees get full exposure during the Summer in hot locations, their color may tend toward yellow-green.Grows best in moist fertile well drained soil. A soil mix of coarse sand, calcinated clay and peat moss works well. Black Pines are very tolerant of poor conditions, surviving in nature on barren, stony soils. Keep your Japanese Black Pine evenly moist, but not damp. They like to be a little on the dry side and can endure a bit of a drought. May be allowed to go dry between waterings. Germination First, scarify the seeds. For faster germination, soak the seeds in slightly hot water for 24-48 hours, followed by 1-2 months cold stratification before sowing in your soil. Keep damp soil, not soaking wet. Keep pot in warm situation, 68-75 °F. Germination usually occurs in one to two months. It can be more depending on their degree of unbroken dormancy, don't lose faith. Scarification Seed coats may be so hard that they are impermeable to water. They need to be scratched or broken using a knife or sandpaper, in order to germinate. Chip the seeds with a sharp knife or make a few swipes with a sharp edged file or use sandpaper to allow moisture being more readily absorbed. Cold stratification This will break their dormancy. It creates a cold and moist environment for the seeds. Mixed in seeds with slightly moistened vermiculite or peat, only damp in a ziplock bag. Close zip bag shut and store it in the salad crisper compartment of your refrigerator. If any seeds begin to sprout during the cold stratification, simply remove the seed and plant.

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Pinus Thunbergii

Pinus Thunbergii

The size and shape of Japanese black pine is variable reaching a height of 25 feet and a spread of 20 to 35 feet in nature. The Black pine is a native of Japan. One of the most basic trees for bonsai, a very popular specimen. This is a dense spreading pine with horizontally branches and a broad pyramidal head. Pinus thunbergii has thick, dark grey-green needles, 2 in a bundle. Though quite long, the needle-size can be reduced in length with the use of bonsai pruning techniques. Branches are held horizontally in a picturesque silhouette and sometimes can outgrow the central leader forming an attractive multistemmed specimen tree. Bark is purplish-grey and becomes very craggy and fissured with age. Branch pruning can be done in late Fall or Winter to reduce sap bleeding from the wound. You might consider removing major branches in Spring as the large wound will heal faster. Pines should be reduced slowly, over a period of years. Drastic pruning is stressful and should only be performed on very strong and well-fed trees. Keep recently pruned trees out of temperature extremes and in partial shade for 2 to 4 weeks.

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