Peter Tea’s June Write-Up

Peter Tea Bonsai

June 2014

May Write-Up

The May Write up is important for this month as well so please review it again before our next workshop together. If you feel you understand it and don’t have to review it, then you definitely need to review it again. 😉

Japanese Black Pine and De-candling

For many of us in the Bay area, June is the time to De-candle our Japanese Red/Black Pines. For others living in warmer climates such as Sacramento or Fresno, de-candling starts in July.  So why the difference?

De-candling is one of very few techniques we perform solely based on the time of year.  Depending on how long our growing season is, the time to de-candle will shift.  Also, the size of our tree and age will determine if we de-candle early in the month or later in the month.

A few years ago, I wrote an extensive blog post about the concepts of de-candling.  Instead of re-writing it all here, please visit that post to get a refresher in how and why we de-candle our Japanese Red/Black Pines.  In the post, there are plenty of pictures of the process and what the tree does afterwards. If you still have questions, please feel free to email me.

**If you plan to de-candle your Japanese Red/Black Pine, you have the option to wire the tree at that time as well.  If the de-candling is partial, you can still wire the tree but have to be extra careful not to break any sensitive candles or needles. The safest time to wire the tree is during the Winter.**

High Mountain Pines

High Mountain Pines should not be worked on this month because the new candles are still soft and sensitive.  The normal time to work on them is after September and throughout Fall and Winter.

High Mountain Pines are all pines that grow in high elevations such as Ponderosa, Japanese White Pines, Scots Pine, Lodgepole Pines, Pinion Pine, etc.

These high mountain Pines are not normally de-candled either because they have a tougher time coming back from such a huge loss in foliage. Many times, the branches that are de-candled tend not to grow a second set of candles and the tree becomes weak.  I have met several people who say they de-candled with, “good results,” on High mountain pines, but when I see the tree, they are always weak and not doing well.

There is a time though where we can potentially de-candle a high mountain pine but not for the same reasons that we do it for a Japanese Red/Black Pine. It’s mainly done to promote back budding. Due to the dangers of this technique, please ask me in person how this is done and if it can be applied to your tree.

Trees to Work on this Month

If you don’t plan to work on or have any Japanese Red/Black Pines, then here are some other tree species to work on this month:

Any tree except for High Mountain Pines.

Working on Healthy and Stable Trees

What ever tree you decided to bring to work on this month, be sure that it’s growing

well. There is no point in working on a tree that is sick or weak.  If the tree is sick or weak, then we have to first figure out why and what we can do to get the tree stronger before we continue its bonsai training. Also, if you plan on wiring (stress) a tree, make sure it’s firmly planted in the pot and not moving around too much. If the tree starts to rock back and forth during the work, it’s just extra stress on the tree.

I hope that you all are staying cool and hydrated. I’ll see you all at the workshop!


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