If you are looking for a bonsai pine tree to add to your outdoor decor, we have some tips that will help you. We have compiled general information about pine trees, including their characteristics, appearance, and classification. You will also find a simple care guide for your bonsai tree pines with tips on how to prune, wire, and cut them. So, if you are growing a pine bonsai tree for the first time, don’t worry; we have you covered.
What Are Pine Trees?
Pines are evergreen, coniferous trees almost 60-80 inches tall and need total sun exposure for growth. Like the other coniferous plants, they are vascular and seed-bearing species. The native area of these trees is China, Europe, Russia, South-East Asia, and North America. Although, these trees can be grown throughout the world.
Pine trees can grow into different sizes, shapes, and colors. So, they can get effectively shaped into every known bonsai style.
Pine trees are among the most common tree species found worldwide, even though it may be challenging to learn the art of bonsai on them. Their variety is as diverse as the area they inhabit.
While some tree trunks develop gnarled and twisted, others grow straight and tall. Furthermore, some have tree bark as smooth as silk and light in color as coal. Others may have large fissures.
They get divided into four groups based on how many needles they produce: one, two, three, and five. Moreover, the genus Pinus is vast, with 120 species. Although four types of pine bonsai trees are more common: Japanese Black Pine, Pinus mugo, Pinus parviflora, and Pinus sylvestris. The majority of these species have straight needles and blue-green color.
Appearance and Characteristics
Pine trees in their infancy have conical shapes with horizontal branches arranged in whorls. Older trees have flat, round, or spreading crowns. They have two types of branches that are short and long shoots. Along with that, they have three types of leaves that are primordial, adult, and scale.
Pines have strong apical dominance, indicating that the top or outermost portions of the trees exhibit the most strong development. The lower branches and leaves will weaken or die if the tree does not get pruned correctly.
Unpruned or improperly pruned pines usually exhibit features that make them an improper fit for bonsai, such as heavy top, little inner growth close to the stem, and outside foliage. Pines can develop buds from anywhere there are needles. Without careful pruning, branches may go utterly naked except for a bit of greenery at the tips.
- Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous, and cone-bearing, with needles appearing in bundles.
- It is generally harder to prune bonsai pine trees than other plant species.
- Pine stress is atypically dominant, so the top or upper parts always show more growth than other parts of the plant.
- Bonsai tree pines require proper care regarding sunlight, watering, temperature, fertilizer, repotting, and against diseases and pests.
- Pruning alone does not get the bonsai pine tree in the desired shape. You will need additional techniques such as wiring and cutting to style them.
How to Care for Bonsai Tree Pine
At first, maintaining a bonsai tree may seem difficult. Here are some tips to easily maintain a bonsai tree.
Pine trees need total sunlight exposure for growth, which decreases the pines’ needle size, as the needle grows longer if the pine trees do not get enough sunlight. In addition to that, good sun exposure enhances the first and second flush of pine growth.
Only water your bonsai pine plants when necessary with room temperature water. Bonsai tree pines do not require frequent watering and overwatering your plant may even cause the roots to rot. Wait till the topsoil is dry to rewater your plant.
Humidity and Temperature
You should cultivate pine trees outdoors, and they mostly cannot be grown indoors. Pine trees are sturdy and frost-tolerant, but when grown in pots, they should be positioned in a covered area to avoid the worst winter weather.
Like most bonsai, pine bonsai benefit from moisture and, if your area is not naturally humid, can benefit from regular misting.
You may try cleaning the pine tree with water. If water by itself is insufficient, consider mixing it with organic liquid soap. You can gently wipe the pine plant’s leaves with a delicate cloth dipped in the soap and water mixture. Additionally, you can lather your hands in the mixture and do so.
Fertilizer and Soil
Regular fertilizer is necessary for healthy pine bonsai trees to thrive and look their best. Treat pine bonsai with an organic bonsai fertilizer from early spring through late autumn for optimal results, and also avoid using fertilizers high in nitrogen.
Like most bonsai species, Pine Bonsai require potting soils that drain well. We recommend you buy commercially available Bonsai soils or mixes. These comprise a blend of Akadama (a Japanese clay granule), pumice, organic potting compost, and fine gravel/grit. The pH range is 5.5 to 6.5.
You must repot or transplant your plant regularly to prevent it from getting pot-bound and dying. When a tree uses all its nutrients in the potting soil, its roots start to grow out of the pot’s shape. Transplanting and repotting your Bonsai plant will ensure the tree has enough space and nutrients to flourish.
Diseases and Pests
Bonsai trees are susceptible to all pests and diseases like other plant species. They may get affected by caterpillars, scale, spider mites, and aphids. Besides, sometimes root rot and fungal infections also attack them.
We’ll advise you to use specific pesticides to protect your Bonsai trees. You should consult experts to choose pesticides or insecticides for your plants, as Bonsai trees are sensitive and quickly die when the sign of disease appears. However, proper care and sunlight may reduce the risk of infection of your Bonsai Pine trees to a minimum.
Tools Needed for Bonsai Tree Pine Pruning
The art of bonsai is delicate. You will need different tools to prune your pine plants: rakes, root hooks, scissors, sieves, knobs, branch cutters, and complete tool kits.
How to Prune Bonsai Tree Pine
Pruning helps the pine trees develop better by removing sections of them. It also controls growth by pruning a branch or bud in the desired direction.
Cut off the candles from healthy pine trees in early to mid-summer, leaving a short stub of about 5 mm with a few needles. It is best to remove the tip to promote latent buds’ development.
Remove extra shoots in the fall after the second growth has finished maturing. When more than two shoots grow from the same point, choose two extending laterally, in the required direction, forming a V-shape, and have the same strength. Take away the others. To balance the tree’s growth at its strong points, remove extra old needles.
How to Wire Bonsai Tree Pine
Pruning alone does not always give you complete control over the shape of the pine trees. Techniques like wiring help us style the pine tree the way we want.
Spirally wrap the wires around the branch or trunk. The cables that hold the bend in place once the tree is bent wait until the tree develops into that position.
Selecting the proper size wire to hold any particular tree portion takes practice. To test the area’s strength, try flexing it with your fingers. Then, while comparing different wires, select one that is a little bit difficult to bend and utilize that one to wire that area. Do not give up if you wired the area and turned the tree, even if it just flexes back. A second wire might get attached to the first to increase gripping power.
How to Make Cuts to Bonsai Tree Pine
Cutting trees to style them is an inexpensive method to propagate growth. Never expose a large pruning cut. After cutting, bonsai pine trees flow heavily with sap. To stop bleeding, apply petroleum jelly to pruning wounds on the trunk or main branch. Applying jelly will facilitate the pine tree’s recovery throughout the dormant season and safeguard it against illness or decay. After pruning, allow the remaining stumps to dry for an entire year before removing them and flushing with the site of origin.
Bonsai Tree Pine Styles
Avoid gentle S curves as that is not how the trees grow. Style your bonsai tree pine with natural bends: some wide, some gentle, and others side to side or back and front. Also, make 3D Blends as the branches look more realistic when the bends go up and down as well as forwards and backward.
As we proceed up the tree, curves typically seem better when they become smaller and have a shorter radius. It does not look nice to have tight curves close to the base and broad above.
In addition to that, match the branch shape to the trunk shape. Strongly bending branches go well with bending and twisting trunks. It makes evident that both should have a similar shape if you consider that the same weather and factors that shape the trunk also influence the branches as they grow.
Pines are highly popular in bonsai care, and many people even think they are the most typical kind of bonsai tree. Pines can naturally take on a number of shapes. As a result, they can be developed into any popular bonsai style. You will also need to wire the plants because pruning may not be enough to give them the form you want. Otherwise, caring for a bonsai tree is not a difficult task. You only need to know basic guidelines such as watering, repotting, and cleaning your trees.