Bonsai Repairing
Everybody loves black pine bonsai trees. Unfortunately they can be intimidating as the black pine's growth patterns are different from most other bonsai species. However, once you learn how a black pine grows, they become quite easy to train.

Timing is the most important thing to consider when working with black pines. Typically on our show trees, we will work on them twice a year. The rest of the year, you just need to keep them healthy. During June and July, we spend the time cutting candles. This will stimulate new bud growth at the point where the cut is made. Once the new buds grow out, they willl develop into new branches. When winter comes around, we select only two of those buds to continue to develop in the new season. We choose the 2 buds that are closest in size, this is usually done by eliminating a weak bud, a bud that is too strong, or
a combination of both if you have many buds develop from the cut.

Candle Cutting: (June/July)
Candles develop during the time after dormancy. This is usually early spring to whenever you decide to cut it, typically June or July. If you continue to let these candles grow out without cutting it, the candle will develop fully and will create new buds at the end. However, if you allow this occur, you usually end up with branches that are too leggy. You may get back budding over time though that you can develop later. The best way to control the growth is to cut the candle. This starts the bud development right when you start the cut and essentially you get two growth cycles a year instead of one. You also benefit by having shorter more compact growth.

Bud Selection: (November/December)
If you look at show trees, you'll notice that the tree are ramified evenly, meaning the branches spread out in twos. This is the best way to ramify a black pine because it not ensures that all the energy is balanced but aesthetically it maintains taper in the branch and improves the overall look of the tree.

If you are able to stay up to date on your black pine maintenance, you'll develop a very nice tree in just a few seasons. Just imagine after each cut you develop two more branches. This growth happens exponentially as the next season you'll develop four, then eight, sixteen, and so forth. The only trick to creating a black pine bonsai is taking the time to cut it back and start from season 1.