The most sought after bonsai may well be the pine species. They are renowned for their splendor and majesty. A fine Japanese black pine example will take years to cultivate.
A young pine tree of any variety is among the hardest for the beginning enthusiast to envision as a bonsai display. They may also be among the most difficult for the novice to train.
Types and classification of bonsai pine tree
Although pine trees may be tough to learn the art of bonsai, they are among the most prevalent of tree species and are found throughout the world. Their variety is as diverse as the areas in which they inhabit.
Some tree trunks grow straight and tall, while others are knarled and contorted. Some have very smooth silk light colored tree bark, while others may have deep crevices and their bark is as black as coal.
They are grouped by the number of needles that they grow, one, two, three and five. These needles in most cases are either stiff or grouped in a manner that makes manipulation difficult which may be why pine trees are so hard for the beginning bonsai hobbyist to create.
Growing Bonsai Pine Trees
Pine trees are not difficult to grow. They are temperate zone inhabitants with a few exceptions (the Asiatic or Japanese white pines) and really don’t have a soil preference.
The standard akadama soil is acceptable for most pine species.
The white pines are best planted in a sandy river bottom mix.
Repotting is best done in spring with as minimal root trimming as possible.
Pruning pines stimulates new growth even more.
The soil should be supplemented with nitrogen fertilizers in the spring. This not only encourages the normal growth spurt but helps keep the plant healthy.
Although they are evergreen trees, they can go through a partial needle drop period in autumn to early winter.
Pine trees also start the spring growth period earlier than leafed trees and any training wires must be observed carefully during that time to prevent tree bark damage.