Bonsai Pines – Tips and Tricks on Growing the Pine Bonsai Tree

A Bit about Bonsai Pines

What an amazing specimen, a Pine Bonsai Tree is! With its almost perfectly straight trunk and incredible branch structure this beautiful tree will captivate you for hours. This stoic tree has three popular types, all of which are perfectly suited for propagation as miniature trees. Regarded as elegant yet distinguished, each species has its own unique qualities. Just remember, it takes several years for this tree to reach maturity. It will require a dedicated effort and patience to grow but the result is a bonsai that will be the envy of all.

First and foremost in the list of requirements is the need for full sun on your Pine Bonsai Tree. When a pine receives the required amount of sun the needles will stay small and short which is of utmost importance for it to work as a bonsai. Lack of sun will cause the needles to become long and spindly and impossible to successfully work with. If you notice the needles turning yellow that is a sign that it is in a position where it is too hot and it’s time to relocate. 

Because of the very slow growing cycle of the Pine Bonsai Tree, pruning is not done as often as with other bonsai varieties. This also means that this species does not require as much watering as other species either. In fact, pines have been known to do quite well in short periods of drought making them a very sturdy tree indeed. This being said it is still advisable to monitor the moisture levels, topping them up when necessary.

Some species of Pine Bonsai Tree require a particular technique where the first shoots are removed to create a more dense growth of neat secondary shoots and most wiring and maintenance should be carried out in autumn. Most species of pine, even in the bonsai form, have deep roots making it essential that they be planted in deep pots in order to maintain their stability. Regularly check that the root system is not pot bound, as this will dramatically affect the growth of the tree. When re potting is necessary, root pruning is also advised. The internet offers numerous sites that will explain this process thoroughly.

Bonsai Pines – Tips and Tricks on Growing the Pine Bonsai Tree
Bonsai Pines – Tips and Tricks on Growing the Pine Bonsai Tree

If you decide to grow your Pine Bonsai Tree indoors it is extremely important that it be placed outside during the winter months. This allows for a period of dormancy for the tree which is essential to ensure the good health of your plant. They will require up to 1000 hours of cold before its time to warm them up. By not allowing your Pine Bonsai Tree this dormancy, could eventually cause the death of your bonsai. 

Given proper care, your Pine Bonsai Tree can live for hundreds of years. It is an extremely beautiful piece of nature entwined with the growers’ unique personality making an art form to be admired and envied by all. It may give the impression that only a true expert, trained professionally can successfully master such a magnificent art, however with patience and practise, anyone can create their own unique piece because there really is no definitive “right way” to do it.

Sorts of Bonsai Pine Trees

Pine bonsai is a majestic bonsai tree with a massive trunk and rigorous growth. European, Japanese and American pine trees are the renowned ones and they belong to the Pinaceae family. This bonsai is found all over the world and is a greatly appreciated due to its marvelous aesthetic beauty.

Japanese black pine bonsai: Known as Pinus Thunbergiana, it has dark needles and a tough bark. The needles of this black pine bonsai are found to grow in pairs. Its solid root system has made it the first choice for grafting white pine. This bonsai thrives in the colder climates and does not appreciate warm climates. You should protect this bonsai from fungal infections that may cause some unexpected growth on its branches popularly known as “witch broom”. The growth of this bonsai is referred to as “clump-style” growth. 

Japanese white pine bonsai: Known as Pinus Parviflora, it has small needles that are ideal for giving the bonsai an attractive look. As it has a weak root system it is preferably grafted on the sturdy black pine root system. Its needles grow in groups of five and similar to the black pine it thrives in the cold and has low tolerance for warm weather. It is an ideal landscaping bonsai due to its striking structure. When young you can expect the bonsai to be conical and dense.

American eastern white pine bonsai: Also known as Pinus Strobus, the needles are a peculiar color of grayish blue/green. As its needles are as long as three to five inches it is not generally the first choice for a bonsai tree. However, if you are really keen for this bonsai it is advisable to apply some needle reduction methods when the plant is still a seedling. The needles grow in a group of five and the bark is smooth and grayish from the time it is young.

American Virginia pine bonsai: Also known as Pinus Virginiana, this bonsai is the toughest of the lost due to its high resilience. It can easily adapt and thrive in any soil and weather thus making it the preferred choice amongst all pines. Its average length needles are apt for a bonsai. Its growth rate is average and it has a brownish-purple flaky bark. The girth of the trunk is also average. It has beautiful yellow branches that appear at the tip of branches and look splendid.

European mountain pine bonsai: Also known as Pinus mugo, this is basically a small shrub pine with compact and robust growth that makes it favorable choice for bonsai. However, its slow growth rate hampers the development of the shrub as a bonsai somewhat. Its thick foliage looks stunning and is a visual delight. The best feature of this pine is that its needles do not shed for long and can stay on the tree for as long as four years. It has a high resistance to cold weather too.

Pine bonsai has many varieties from which you can choose depending on your requirements and tastes. It is an evergreen bonsai that looks wonderful both indoors and outdoors. Remember to show adequate sunlight to your bonsai to see its growing wonderfully but protect it from wind that may hamper its growth.

Taking Care of Your Pine Bonsai Tree

Bonsai pines are one of the most exquisite looking bonsai that can be decorated indoors as well as outdoors. Their bunch of needles look very beautiful in a miniature form and makes the bonsai look striking. Basically a stale of Japan, it is available in evergreen and shrub varieties too.

Bonsai pines are available in nearly 150 different varieties and you can choose one as per your taste and preference. The mountain pine is one interesting pine that can be made into a bonsai. It’s long Aloe Vera like needles make it look very interesting. It’s a highly resilient pine and can endure harsh weather conditions too. Japanese black pine is a popular option for bonsai too. Its high resilience and ability to survive just about anywhere make it the favorite amongst pine bonsai varieties. 

Bonsai pines can be a little tricky to take care of and it is advised to either have some experience beforehand or seek assistance from an expert while growing them. The Scotch pine is an interesting variety and tends to lose its needles and branches with age. The needles are different from the conventional needles and are slightly warped and have are an interesting shade of bluish-green or yellow. The bark of the pine is reddish in color and tends to flake as the pine ages.

Japanese white pine and Japanese black pines are also amongst the favored bonsai pines. The white pine is generally grafted on the lower branches of the black pine to enhance the growth of the black pine. Styling the bonsai with precise pruning can be quite challenging but very interesting too. In fact it is the deciding factor of how the bonsai would ultimately look. You would need to constantly remove the new shoots that keep sprouting to avoid the bonsai from growing awry and misshaped.

Bonsai pines are known to be very endearing and demand abundant care from its caretaker. They can withstand certain weather fluctuations but are not tolerant to strong winds. Extreme windy conditions may dry your bonsai and it would be safer to shift them indoors if it is too windy. Try to develop your bonsai in to a single bush for best structure and design. Although highly tolerant never let your bonsai get enveloped in snow as it would not be able to withstand the snow.

Bonsai pines can survive in full sun and need just the right quantity of water. This is not a bonsai that prefers to be too wet as the roots may rot. When they are just developing it is best to keep them slightly dry on the sides and giving them periods to dry out completely between two watering sessions. This is beneficial for their overall growth. Pine trees are best planted in deeper pots as their roots need depth and a sound foundation for robust growth.

Fertilizers with 0-10-10 configuration are ideal for bonsai pines. Organic fertilizers are best suited for pines but inorganic fertilizers can also suffice. Fertilizing should be stopped at the time the buds commence swelling. Bonsai planting is all about doing the right things at the right time for a healthy bonsai.